What should every entrepreneur in the education industry know?
Education is hard, and teachers and school administrators are not idiots.
I’ve seen a lot of education startups take the idea that teachers and administrators are the problem that they are trying to fix, but they don’t realize that there are reasons why the system is the way that it is, and sometimes these are *good* reasons.
Educators tend to be extremely conservative because they prefer a system with known flaws rather than one with high-risk/high-reward. If you mess up an 8 year old’s education, there are no do-overs, since at best you’ve lost a critical year.
There are also political and economic constraints that educators have to deal with that entrepreneurs need to appreciate. If the parents don’t like what you are doing, it’s dead. If the school board and legislatures don’t like what you are doing, it’s dead. If what you are doing requires the slightest increase in funding, it’s going to be a very hard sell.
The current education industry is completely dominated by a centuries old learning paradigm, entrenched government policy career operatives and institutions with a long and successful history of doing things there own way. The barriers to entry for entrepreneurs in the education space are enormous and will not be scaled easily (if at all) by your innovative idea, regardless of your own personal epiphany in the matter.
Many different large ideas have entered and left the industry of education. Only some have been tried, for they have less risk than the others. With most educational systems, one can point out the flaws easily, so it is very hard to introduce new education systems simply because the old is what people are used to. Plenty of arguably better education systems have came out in just the large 50 years, but there is almost no one willing to try them out of the development stage, for the work needed to allow real students to try them is immense. If you want to change the education industry, you need money, influence, and a strong will to keep working for the average student.