Looking for Lynda (.com)

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I read in the FT today that Linked In is to acquire Lynda.com for $1.5bn.  Good work Lynda team.

So what is Lynda?  from what I can see Lynda.com is a repository for on line courses.  There are a lot of courses and a lot of on line video tutorials.  The aim is give people (you and me, anyone in the world one assumes so long as they can speak English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish) more knowledge, skills, education and qualifications.  Sounds good.  Doesn’t the Open University do this already?

Yes and No.  One can enter into a course at the OU for a cost.  Lynda.com is cheaper, has more courses but does it have the kudos or gravitas of a university?  Not sure but I don’t think so, thats what you’re paying your fees for! (as well as tutors, locations, intellectual input etc..)

So why buy Lynda.com?  I can only speculate of course but it seems to me a good way to monetise the tremendous audience LinkedIn has.  Is that too cynical of me? LinkedIn’s audience is huge. Imagine an extra £1 generated per unique user?  Apparently the number is 187 million per month.

There is a statement in the FT regarding LinkedIn’s mission which reads:  “create an economic graph that details all the skills required for every job for every global company in the global market”.  So, they aim to make a huge database of people / jobs and match by skills.  So, shutting out recruitment companies (which LinkedIn of course must know are earning from use of the premium service) and grabbing some of the cash in recruitment seems like one of the goals although I am sure that is ever to be said!

There is one major problem.  A good recruitment person / company understands a companies ethos, the charter of the company, the thought process of the founders, the direction they’re headed, the chemistry and many more intangibles.  Today, there is no mass market freely available which can do this.  It’s one thing matching skills.  It’s entirely different matching people.  As we all know, businesses are about people who can use and deploy skill to execute a plan with other people.  Without other people nothing will happen.  So, it’s always, at all costs, people first.

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