Week 3: The Analyst Bootcamp

Thanks for all of your contributions over the last week to the Market Projections forum.

While we’re aware that the global learning marketplace is a big and strange place, those reports and projections are a fine way to get a 30,000 foot level perspective. They also should make you feel like you’re not a complete alien here – that your knowledge and experience in education give you a sound basis for understanding, accepting and rejecting different views about its future.  Your opinions have credibility.

In Week 3 we zoom in to ground level for encounters with real ventures at the frontiers of learning.  The Analyst Bootcamp is meant to make you feel equally comfortable about your ability to critically analyze the credibility and viability of specific products, projects and ventures involving learning technologies. Like the facets of a well-formed diamond, every credible venture should feature specific kinds of information. This makes analysis a rigorous process: if any elements of the required information are missing or flawed, the venture (and/or its champion) suddenly become much less brilliant.

Probably the most important reason for diving into the Pitch Pool this week is to realize that entrepreneurs are just ordinary people.   You’ll find that some presenters aren’t all that comfortable on stage, but may have great ideas (they may be ‘diamonds in the rough’), and that others are flashy yet may have little substance. The analysis framework of Week 3 will help you look for true value. There are deliberately few Pitches in the Pitch Pool – you are highly encouraged to go to any number of venture and crowdfunding websites to search out additional elevator pitches and post them into the Pitch Pool as the focus for your analysis.  It will be instructive just to see how many there are, and what a range of quality you can find! Just make sure any new pitch you post and review is aimed at investors (describing the value of the company) rather than customers (describing the value of the product or service).  This distinction is likely the most important learning objective of the week.

Finally, why an “Analyst Bootcamp”?   Our humble logic is that if you learn how to look at ventures with a critical eye, you’ll be better prepared to compose one that has all of its most important pieces in place.

Please remember to contribute your reviews on existing Pitch Pool posts onto the posts themselves, using the Reply/Review function.

Assignment #1:  By now you should be zeroing in on a topic for your analysis.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Assignment #2:  Hopefully you’ve connected with your teams.  The first teams on stage should be well underway.  I welcome all questions about Opportunity Forecast teams, ideas and directions.

Good luck,