Several of the other investors have written thoughtful posts articulating their theses for backing the business which captured many of ours as well.
Andy talked about their ability to use the web as a platform to unlock the power of collaborative learning and teaching. Fred highlighted the need for a baseline of technical skills required to fully participate in todays technical work environment. Albert points out that they are an important addition to a growing pool of distributed learning applications and services. Mike talked about their ability to transform learning at large by applying a similar structure of bite sized, self guided lesson and certifications to any discipline. And MG shared a personal experience that highlights the power of the platform as an agent for retraining as classically college educated students find themselves working in an increasingly technical work environment.
I can’t improve on those posts so I wont.
As they note, the platform has far reaching potential and the adoption to date has been phenomenal.
But there was one other reason we chose to invest.
As we did our diligence and talked to “real developers” about Codecademy nearly everyone of them was dismissive of the idea. “Real developers” would never actually learn to code by typing into a browser. “Real developers” needed classic training on foundational principles not some web based toy. Besides, they said, the lessons are so basic they only scratch the surface of what it takes to write real code. Oh, and a bunch of people have tried the “writing code in a browser” thing before and it’s never worked.
That feedback may have scared off others but it sounded like disruption to us.