Celebrating two years of enablinginsights and enabling edtech growth
If you want to enable growth, try working for yourself
I’ve been on an incredible personal journey over the last two years. So, I wanted to stop, catch my breath, and celebrate. It’s two years since I launched enablinginsights and I’ve had the incredibly good fortune to work with a great variety of inspiring startup founders on strategies for enabling their edtech growth. What have I learned and how did I get here?
The biggest lesson is that if you want to sharpen your ability to drive results and growth, work for yourself for a period of time! There’s nowhere to hide. No one to lean on. No room for excuses. Expectations are what you promise. Results are what you deliver. Value is what you create—client by client, project by project, hour by hour, day by day, week by week. It’s daunting, and energizing.
So, how did I get here? Well, encouraged by many good friends and colleagues, I took the plunge two years ago and left a varied, satisfying, and (I’ll go ahead and say it) comfortable career in big corporates to launch enablinginsights—a consulting firm that’s driven by my 28-year passion (and hit rate) of finding edtechs with potential, and helping them to scale and improve education. I’d spent my career developing a playbook of how to read the market (I’m a big believer in seeking out deep, “unarticulated” needs), what characteristics to look for in founders and early-stage products and businesses, and key decisions and activities to establish customer centricity, engineer for impact and customer value, and enable sustainable edtech growth. But, I’d done all that within the remit of large corporates. I wanted a new challenge—to apply those experiences full-time and independently to help emerging companies that I believed in and wanted to support.
Three phases to launching a business
Well, twenty four months have gone by in the blink of an eye. I can honestly say, it’s been the most challenging, fast-paced, and rewarding chapter in my career (and I thought that was the case with each new role, sector, and business I’ve previously tackled!). I’m a firm believer that if you don’t feel out of your depth and daunted by what you’re taking on, you’re not pushing yourself far enough—to where you can learn, grow, and really make a difference. So, I can share that launching enablinginsights, I went through three classic phases: freedom (“Yeah, I’m my own boss! I’ve launched my own company!”), free fall (“Yikes, this is really hard. Can I possibly make this work?”), and deep fulfilment (“Wow, I pulled it off and my clients want more!”).
A huge thanks to clients who’ve placed so much confidence in me to help them
So, I wanted to pause and say a huge thank you to so many inspiring edtech leaders who’ve reached out to me over two years of enablinginsights, welcomed me in, and sought inputs on enabling your edtech growth — challenging your thinking, sharpening your vision, establishing foundations for success, avoiding common pitfalls, making insights for customers more actionable, and evolving your edtech so it’s more impactful. It’s been a privilege and one I feel thrilled to tackle every day. You are what makes my job such a joy.
Thank you: Gauthier van Malderen, Olivero Muzi-Falconi, and Cristina Palamini @ Perlego, Andy Moss @ Kineo, Gjergj Demiraj @ Gutenberg Technology, Alison Pendergast, Srilakshmi Remala, and Nazeema Alli @ The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Ben Roberts @ Codon Learning, Joel Hellermark @ Sana Labs, Ben Buckwold @ ellii, Diane Janknegt @ Wizenoze, Mark Pemberton and team @ Studycat, Gerald Cai @ SnapLearn, Stephen Haggard and Adam Salkeld at Digital Learning Associates, Amy Jacobs @ xyz textbooks, Amy Laitinen and Alejandra Acosta @ New America, George Metcalfe and Aaron John @ Tranquiliti, Ana Maria Mass @ Mass-ed, Simon Potter @ Kwiziq, and Sarah Coward @ In the Room.
Can we help?
Are you an edtech or education company with bold ambitions? Do you have a clear plan for how to grow? If want an incisive and experienced assessment of your strategy or edtech and practical advice for how to shore both up, please contact me using the form below—I’d love to help.