Skillshare's VP Growth Explains how They've Accelerated Growth by Sparking Creativity for Millions of Online Learners


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By Sean Ellis and Ethan Garr. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

In this episode of The Breakout Growth Podcast, Sean Ellis and Ethan Garr speak with Kyle Jansen, Vice President of Growth at Skillshare, an online learning community that offers 30,000 classes focused on creative pursuits. As Covid-19 dramatically increased demand for online learning, Skillshare has leaned into a culture of experimentation where everyone in the organization is encouraged to contribute ideas to power growth.

Buoyed by a $66 million fundraising round in the midst of the global pandemic, Kyle explains that the already cash-flow positive organization is looking to accelerate growth on multiple fronts. From expanding its international presence to helping companies bring creativity to their entire workforces, Skillshare is looking to capitalize on the strong product/market fit the company has established by helping everyone from hobbyists looking for better ways to bake bread to professionals trying to add illustration skills to their resumes.

Interestingly, much of Skillshare’s growth, product and funnel optimization efforts were outsourced up until 2019, and in this interview, we learn how that impacted the business. We also find out how influencer marketing has been a crucial growth lever, and how Skillshare’s mobile app fits into the company’s online learning ecosystem.

Kyle says the company’s Chief Product Officer always talks about “Doing the Brilliant Basics,” and in this episode, we get a sense of just what that means as Skillshare builds its breakout growth success story.

We discussed:

  • How Skillshare’s dual-sided marketplace offering of both home-grown and creator-developed content drives value (4:03)
  • The timing and purpose of the company’s recent $66 million fundraising round (7:38)
  • Where the company’s mobile app fits into the ecosystem and how that has evolved over time (10:06)
  • Skillshare’s international expansion and how product-market fit varies from market to market (19:49)
  • The test/learn culture that drives innovation and growth and the growth team structure driving these efforts (26:59)

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