I co-founded Crash Course with my friend Ganesh, with an ambitious goal of helping engineering students find their first job in the tech industry.
Our motto was straightforward - CS can be best learned by doing. We ran this for about 7 months - pivoted twice (initially, we targeted students and later instructors who were teaching the initially targeted students) during this time and shut down as we failed to make money.
During this stint, I designed & developed all the versions of our website, co-created content with Ganesh, and tried selling to colleges & universities. And yes, I designed our logo!
We will soon make all the content free for anyone to use.
Before even we started building the product, we did workshops and boot camps at engineering colleges to understand our users better. After gaining confidence that we could continue doing this thing, we put together a website that collected emails of interested students.
After a lot of optimizations in content and the way we taught things, we launched a free trial of our course, and within a week, the paid course followed.
Where possible, we wanted to communicate the flexibility of our courses and called out the benefits on the home page.
Our dashboard had links to the various courses on offer and about to be rolled out. It also had the notifications section that we used to increase adoption rates for features/stuff that we rolled out. Once the users reach the course home page, they can choose the way they wanted to learn.
The content and our editor experience were good too. We will soon make all the learning modules open-source so anyone can use them for free.