Teach It And They Will Come

The Khan Academy is an online school with the mission of providing a world-class education to anyone, anywhere.

Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur, Rajesh Setty, writing on Open Forum about the need to “do everything in your capacity to create something remarkable, not once but over and over again,” says:

Salman Khan of Khan Academy is a one-man education army. Rather than worrying about credit or commercial gains, he started recording and releasing videos covering areas ranging from Solving Equations to Collateralized Debt Obligation (CDO), the instrument that was one of the stars of the recent financial collapse. It was not one or two videos but hundreds of them. The result 1700+ videos on YouTube now offered under Open Source (BSD) license to anyone who wants to extend and amplify the project.

I love this idea because it is all about service. Khan volunteered to fill a clear and unmet need, and by doing it well he created real value in the world for his students, for himself and for his school.
Khan quit his day job in September 2009 to work on Khan Academy full-time. “I could be aggressive with advertising on the site, but I don’t want to do that until I have to,” Khan says. With support from the Gates Foundation, and others, it’s unlikely Khan will “have to” anytime soon.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.