“Will this be on the test?”
Seth Godin
1.3K137

First of all, I think you’re quite smart and I’ve learned a lot about marketing through your books.

This said, you’ve fallen for the same “high attrition rate” red herring that so many other MOOC critics have. You don’t seem to understand what makes MOOCs so transformative, and you’re racing in the opposite direction.

Peer learning pioneer Sugata Mitra working with young learners in rural India.

As you pointed out, high attrition rates are a natural byproduct of presenting learners with a substantial challenge. They’re also to be expected of any inclusive, socioeconomic-blind educational program.

You’ve created an exclusive program that is both selective and expensive. Only people whom you choose to admit — and who work for a company that has $3,000 budgeted to sponsor their continuing professional development — can attend your course. If MOOCs were to do this, their attrition rate would be similarly low. But then, of course, they’d cease to be MOOCs.

It’s also worth pointing out that many MOOCs already use Slack and other IRC-like tools to help keep learners motivated and facilitate peer learning. And many programs already involve the peer-reviewed project-oriented learning so central to your “fundamentally new” approach.

So basically, your core differentiator here is that you’re lumping learners into cohorts of 5 to 20 people and putting them on a fixed schedule — which is exactly what the old online courses we’re all trying to get away from did.

I’m confident that with your star power behind it, altMBA will be a financial success for you. But it’s not nearly as transformative as you claim — certainly not more transformative than what EdX and Coursera have already been doing for free, for literally anyone in the world who has even a passing interest in a given field of study.