I was the chief ruckus maker on the Krypton team. I served in various functional roles during the two-week project, including business model strategist, course designer, project manager, and general education enthusiast. I worked alongside 16 other incredibly talented interns and Seth Godin, 17-time bestselling author and world-renowned public speaker. Participating as a member of the Krypton team is one of my proudest achievements and most valuable learning opportunities I have ever experienced. This write up is my attempt to summarize the mission and function of the platform we built during our two week project.
When the steam engine was first invented, boat makers did what they could to retrofit sailboats with the new technology. As you can imagine, the full value of the promising new engine was hardly realized with this approach.
The problem lay in the old paradigm of what a “boat” was supposed to be. Of course all boats have sails – they always have! Just throw that engine in with the sails and the combination of the two will create a more efficient system for getting goods and people from A to B.
Well, it turns out that sailboats are not the right vessels to play host to steam engines. Only when someone had the bright idea to start with the steam engine and build a boat around it did we realize the full potential of the technology. All of a sudden, people realized how valuable the engine was for speed and control. It transformed the way we thought about boats as modes of transportation for business and pleasure.
Replace a few words in the story of the steam engine above and you have the story of online education and MOOCs in today’s world.
That’s the paradigm we took to creating Krypton over the course of two weeks under the leadership of Seth Godin in Hastings on Hudson, New York in the summer of 2013.
Welcome to Krypton
Welcome to Krypton, where the old model of “education” sits gathering dust on the shelf and everything we do is designed to create a lasting and positive change in the people we do it for.
16 incredible interns joined forces with the ever-inspirational Seth Godin for a two-week sprint of a project designed to show just what is possible when you’re free to re-imagine what it means to learn.
Here’s an intro to the Krypton project team:
“The industrial model of schooling involves more than a dozen years of hard skills, pushed, prodded and poked onto students who learn them in order to move forward. And the assumption is that as you engage in the test-and-measure forced march of hard skill learning, you will pick up the other stuff along the way.
But in the all-you-can-eat abundant world of access to education, the question is, “who will push themselves to learn this stuff if they are given access?”
Most people with access to a MOOC never even sign up. Most people who sign up, don’t finish. Why not? Because without the soft skills to push ourselves and own the process, we never acquire the hard skills.”
What happens when you flip the model on its head?
That’s the question we asked with the Krypton project by first providing access to soft skills education. You can read more about the key elements of success for the project, the traditional scarcity model of education, and the logistics of Krypton over on the public Krypton blog that lives at SethGodin.typepad.com.
I’ll share enough to get you started here with the not-so-subtle goal of getting you to lead your own Krypton course sooner rather than later.
How it Works
Krypton courses are four-week curricula designed to help you organize a group of your friends or colleagues to learn together. It’s that simple.
We worked with some of the most exciting thought leaders we could find to design curricula that combine TED talks, blog posts, best-selling books and more into one cohesive learning experience.
Like MOOCs, you can access the course materials online (we created organizer and student versions of every course). Unlike MOOCs, the courses are specifically designed to be experienced in-person, once a week for four weeks.
Who teaches? You do. Well, to be more exact, you’re more of an organizer than a teacher when you decide to host a Krypton course.
Your job as leader:
- Find a group of friends or colleagues (we recommend 5-10)
- Get them to commit to a time and place for four weekly meetings (we like #KryptonTuesday, but we care more that you find a day that works for you)
- Send out the course materials (we created them for you)
- Do the organizer prep work (we give you exact instructions)
- Bring the snacks, an open mind, and a desire to encourage conversation every week (we know you’re more than capable)
- Learn together
You’ll feel fear before you send an invite to your friends and colleagues. I know I did when I sent out my first invite. It’s normal, but we’ve made it as easy as possible to organize a course and jump into the unknown.
To make it easier, we’ve created a variety of courses we think you’ll love…
The Krypton Course Roster
There are currently three courses available, and Seth will continue to release courses for the foreseeable future. Here’s what you have to choose from as of this writing:
Course 001: Seth Godin on Shipping
Seth is perhaps most well known for his inspirational daily quips on his blog. He’s also a 14+ time bestselling author, sought after public speaker, and a regular shipper of inspiring projects in his free time. Squidoo, The Domino Project, and Krypton are three of those projects.
What does it take to ship your own work into the world? This course will help you find out.
Course 002: Malcolm Gladwell on the Sociology of Success
Malcom Gladwell popularized the 10,000 hour rule, gave a TED talk about spaghetti sauce, and has written a host of incredibly intriguing books, including The Tipping Point, Outliers, Blink, What the Dog Saw, and, most recently, David and Goliath.
This course will take you on a journey to learn about the sociology of success, from poverty to heroism to the tipping point.
Course 003: Gretchen Rubin on Happiness
Gretchen is a beacon of light in the world of personal development. Her bestseller, The Happiness Project, and its successor, Happiness at Home, are two wonderful explorations into the pursuit of happiness.
This course is perfect for finding the root of your sense of happiness, as well as that of your family and friends. It will challenge you to recognize what truly brings you joy in a world where we’re constantly pushed and pulled by outside influences.
Lead a Krypton Course Today!
If you have an itch to lead or a desire to create positive change in your own life, this is the nudge you’ve been waiting for. Krypton is built on a model of abundance – there are no admissions counselors, no professors, and no financial barriers.
The only barrier is the fear we feel when we think about doing something different. Something that will create a chance in the world.
Krypton reduces it all down to one decision. Will you choose to lead?
You can read more about my lessons learned from the project here.
You can check out the rest of my portfolio here.
A version of this write up first appeared on SkilledUp.com.