How to Create A Scalable EdTech Product

By Gaku Nakamura, Co-Founder and CEO, RareJob Inc.

Gaku Nakamura, Co-Founder and CEO, RareJob Inc.

Online learning made our learning process easy and effective. However, online learning is more accessible than offline learning, there are lots of things to do to acquire many more customers.

Needs of Customers

What are the fundamental needs of customers? Do they want to study efficiently? Do they want to be able to study anywhere? For some people, their answers are “yes”. However, for many people, their purpose of studying is not that they want to study, but they want to achieve a goal after studying.

For example, we are offering online English lessons. Users use our service to practice English conversation with our English tutors online. So, we provide a place to have a conversation with our English tutors. Additionally, it appears that users are willing to have an English conversation with English tutors. However, the actual needs of users are not to have an English conversation with English tutors, but the improvement of their English skill. They want results, not a service or a tool.

Considering users fundamental needs, we always have to be very careful in creating online learning products. Is your product focused on the goal?

Four steps to providing a learning service

Sometimes users are also not aware of the real purpose. So, we have to make users aware of it in some way. After that, we can deliver a suitable service. When providing a learning service, we can divide the process into four parts.

First part is the assessment. We need to understand the user's current status, so we need to assess it in some way. Once we understand the differences between the goal and the current status, then we can think of a suitable strategy.

The second part is the recommendation. Based on the assessment, we recommend a suitable service or curriculum to bridge the gap between the goal and the current status.

The third part is the offering of a service. According to the recommendation, we let users follow a suitable service. Most products are focusing on this area.

Final part is the engagement part. To get a suitable result, users need to learn a lot, and it takes time. It means that someone has to motivate users, or else users cannot continue learning.

The usual learning service consists of these four parts, but it does not necessarily mean that we need to prepare for all. Some parts are done differently, for example, if a user already knows their current level and what they need to do, then they don't need parts 1 and 2.

Things to consider

When you create an educational product, you should keep these four steps in mind and consider which step your product solves. Most products do not solve all four steps by themselves. Sometimes user's parents or teachers fill that role. Alternatively, sometimes even users can solve it by themselves. Each user is in a unique situation.

Once you make a complete map of the 4 main points, then you can estimate the precise target user, and you can improve your products’ success ratio. If, for example, your target user may be relatively small, and yes it’s usually small in the beginning, then I recommend that you start there. After adjusting your product to suit that portion of the market, then you can expand it to the other remaining areas. For example, we started by offering a service, just providing a platform to speak English. Well, that was ok for the users who already knew what they wanted to do, even though it was a small section of the market. After that, we gradually improved our services and broadened our target users. In this manner, one can better understand the target user and customize the product. In turn, you can increase your target user.

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