Saturday, November 28, 2015

"Get Rich Quick" versus improvement in hobbies and life

I've realized there's a distinct difference between Udemy and Skillshare classes.

Udemy is littered with "get rich quick" schemes, and courses that appeal to those who think get rich quick is the norm.  That is, classes that offer you the "complete solution" to something complex in one class (often, a not very long class).  After all, "get rich quick" is a part of a belief that:
there's a simple Mysterious Secret to success at most anything, and
that some people have that Mysterious Secret (that, somehow, most other people have missed)
that the teacher is going to give you this Mysterious Secret in a quick-and-easy-to-apply form
so that you'll rapidly become a Master at whatever it is you're studying

All balderdash, of course, that isn't the way life works.  But many people, often what some might call "losers", think there are Secrets and all they need to do is find them.  (Reminds me of conspiracy theorists.) In many cases, it's people who think you don't have to work to be really good at something.

It's the Age of Instant Gratification, and people convince themselves that they can get their instant gratification all the time.

Skillshare is much more about hobbies and improving your life, than about getting rich quick.  A large fraction of it could be called "artsy," a tag that could be applied to very little of Udemy's body of work.  I strongly suspect that in the minds of the Skillshare students there's an acknowledgement that you can improve, but there's no Mysterious Secret that is going to make you a master in no-time.

Udemy is pay-by-the-class, and that is dominated by Udemy's "kamikaze marketing" (which I don't participate in) that reduces prices through enormous discounts (75% off is one of the smaller discounts!). That very deep discount marketing itself plays into the notion that there are ways to avoid having to work to achieve something.

Skillshare is subscription-based, which may help reduce the get-rich-quick frenzy in and of itself.  When you've subscribed, you can enroll in any course you like with no additional obligation.  I think that encourages courses that are honest, that don't pretend to be the be-all and end-all, that don't provide a Mysterious Secret.

My Black Friday/Christmas sale on courses - the only sale I run during each year - is described at
"Always do right--this will gratify some and astonish the rest."Mark Twain
"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." Antoine de Saint-Exup'ery

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." Albert Einstein

"Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein

"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle