I'm John Lindquist. Joel Hooks and I started egghead.io. AMA!
Hi, I'm John Lindquist 👋. Many years ago I bought the domain egghead.io and started posting lessons. Joel jumped in and turned it into a thriving business. Over the years, many other instructors and employees have joined us on our journey of creating high-quality content that fits nicely into your time budget.
AMA starts on 16th September 2020, 12PM ET or 4PM GMT or 9AM PT. Add your questions below.
do you think you could start egghead.io today and it would be as successful as its become?
The thing is, we're not "competing" with anyone. We're 100% bootstrapped and have always been playing a long game. We're just doing the best we can with the resources we have and the people we're connected to.
Our success is measured in "Can I wake up each morning and do what I want?" I believe we could replicate that success with the processes and values of egghead today.
Hi John! Thank you for the AMA! I wanted to know
- How do you map out the topics or the syllabus for your courses?
- What is your process of writing posts?
- Your Pro-tip to become a successful content creator?
Hi Subha, great questions!
We're currently re-working this entire process based on the concepts of Understanding by Design. We're starting with an internal group at egghead with a few instructors to go as a group through a new process to set this all up. Our goal is to go from "publish what we want" to "research needs and provide materials that lead to maximum success for the subscribers". We've tradionally allowed instructors to publish lessons based on whatever they're using at work, but we'd like to make our content even better for the community and we know we need to do the eductional research to get there.
For blog posts, I stick to a general "share what I've learned" formula. Sometimes that comes from research someone else's questions. Sometimes it comes from whatever I'm working on.
Create content ;) But seriously, we have a guide up at howtoegghead.com that walks through our process for creating content.
Hey John Lindquist
Thanks for the AMA!
What sort of challenges you have faced on making Egghead.io a thriving business and what steps did you follow to overcome them?
If you had to become an inanimate object for a year, what object would it be?
Hi Corey, thanks for the thoughtful questions:
- I deal mostly with the "Instructor" side of things for egghead, so I'll touch on that. Our instructors have full-time jobs and personal lives. They're very busy. We help a lot of people get started on the instructor side of things, but then their lives get busy and we often lose contact with them. We've sunk a lot of time and effort into lessons that never happened.
We overcome this with patience and following-up. Sometimes years later. Instructors have always been grateful for our follow-ups.
I just used the Foam Gatsby Starter :D. I'm seriously considering moving to Next.js though as we're rebuilding egghead with Next.js and I'm absolutely loving it.
My wife's wedding ring.
Hi John Lindquist, thanks for AMA!
You've been creating video content for years now, can you share a getting started guide, plan resource, and tools you used when you got started?
What are the five things you wish you knew when you started Egghead?
🙂 You can add more than 5 points if you want to
I have a lot of things to teach to others,
I want to start a Youtube channel, but i'm procrastinating because of perfectionism. I want to produce perfect video tutorials. Platforms like Egghead.io set those standards very high!
Please give me some advices to get started and to overcome perfectionism.
Hey Aissa, great question. The best way to overcome perfectionism in content is by producing in the smallest bits possible. Can you make a perfect 3 minute video? Probably not. Can you make a perfect 20 seconds? Definitely!
Add up enough 20 seconds and you'll have a video you can post and be proud of. You got this!
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs who are just getting started and are trying to build an online business?
We played (and are still playing) the long game. We worked on egghead on the side for a couple year before we had enough income to work on it ful-time. We never took VC money. We're 100% bootstrapped. We own the business and have complete freedom over what we do with it. It's wonderful.
Hey John! Thanks for doing this, I think Egghead is great. Two questions from me:
How do you make sure that your lessons are the right quality?
In online learning it is notoriously hard to sustain interest and retain students. What have you learned about this?
Hi John, how did you come up with the name Egghead? What was the thought behind purchasing the domain name? Many users found it easy to remember the brand because of the name.
"egghead" is defined as "a person who is highly academic or studious; an intellectual." It's a bit pretentious as a brand, but I hoped it could be a term people would aspire to.
I also like the ".io" aspect. Input/output from one egghead to another since we all learn from each other.
Hey John, congrats on making Egghead a success. I am a fan of the website.
What's your future goals with the website? Do you see yourself competing with Udemy and Coursera in the future?
You mentioned "we're not 'competing' with anyone. We're 100% bootstrapped". I love this mindset. Could you elaborate more on this and how you arrived at this model?
I think it's really easy for beginners to think they are competing with everybody for attention and feel bad because so many people are putting out great content.
I was chatting with Joe Eames about this, and his take was "the internet is huge. Even if you only have 1% of the market, you're set". My takeaway was that there is a giant pie and plenty of room for quality educators.
Any thoughts on this?
What is more important to you, broadness (do a lot of things) or consistency (do a couple of things for a long period of time) ??