Future of Work #2: Agile Learning

Jessica Lin
Nov 7, 2017 · 4 min read
Photo by Galymzhan Abdugalimov on Unsplash

“With RPA, the software is actually writing emails, filling in spreadsheets, and taking other actions This kind of software could have a place inside many companies, but insurance and financial services in particular. These companies have the underlying logic in their processes that …could benefit from automating some labor-intensive parts of these workflows.

Ultimately it could free up human workers to do the kind of interactions they do best, while liberating them from the mundane parts of the job. “Say it takes 24 hours to complete a purchase order. The robot can do it much faster and salespeople can sell more products.(TechCrunch)

Removing repetitive work is one thing — but to where are we then transferring this freed up human capital?

  • Production of learning content will need become even more Agile — i.e. how do we ensure that by the time some high-production courses are developed, the content is not already out of date?
  • These platforms won’t be called the traditional types of “training” or “learning management systems,” so it will be interesting to follow how their end buyers — especially at large enterprise companies — evolve (see recent 2017 Learning Buyers report).
  • We will continue to follow what product / platform differences lay between infrastructure and application, reskilling knowledge-worker vs. non-knowledge workers; and or functional-specific roles (i.e. sales enablement and security-focused companies).
  • AR/VR — While AR/VR in education is still an early space, applications like Planned Parenthood’s Across the Line VR recently created experiences that evoked immersive empathy and engagement. Look forward to seeing what applications there could be for soft skills development, as well as simulation training (Rangeforce for security).
  • Polarity — a memory augmentation platform that displays data relevant to your work via on-screen overlays, using computer vision to recognize what is on your and your co-workers screens in real-time to share in a “collective memory.”
  • Hickory — helps you retain knowledge and information better. I’m especially keen to see how companies can apply the science behind learning better in their tech (including Coursera’s most popular How to Learn course).
  • Upskill* — a smart glass wearable solution that helps line technicians better assemble complex manufacturing parts through their hands-free, voice command viewfinder (and literally removes painful repetitive motion: https://upskill.io/landing/upskill-and-boeing/). What other skills can be taught and trained via this kind of immersive interface?
  • Brilliant.org — Brilliant too eschews the traditional lectures and videos, but instead designs increasingly advanced and challenging math and science quizzes, surrounded by a community of members who can help users continue to learn.
  • Grammarly — while they do not brand themselves as a training company, Grammarly already has 6.9 million daily active users using the platform to improve their writing. What other types of personalized and in-app learning will emerge, that follow in the steps of Duolingo as sticky, fun, and beautifully-designed experiences?
  • Loom — a new way of capturing video that makes it quick and easy for anyone to create videos. While the platform is being used for product, customer success, and a number of use cases, its applications for employee training, education, and content authoring is broad, as it lowers the bar necessary for anyone to make videos, and to do it quickly without high production and editing software costs.

Work-Bench

Work-Bench is an enterprise technology VC fund in NYC. We support early go-to-market enterprise startups with community, workspace, and corporate engagement.

Jessica Lin

Written by

co-founder & VC @Work_Bench | GED educator | rethinking work

Work-Bench

Work-Bench is an enterprise technology VC fund in NYC. We support early go-to-market enterprise startups with community, workspace, and corporate engagement.