336 – How He Built a Successful Online Learning Business That Sold for $36 Million – Interview with Gregg Pollack Founder of CodeSchool

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gregg-pollackOne of the best ways to build a platform in the digital world today is to start by giving valuable content away. That’s exactly how Gregg Pollack built his startup into a successful online learning business that was recently sold for $36 million to Pluralsight, a Utah-based company.

This week, he joins me to share his story. He’s the founder of CodeSchool.com, an e-learning business that offers instructional courses and videos for developers. Gregg has a natural love of teaching, and he enjoys using online video as a platform to teach.

What makes their learning platform unique is the way they’ve incorporated “gaming” into the lessons so that users can collect badges and points as they master courses on Javascript, Ruby, HTML, CSS and  iOS.

Gregg launched CodeSchool back in 2011 and today it has a million users worldwide, and over 30,000 members who are paid subscribers.

So you might ask “How did they build such a massive list of paying subscribers in a short time?” The keyword is “free”.

Gregg says he’s a big fan of giving away great content, so he and his team offer a number of free courses that are first introduced to first-time members.

This free content becomes a powerful customer funnel that turns many users into paid customers. The philosophy of give, give, give is one that Gregg has embraced since launching this business.

On this interview, Gregg will be sharing some great takeaway lessons for anyone wanting to launch their own e-learning platform. You’ll learn:

  • Why “gamification” is so effective when it comes to online education today, and how to use it to build an audience.
  • Why you should never view companies similar to yours as competition. There are always ways to team up with those companies in mutually beneficial ways.
  • Why it’s so important to get customers to be a part of your team.

Enjoy the interview!