Krypton Community College

The difficult part…

In creating a new project, the essential step is isolating the difficult part and focusing on that. The easy parts are important and they take work, but they tend to take care of themselves if the core engine is working.

Wikipedia: find people to volunteer to become editors

AirBnB: find people to put great houses up for rent

Typical MOOC: find millions of students willing to take a course (you don't need infinite teachers, just a few, meaning the students are actually the hard part)

In the case of Krypton, we knew that there were several key elements:

  • Finding and working with important and passionate thought leaders
  • Designing curricula that would resonate and deliver on the promise of useful learning
  • Building a software platform that could amplify the impact of what we're building
  • Finding local leaders who would step up and volunteer to organize groups or classes

It turns out that the element that's both critically important and difficult is the last one.

What does it take to pick up the phone or write an email to invite a dozen people to get together for ninety minutes? Technically, it's pretty quick and easy. Socially and emotionally, though, it's a significant leap.

The questions come unbidden–what right do I have to organize this? is everyone too busy? what if they don't come? should there be snacks? who should I include and who should be left out?

Why go first?

That's the biggest question of all. It's easier to wait, after all. Easier to be sure that this is a proven success, a worldwide shift in the way we connect over ideas.

Our job, then, is to find interesting enough topics, a simple enough structure, and a low enough risk that our local leaders would take the leap. If we've done our jobs, the idea will spread.

The secret weapon in our launch, then, is you. I'm fortunate to have an extraordinary tribe of blog readers, people who have an instinct to lead, a desire to go first, the generosity to take a leap on behalf of those they care about.

So, that's the bet. The bet is that you, the early adopters, will take a leap in a few weeks and involve a dozen or so colleagues and friends in an unproven, free, lightweight experiment in how we might actually come to learn together.

Everything we've built and will be sharing with you in the next few weeks is based on that assumption. It gives us the freedom to be open and clear and direct, because you're willing to take the last, critical step.