After five years of post-secondary schooling with more on the horizon, college seems to be less about teachingÂ per se and more about helping students prioritize their learning. Call it financial motivation.
I would inexpertly guess that 90% of most learning in college occurs outside of the classroom, and I’m not referring to life lessons, soft skills, and whatnot, but to the mastery of challenging technical material. The classes (lectures, mostly) in so many of my hard science, engineering, and math classes are a waste of time, because I merely learn the material on my own after class. With 100 people in the room, where everybody has a different background and mental framework to which thoughts stick, there is no way for the professor to emphasize just the right points for even half of the students in the classroom to have that aha! moment where everything just clicks. Not to mention the reality of professors who are often more interested in research than teaching, are incomprehensible through thick accents, or deliver a three-hour lecture in monotone.
So, if not teaching, what do most universities realistically provide? Priorities. Classes have deadlines, exams, grades, and cost money. The whole “investment in your future” thing can be taken quite literally. You’re not paying the school to teach you, you’re paying them to motivate you to learn, creating your own financial incentive: if you do well, the thought goes, then you will earn more money than you paid for college when its all said and done. In other words, universities provide financial motivation.
What can we learn from this?
Few other businesses (and universities are businesses) provide a similar form of financial motivation and goal-oriented investment, but I think this is a business model with a lot of potential in the private sector.
This concept has been adapted recently in the LoseItOrLoseIt.com business model, which helps people reach their weight-loss goals by holding on to people’s money until they lose the weight. If they reach their goals, they get their money back. If not, LIOLI just earned revenue. Just like in universities (where goals=education), LIOLI users create a financial motivation to help them reach their goals. Unlike a university, LIOLI users directlyÂ get their money back if they reach their goals. Sounds like a better investment to me.
Do you have any ideas for businesses based on providing customers with financial motivation?