Since launching Coursera for Business in August, corporate leaders have turned to Coursera to address their workforce development needs at scale. We’re excited to extend employee access to the world’s best learning experience to small businesses with the launch of our newest version of Coursera for Business, catered to the needs of small and medium-sized organizations. With lower pricing tiers and streamlined workflows, Coursera for Small Organizations allows you to manage and measure employee learning with tools like our administrative dashboard, customizable portal, and engagement reports. With today’s launch, we’re thrilled to tailor transformative learning to the needs of small businesses.
By Jen Mazzon
Director of Product Management
Coursera for Business, Government, Nonprofits and Refugees
I’ve helped ship many v1s over the years: Google Docs, Intuit’s QuickBooks Pro and Apigee’s free hosted service offering, to name a few. I love shipping v1s because it’s always an adventure – you are shipping something that’s new and you have high hopes that customers will see the value and utility of the new thing. If nothing else, you’ll surely learn a lot. V1s are always MVPs, which means that you can only hope that the ways in which they inevitably fall short are indeed not total deal breakers for customers. But either way, you’ll learn pretty quickly what are the dealbreakers and key issues, and then you’ll move on to v2, etc.
Shipping a v1 is, in some ways, akin to the birth of an iceberg. The iceberg has been growing at the edge of a glacier for a long time and is huge under the water, just like the effort that is necessary to define a new product and get everyone aligned around offering it to the world. Shipping a new product requires a ton of cross-functional support (marketing, legal, business strategy, support operations, sales, engineering, design, research) and everyone’s plans need to jive before the v1 can ship, else your customer experience will suffer. If you release a sub-MVP customer experience, then your new product may have a very short life (like icebergs floating in warmed waters).
The idea for the v1 that we shipped this week was born in the winter of 2015 when we noticed that the majority of people who were expressing interest in using Coursera within their organizations were from relatively small organizations rather than from the large organizations that we were focused on serving at the time. That trend has continued and 70% of the folks who have expressed interest in Coursera for Business are organizations with fewer than 1000 employees. “Wonderful!” we thought. Building self-serve learning solutions that scale is our core competence here at Coursera, so we set our sights on building a self-serve learning solution for small organizations.
At the heart of our new v1 is the insight that small organizations have the same needs that large organizations have around needing to stay competitive in a dynamic market environment by growing and developing employees, and by attracting talent. Providing employees with learning opportunities from the world’s top universities (and companies) helps organizations accomplish this goal. We’ve been in “preview mode” with about 25 small organizations for the last month and so far, so good! This week we have shipped our v1 small organization offering and you can check it out here: www.coursera.org/enterprise-small-organizations9