Training Marketplace

I am all to aware of the things I don’t know.  And, from time to time, I decide to do something about it.  Often, this involves me picking up a book and reading, and for pure learning of information, the site memrise is fantastic, but from time to time you cant beat actually getting taught something by another person.

We all have things we are capable of teaching – everyone has an area of expertise where they are better than most people.  In theory, therefore, we should all be picking up some extra cash by teaching others what we know.

But we aren’t.  Because at the moment, the cost of selling what we know, of reaching other people who want to know what we know, of realising there are people out there who want to know what we know, has been too high.

It used to be the case that we binned unwanted christmas presents.  Or gave them to a charity shop.  Now we flog them on eBay.  By creating a marketplace, the cost of getting rid of things we don’t want has gone down.  But marketplaces are not just for physical things – AirBnB lets you sell space, and, in its own way, Intrade lets you sell knowledge.  Kaggle is doing a roaring business in selling algorithm improvements.

I’ve not yet found something similar for selling training.

What I’m thinking about is something that starts off looking like TripAdvisor.  You search for the skill you want to learn, and then narrow down the search by what you are willing to pay.  You might also select a location you want to learn in, and consider features such as weather you want to learn on your own, or in a group, in person or via skype or a webinar system.  I can even see the potential of offering automated online training courses here, with or without the benefit of a human advisor.

You then sort and list the opportunities – by price, distance or rating.  And you allow people to rate any training they experience.

This, on its own, would be a fantastic resource.  A resource which could be monetized in all the usual ways - referral fees, sponsorship, advertising.

But you could take this marketplace further.  Perhaps there are skills people want which it might not always be worthwhile running training courses for.  Just as on the stock market you have both offers and bids, in a training market place you could have not only training offered, but training wanted – set up an advert of where you are and what training you want when, and let prospective trainers offer it to you (and provide a payment system so that the site can rake off 5%).  Make things even easier by making it possible for people to forward these skill requests to other people they know – via facebook, linkdin, twitter, whatever – let people get their whole network involved, because for a market to work well, you want as many eyeballs as possible looking at it.


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