Ed Startup 101, Week 4

Audrey Watters, Hack Education, Sept 21, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I encounter this a lot in my day job. "It’s Week 4 of Ed Startup 101, and the class is moving on to tackle “The Pain Test.” That is, you might’ve identified your idea for an education startup, but does this idea really address a problem?" The idea of course is that your innovation - your startup - needs to address an area of genuine need. I get that, but the pain test isn't it. Before the iPod, people didn't feel the pain of not having an iPod. Before MOOCs, there was no burning need for a MOOC. The best innovations create demands for things people didn't realize they needed. But these invariably fail the pain test.

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