Free markets are ideal for driving down costs and increasing innovation. However, they tend to scale badly. While free and unregulated market transactions are excellent for a smaller scale, companies tend to grow too large and powerful for their (and our) own good.
Main Causes of EdTech Startup Failures
From purchasing competitors and forming monopolies, to lobbying local governments for favorable regulations, corporations are known for some dirty practices.
As a result, it becomes harder and harder to start a new, fresh business. The market already has a corporation with cheaper prices.
For a while, the Internet was the solution. It was a planet-sized network bursting with possibility and no corporation’s insight. Freelancers and innovators flocked to the virtual medium.
Startups are easier to get off the ground online. Fewer regulations, opportunities for remote work, and more information make everything easier. EdTech startups can easily visit bestwritingservices’ homepage or the Classroom Tech site for inspiration.
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These are some examples of success, and we can indeed learn from them. However, we also have to study the failures and make sure that we do not repeat their mistakes. Here are some of the main reasons why EdTech startups never get off the ground:
The Medium Is Inherently Flawed
There have been times in history when education was directly or indirectly improved by technological innovation. Yet, the word “improved” has to be underlined. Improved, not replaced.
The internet and online learning platforms often forget a simple, golden rule:
While technology can be used to enhance the teaching process, the process itself cannot be discarded or altered.
While you can add all of the virtual bells and whistles, teaching still has to be personal. The process is not just an information dump. The human mind and its memory are made to respond to emotional triggers.
Even the greatest E-classes in the world will produce sub-par results because children learn best from an in-person teacher.
The mistake many startups make is to have a tech-off, forgetting that the goal is to teach human children. Also, on top of that, your material has to be parent and teacher-friendly.
It is not about how well-coded, mobile-responsive, and Woocommerce-ready your apps are. Keep your eye on the ball, and never lose sight of the humanity demanded by this teaching process.
Nobody will be able to fully replace a flesh-and-blood teacher. It is best to plan your product and service as a teaching aid, not a teacher replacement.
EdTech Is Different
So, for nearly three decades, everyone across the world has heard of overnight tech-startup success. Billions of dollars were made in a very short period. Also, the tech field was very easy to support.
At least at first, tech seemed to pull these fortunes out of the air. They sold and made information. Tech seemed free of the usual corporate sins like polluting, buying political influence, monopolizing everything, etc.
This lead to a phenomenon similar to the Gold Rush. People aspired to be one of these young overnight tech success stories. And, at least at first, immediate success was what you could expect.
But like the Wild West before it, the Internet is slowly being tamed as it fills out with people and businesses. More and more, competition will follow you online, changing the money-making landscape.
Explosions in profits and popularity usually occur in media where competition is scarce. If you expect to “blow up” nowadays, you will be discouraged and quit.
A competition-rich environment regularly rewards another virtue: patience. Even if you manage to stay motivated and patient, investors will not. They will abandon an unproductive project quickly.
Adapting to a longer timeframe for returns on investment is crucial. And the lack of this perspective is a reason why many Ed-Tech startups fail.
Your applications and services should be like a Swiss watch: simple and elegant in the front, while complex and masterfully crafted in the back. Tech people often lose sight of the general populace.
Programmers and app developers often forget that their applications have to be usable by middle-aged/older people and toddlers.
Even though it is convenient and admirable to pack as many features as possible, user accessibility has to come first.
In addition, less complex apps tend to have fewer bugs and are easier to support.
Lack of Proper Customer Support
One of the most admirable things about tech startups is that they are filled with vitality and innovation. Almost every member of the team can be knowledgeable and passionate. Yet, you also need some of the boring bean-counting and pencil-pushing jobs.
When planning out your startup, you rarely think about HR or customer support. As a result, these services are usually treated as an afterthought. A minor portion of the budget is dedicated to Customer support, resulting in a semi-functional glorified Q&A menu.
You have to understand that for most people, EdTech is new. Support is important even for products that have been around forever, let alone something that did not exist 15 years ago.
People will have questions, and greeting them with a menu filled with wooden writing will not suffice.
Allocate resources for proper support, or customers will choose one of your competitors.
The vaguest and truest advice for any business is: “ know your customer, the market, and know yourself”. EdTech startups fail because many of them lose touch with their target audience. They get distracted by the process of coding and developing, forgetting that “ED” comes before “Tech”.
Also, unreasonable expectations and timetables encourage investors to drop their support prematurely.
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