Future X

Future of Edtech - Learnings from the Duolingo journey

October 4, 2021

Future of Edtech - Learnings from the Duolingo journey

Future X
Future of Edtech - Learnings from the Duolingo journey
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13:10 - 15:30: Monetization at Duolingo and it's framework; Audience growth more critical than monetization
17:52 - 19:41: Frameworks of monetization and the key areas of focus with each approach
23:15 - 24:52: Perception of experimentation and subsequent failure with monetization
28:07 - 30:00: Empowering teams to come up with newer and better ideas; also taking help from the ecosystem
31:10 - 33:24: Retention metrics and how Duolingo approaches them
39:32 - 41:46: Approaching GTM at Duolingo; how growth of mobile devices helped them scale
44:10 - 46:34: Challenges during Bob's early days at Duolingo; not having the right set of people; setting up ambitious goals and missing out on them consistently
48:54 - 50:56: Future of edtech; how Duolingo saw edtech transform from being a "bad word" to a promising vertical
51:55 - 53:50: Shaping up the product as a key source of customer delight

Edtech is a category whose time has come. The pandemic and its attendant ramifications have meant that Edtech is now one of the hottest spaces for innovation and growth globally. This also means that a lot of new Edtech startups are coming up, with newer visions and interpretations of what the future of learning and education can look like.

And they have a lot to navigate around and wade through in a rapidly evolving landscape.

Which is why we bring to you this conversation with Bob Meese, the Chief Business Officer of Duolingo, one of the most innovative Edtech companies in the world. You know the company, of course, and we are delighted to be bringing you a glimpse into its history and workings.

Bob is interviewed by my colleague Manasi Shah, Vice-President at Accel. She is deeply interested in the space and has been looking at Edtech startups for a while now.

What resulted from this meeting of minds is a far reaching conversation, about the nature of online education itself, how the world is embracing it, what the challenges are, and what the future will look like. 

In doing so, Manasi and Bob run through the Duolingo journey, the founders’ vision, what it has transformed into, and how far the now-iconic company has come. Manasi and Bob also spend time discussing what the future of the company could look like too, an excellent primer to the latest innovations in the space that will help many early stage founders.

I learnt a lot from the conversation, and I’m sure you will too. 

This is not just a happening space, it is also an important one, arguably the most important for our country, and the planet’s future. This conversation is a great opportunity to attempt to understand some of the opportunities and challenges for it in the coming decade.

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