September 21, 2013


introducing Krypton Community College“People now continue working well into their 60s and 70s, so you need to stay relevant in the job market by nurturing your existing skills while also learning new ones.” — US News & World Report (Sep 2013)

Whether employees or entrepreneurs, we face a huge financial risk: remaining relevant. We need to keep learning to keep earning — especially if delaying retirement. One of the big challenges is making education engaging, useful and accessible. Imagine the complications in less affluent countries.

I’m an active learner with little interest is getting formal course credits or additional designations. I’ve tried:
  • self-study (e.g., reading and videos): easy and free (or low cost) but allows no interaction
  • workshops: one-time events, typically 1/2 to 3 days in length; limited lasting benefits; varying quality; can be pricey and may require travel
  • in-person courses: varying quality; assignments and exams; unknown quality of fellow students; can be costly, out-dated and include irrelevant segments
  • Dan Arielyonline courses: a MOOC (Wikipedia) is free but impersonal and without supportive peer pressure (e.g., most recently, I took Dan Ariely’s excellent A Beginner’s Guide to Irrational Behavior … and failed because I skipped the essay and final exam)
What’s your preference? I most rely on self-study.

The Ideal

Real learning and change comes from talking to supportive classmates over a period of time with gaps between classes to absorb and think. This structure looks ideal:
  • meet in-person: allows the magic of live discussions and positive peer pressure
  • once a week for 90 minutes: manageable and schedulable (especially if after work)
  • four weeks: not too short, not too long
  • formal syllabus: well-thought out but designed for interaction
  • limited homework: perhaps 1-2 hours (but you’ll also be thinking between classes)
  • no tests: the measure is how well you apply what you learn in your life
  • all welcome: no prerequisites to create false scarcity
  • choice: lots of campuses, different times of day
  • flexible: no rigid format (though working from solid syllabus)
  • free: might have small costs for printing and paying for the space (buying coffee or renting a room)

Holy Narwhal, Superman!

imageKrypton Community College offers all the above.

This new initiative from Seth Godin’s Krypton team launches on October 1st (#KryptonTuesday). The first course is Go: How to Overcome Fear, Pick Yourself and Start a Project that Matters. It’s based on Seth’s work. All the course material is already online in PDF format.

Summer 2013: The Krypton team from Seth Godin on Vimeo.

There are campuses around the world. Here are the locations on Meetup (though not all classes are shown here).

The Catch

Here’s the complication: each class is organized independently by whoever volunteers. That’s like a TEDx event without scrutiny from TED. Call that scary or empowering.

I’m organizing the first class in Toronto (details). That means I set the standards for this campus. The biggest issue was finding a proper location because  coffee shops don’t offer privacy, quiet or whiteboards. We’re renting a real classroom at the University of Toronto (details). The cost is under $10/week each based on 10 students. The location is easily accessible by subway (East/West or North/South lines) and there’s lots of “cheap” parking.
Step Up
If there isn’t a campus near you, become an organizer and invite people you know. You aren’t the teacher. You don’t need to be an expert on the subject. You mainly need to organize and guide the class. There’s only one rule: don’t meet online.

Tip: If you’re not comfortable organizing, consider joining a Toastmasters club. Besides learning to speak, you learn to lead. For example, you’ll organize and chairs meetings.

Dive In

imageHave you experienced anything like a Krypton course before?  You can’t lose by improving your skills. Explore the vast oceans of opportunity.

Ready to dive in?


Podcast 238

direct download | Internet Archive Page | iTunes

PS If the University of Toronto is a location you like, you’re welcome to pre-register while space remains.


Elliott Hauser said...

This is great! I'm hosting an event here in Durham, NC. Very interested to see how it turns out.

Promod Sharma said...

Thanks Elliott. Best wishes with your event. The current challenge is getting students to register ...