Editor's note: First of all, I want readers to think about a few questions first: What is the essence of online education? Is it MOOC, big data, personalization or O2O? What was education like before the Internet? With the Internet After that, what changes will the Internet bring to education? At this summit, we invited Mr. Xu Qi, the executive director of the U.S. Federal Fund for Greater China, and asked him to share his understanding of online education and what he learned from an investor. From a perspective, he thinks what is wrong with China's online education entrepreneurship. I hope that Mr. Xu Qi's lecture will arouse everyone's thinking.
The following is the record of the text speech:
Hello everyone, I want to share with you today how we view China's online education investment market from the perspective of our investors, and where we are looking for, so that everyone has some perceptual understanding.
I just listened to a previous guest's introduction on China's online education financing situation. To be honest, we have seen this information a while ago, which is also something weird and surprised. Because from our perspective, our perception is that the largest market for online education is not in K12, nor in higher education. We feel that the largest market in the future is vocational education. From a commercial point of view, the reason is very simple. There is no one to compete, and there is no large-scale education to compete with him. K12 has K12 schools competing with you, higher education has higher education institutions competing with you, the best you can do is provide services to him, nothing more, you can’t compete with him, you can’t compete with him, you can really use If technology is used to recreate an industry, it is on-the-job education. This is also proven in the history of the United States in the first 15 years. Since the development of the Internet in 1998 and 1999, online education has been the fastest growing in the United States, and the most popular online education in the United States is adult on-the-job education.
What I want to share with you is the positioning of the industry. Of course, it does not mean that K12 has no hope or cannot do it. It can be done but it is difficult to do, and it is difficult to form an enterprise with sustainable development. What's the reason? The situation in China is quite special, especially in that the culture of each place is different. We have a large area and a large population, distributed in various places, and the culture of each place is different. Therefore, the output value of the entire industry will be large, and the number will be large, but there will also be many companies formed. It is difficult for you to integrate, and it is difficult to form a company that investors are interested in to invest. Therefore, the future market is still in adult on-the-job education, especially with the characteristics of job selection.
How to use many household appliances, how to use many new electronic products, how to understand many cross-industry concepts, how to invest, how to do financial management, or how to maintain and maintain health for female compatriots. We call a piece of social education, which is also something we value, and there will be a big market. Not only its own market, the key is that there is also an opportunity for horizontal expansion. For example, when you have 20 million or 30 million customers through an online education, you can horizontally sell these customers to other cross-industry sales. This is also a very beautiful place for vocational education, which is different from other education. Similarly, its customers are very sticky and last a long time. If you have not really started a business and want to start a business in the education industry, I suggest that you pay more attention to this area, and there will be more opportunities.
Let me share with you some of the problems we saw in online education in China when we were looking for projects.
First, too many companies prefer technology. We looked at dozens of companies before and after, all of them were doing platforms, and they were all doing O2O. In fact, to put it bluntly, only some parts in the middle were different. In the end, the entire process and the entire model were basically the same. This is a problem, too many technology companies.
Second, the content is too old. What is too obsolete? Too much is copying content, what the textbook originally said, and what is its content, you have lost the attractiveness of a technology itself. You have to use the sexiest part of a technology, and educate its sexiest part online. It can treat the technology not as an independent, but as a composite, overlapping and interrelated. Learn things crosswise, this is the sexy place of online education. It is different from classroom education and book education. When I was studying an EMBA, a sentence in the textbook can be extended to learn financial, political, or other philosophical things. This is a new revolution in education brought by online education platforms. , A new sensual place.
Third, there is no form of innovation. We see that many companies just copy offline education online again. At best, we divide a big classroom from micro classroom, and divide the time period. Do you think it is useful? Of course, it is useful, but it is not necessary to see if it is a great revolution or innovation from the perspective of technology application. It will have many problems if it wants to compete with offline traditional education. So when we look for a company, we always want to find a company that has a technology to subvert education, and to make a revolution again. Let us use limited time to learn accurate or extensive knowledge in a wide range of fields. Because the word knowledge has been completely subverted since the rapid development of the Internet 15 years ago in today's society. Today, the two words of knowledge are a very generalized knowledge. Or in a word, Ma Huateng is the era of knowledge surplus, how do you let knowledge surplus. This is what we need to do online education in order to achieve.
Fourth, there is a lack of online education provided by content. If you want to carry out a revolution, there are undoubtedly two aspects. The first is the form, and the second is the content. In the United States, we have invested in a company. The name of the company and the things it does are described in Chinese as "out of context". How does it do it? It makes electronic version of all university textbooks. After the electronic version, it classifies the contents of each chapter professionally. When you learn, you only need to learn a certain chapter in the middle. For example, when I study a certain professor's books, all the contents in all the magazines or journals that he has published, as long as they are written by the professor, they can be collected at once, so that I can systematically learn the whole logic of this person's thinking. When we invested in this company, Google also invested in it. In less than a year, it has been valued at $1 billion. It's a lack of thinking and imagination for online educators in China to re innovate the content. How can we do this?
In China, we found that online education, especially K12, we feel that investment has been excessive. It is absolutely that investment has overflowed. Many enterprises will not survive. In a few years, they will either be integrated or eliminated.
Let's talk about my suggestion, three returns and three approaches. First, online education should return to the essence of education. You still need to use technology to achieve the goal of education itself. Don't pay too much attention to the form. What is the essence of education? Whether you are K12 or university education, the essence of education is to cultivate a person's logical thinking and a way to solve problems. So in this part of our traditional Chinese education, my own basic education in China, I went to the United States to study in 83 years after graduating from university. But I feel that our basic education in China, I have come back to work in China for 12 years. I think there are really big problems in China's basic education, from kindergarten education to university education, Generally speaking, it is constantly disturbing people's logical thinking. In fact, the essence of human logical thinking comes from the understanding of values, social values, life values, and knowledge of knowledge values, but this is often disturbed. So many of us will have a period of confusion when facing a lot of work in the society. This is the reason why our modern education should find a way to use technology and better technology to standardize.
There is also a core factor in the process of returning to education, interpersonal communication. I have also seen the introduction of many technology companies and education companies, and some of them have made a lot of experiential products, such as interaction in education. I think interaction is very important, but how to interact, is it simple to use some animation to interact, or use some voice to interact, or what? In fact, we have a premonition about real education. The real outbreak time has not yet arrived. The reason is that the technology is not so perfect, the screen width is not so good, and many interactive technologies are not so good. We feel that it will take 3-5 years, and you will see another climax of education. When I came back in 2002, in 2003 and 2004, there was a time of investment around the prosperity of Internet education, but after two or three years, a lot of investment was wasted. Fortunately, we saw a lot of projects and didn't invest. Of course, few of them succeeded.
Three approaches: the first is to be close to the market demand, which is not what you think. We Chinese have a habit of doing business. We like to imagine whether there is a market or not. In the United States, a new IT company will ask the market intermediary company to help him choose a model for field sampling survey and analysis. Few people in China do this. We can imagine whether there is a market out of thin air. This time, I set up a company to provide career resume and career file services. In order to make this company feasible, I spent two and a half years interviewing the owners of 682 enterprises in person, conducting interviews and questionnaires, and then came up with a conclusion that there is a market, so I decided to do such a thing. We are going to go online soon. After we go online, we will have a lot to do with many of you who are doing online education. We have an online reading function. We will look for partner content providers to cooperate.
Second, we should be close to students' habits. Students' habits are very important, not teachers' habits, because the real beneficiaries are students. Especially in K12, you must have a full understanding of the habits of children in each grade, such as grade one and grade two, because this is the most changing age stage in the process of children's development.
Third, close to the capital target. As an enterprise, if you don't consider the rate of return on capital, it will not be long and it will not be good. Therefore, you must consider the target of capital, the input-output ratio and the sustainability of its growth.
Finally, I want to talk about my personal simple thinking, on-line education, especially o2o based online education, we must be professional. There are several industries, one is health, one is education, the third is finance, online or o2o technology. If not professional, the consequences are very serious. When you fail, you don't have a second chance to come back, so I suggest that you first need to be professional. Second, you must be arbitrary in the function, do not lock the platform function, do not let the customer experience is solidified, must be arbitrary. Every student, every adult's habits are different. You must let him have a random customization for the content and the period of study according to his own preferences. Third, effectiveness. The effectiveness of education is important, depending on how your content is done, how you do it, how you interact. When you are doing online education, especially o2o, these three items must always be remembered before you can make a platform.
I will share it with you today. Thank you!