Saw this blog post in my morning EdSurge newsletter (the only newsletter that doesn’t get filtered out of my inbox) and was really affected by it. Jarrod Drysdale talks about the reasons he is closing his ed tech product, which is mainly his inability to get teachers to buy his product. He has some choice words about teachers and technology and while I don’t agree with everything he says, he has some points. Two points have stayed with me this morning.
1. It’s true that its almost impossible to bring a product into a school district these days unless you’re a well capitalized and established company. The intent of only dealing with the “big boys” may have been to protect taxpayers from having their money spent on fly-by-night products, but it now often prevents innovation from coming into the world of public schools. For us little folks who want to earn an income doing what we do well while making a difference… well, we’re mostly screwed.
2. Teachers are hard to market to, for sure. While I don’t sell to teachers, I do recruit them and they are hard to reach. There are so many, they are all over the place and don’t act like people in other professions when it comes to purchasing, training, etc. Writing about all the reasons why would require a dissertation, but none of them change the fact that they are a difficult group to create a income generating product for.
I looked around the Knack for Teachers website and like what I saw. This whole thing makes me feel sad, not just for this founder (who I don’t know), but the general state of education entrepreneurship.