Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
It’s hard to believe that two years have passed since Gerlando and I had our initial conversations about building Teachery. In 2014 neither of us had built a piece of software as complex as Teachery (especially me, with almost zero technical knowledge/skills). We’ve learned a ton of lessons in that time, but we’ve also stayed focused on a path we created for ourselves.
Drawing our lines in the sand…
It’s no secret that online learning is a booming market. When Linkedin purchased Lynda.com for $1.5 billion (with a “B”) in 2015, the landscape changed completely. Online courses always had legitimacy, but that acquisition proved just how legitimate online learning could be. It was recently stated that online learning is a $20+ billion industry. That number is only going to continue to grow.
From the early days we’ve had two core focuses for Teachery:
- Simplicity: If you can send an email, you can use Teachery.
- Great User Experience: Whether it’s our customer service or how you add content to your course in Teachery, we’ve tried to create a beautiful and straight-forward experience.
Those two focuses have been the lens we’ve put all our decisions through. Will this new feature be simple for a user? Will making this change continue to give a great experience for our users? When a challenging issue or opportunity arises, we always go back to those two things.
One line we’ve drawn in the sand has brought us the highest return: Removing fees.
We don’t have investors to answer to. We aren’t after huge revenue goals. We’re two guys who like building things and who created Teachery as a side project. While our competitors need to squeeze dollars out of their customers and closely track their MRR (monthly recurring revenue), we can sacrifice extra profits to give our users unparalleled value.
The only monetary decisions we’ll be making soon will be increasing our Lifetime Plan price (currently $900). If we aren’t focused on profits, why increase the price of that plan? Well, we’re adding some big new features that have required a financial investment on our part (more below). The price won’t be doubling or anything crazy, but it will be going up a few hundred bucks. Current users have have nothing to worry about.
Have a Teachery support question? You hear from us.
Well, actually, you hear from me, unless it’s a technical question that goes above my pay-grade ?.
Other online courses platforms outsource support. Heck, most SaaS (software as a service) companies outsource support immediately.
From day one we’ve never wanted to outsource support. We’ve wanted to treat our customers the EXACT way we’d want to be treated. That means hearing from the people who are building the product.
This is why we haven’t done paid marketing for Teachery. It’s why you’ve never seen Teachery featured on deal websites where we could rack up thousands of new users (and make a nice chunk of extra MRR). We wouldn’t be able to keep up with support requests if we did that.
For as long as I possibly can, I want to be the first person to respond to any support request that comes in. I care about this company and want our customers to know they matter and are worth our time.
A few things we’ve learned over the years…
The customer is not always right. It’s cliche, but it’s true. We’ve had oodles of feature requests from our customers and we’ve been extremely picky with the requests we’ve implemented. It’s not because we don’t value our customer’s opinions — that should be obvious — it’s because extra features complicate the experience of creating an online course.
Eating our own dog food has helped us produce great dog food. Weird, I know. But I use Teachery for all my online courses (and I have about 12 right now). Because online courses are a big part of my business, I use the heck out of Teachery. That level of personal experience helps us keep our ear to the ground so we can keep making improvements and tweaks.
We don’t want to compete. We don’t want to measure feature-for-feature with Teachable, Udemy, Thinkific, etc. If those online course platforms have more features and you want more features, please go use them. We often get asked how Teachery stacks up against our competition. We have no idea. I’ve never logged into any of those platforms. I’m sure they’re great and they have their unique differences, but I have a distinct vision for Teachery and that’s how we’ve differentiated Teachery from day one.
The majority of our customers join Teachery after bad experiences with other platforms. Especially as of late, we get a new customer and they tell us how bad the support, fee structure, or usability was of XYZ other course platform. We’re happy to play second fiddle and pick up after the other online course platforms if they’re not creating a quality experience for their customers. It has created nice, sustainable growth for us.
New features ahoy…
We’ve been hard at work behind the scenes cooking up some online course goodness for you guys. There are some bigger features on the horizon, but as I said we’ve been very picky about what features we add to Teachery.
A second course theme
Thanks to Paul Jarvis, Teachery customers are going to have access to a beautiful second course theme. The theme will be called “Minimal” and will be available very soon. There are no extra fees to use this theme, and if you’re familiar with building a WordPress website and using themes, it’s very similar. If you aren’t familiar with WordPress, just know you’ll be able to style your course with our current theme OR with the Minimal theme. More to come on this…
HTML course emails
It’s silly that it’s taken us this long to offer simple HTML emails for our course creators. This doesn’t mean we’re adding a bunch of other email functionality (that’s why we integrate with Mailchimp and ConvertKit). It just means the Welcome and Course Completed email will be sexier and brand-able.
I recently launched ofCourseBooks with Paul Jarvis and Zack Gilbert. The idea behind ofCourseBooks is to have beautiful and embeddable workbooks for online course creators. Workbooks can help give students a better learning experience, so we set out to make a product that would seamlessly integrate with existing online courses.
We made ofCourseBooks just as easy to use as Teachery, and if you sign up for ofCourseBooks and create a workbook, adding it to Teachery is simple:
Affiliates, Gumroad, Updated UI, and Course Analytics
These features don’t have fancy screenshots or GIFs because they’re next on our list. We’ll update you as soon as these features have more information.
We certainly couldn’t keep expanding what we offer without our great customers. Thank you to many of you who’ve been here since we launched two years ago. We believe that everyone has a skill to teach, and Teachery can be the platform to help make that happen.
Much more to come! ?