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The Changing Nature of Business
Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Emergent Learning Forum CEO's Letter


The bottom line is, well, the bottom line. If investors don't understand the education business, funding stops and times get rough. Hence, some of our members must pay attention to the business of learning. Luckily, the Forum has a friend who is the leading analyst of our area.

Trace Urdan has helped us read the financial tea leaves on numerous occasions, both at our sessions and by sharing his weekly newsletters. Our archive keeps several years of analysis online.

Trace and his team (Connie Weggen and Jeff Lee) recently joined R.W. Baird, one of the largest investment firms in the country not headquartered in New York. The prestigious 2004 Greenwich Associates survey of U.S. small and mid cap fund managers ranks Baird No. 1 in "most independent and objective research" and "overall research and analyst services quality."

This morning we received the second issue of Class Notes from Baird. Click the "Industry Info" button on the Emergent Learning Forum home page to access our library of analyst reports.

Trace shared his take on market trends at the Workflow Learning Symposium. It describes a startling change in the emergent learning landscape.

  • "Wall Street is terminally unimpressed."
  • "Learning cannot be imposed by software."
  • "Consumption, not content is king."
Remember the glory days? 1999, 2000.
  • Old paradigm (circa 2000): $60+ billion market
  • New reality: $6+ billion market.
Yesterday's dominant model was a Venn diagram of content, delivery, and services. Tomorrow it's outsourcing, enterprise apps, and business information.

Cross-posted to Workflow Institute Blog


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