At the heart of Duolingo is its mission: to scale-freeand increase income potential through language learning. However, the same mission that has helped it grow to a business registered learners has led to tensions that define the company.
How do you survive as a? How do you that isn’t too hard to lose people but isn’t too easy to compromise education? How do you balance monetization goals while also keeping education product-free? For my first EC-1, I spent months with Duolingo executives, investors, and competitors to answer some of these questions.
One of my favorite details in the story that got left on the cutting room floor was DuolingoLuis von Ahn comparing his company to the elliptical. I was pressing him on the efficacy of Duolingo and the long-standing critique that it still how to speak a language fluently.
“Now, there’s a difference between whether you know you’re doing the elliptical or yoga or running, but by far, the mostis that you’re doing something [other than] just walking around,” he said.
What von Ahn is getting at is that Duolingo’sget motivated to learn a language, even if it’s just five minutes — or an elliptical workout — a day. He thinks motivation is more complicated than learning itself. Do you agree?
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In the rest of this newsletter, we’ll talk about Tesla, the morality of going public and verticalized telehealth.
There’s always a Tesla angle.
While we all prepare for Elon Musk to grace the SNL stage, there’s a story you might want to check out. When I worked in Boston, the newsroom said, “There’s always a Boston Angle.” I’ll tweak it in a small, tech-dominated world: There’s always a Tesla angle. Here’s what to know:to build cleaner and cheaper batteries. The price tag will shock you, but the story tells a bigger narrative about , and the outsized impactof a tiny startups on Tesla’s route to batteries.