Chris Eigeland is CRO and co-founder at Go1, the world’s largest e-learning platform and hub for corporate education, where he is responsible for global revenue attainment, including sales function management, and maintaining relationships with partners and affiliates.Follow
Welcome to the Use Case Podcast, episode 202. Today we have Chris from Go1 about the use case or business case for why his customers use Go1.
Chris is a serial entrepreneur and internationally focused lawyer who is the co-founder and COO of Go1.
Go1 helps millions of people in thousands of organizations engage in learning that is relevant, effective and inspiring.
Show length: 21 minutes
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Music: Welcome to RecruitingDaily Use Case Podcast, a show dedicated to the storytelling that happens or should happen when practitioners purchase technology. Each episode is designed to inspire new ways and ideas to make your business better, as we speak with the brightest minds in recruitment and HR tech. That’s what we do. Here’s your host, William Tincup.
William Tincup: Ladies and gentlemen, this is William Tincup and you are listening to the Use Case podcast. Today, we have Chris on from Go 1 and we’ll be learning about the business case or the use case for Go 1. So let’s just jump right into it. Chris, thanks for being on the show. Would you introduce both yourself and Go 1?
Chris: Absolutely. Thanks so much for, for having me today. It’s a pleasure to be here amongst a bunch of HR professionals and technology leaders that have come before me. So jumping straight into it. So I’m Chris, I’m one of the co-founders of Go 1 and before we get to too much of my background today, but it’s a bit of a unusual journey to get into education and HR technology. Actually in my background was in international law and constitutional law and sort of got involved in the UN and other institutions that were looking at education, quality challenges, and then segued back into the professional education sector from there. So it’s been a bit of a roundabout journey yet to where we are today.
And in terms of Go 1, so we started Go 1 with the goal of making access to the right learning for the right person at the right time in their career, easier and more accessible. So at its core, Go 1 is a content and data layer. So we bring together all of or much of the world best in class content from existing providers that you’d be very much familiar with, people like Pluralsight or Skillsoft, Coursera, all the way down to mother and father content providers who are just really amazing at creating training for a very, very specific industry, a very specific location. And we do all the work of licensing that all together into one platform and then surfacing that out to your organization and your learners on a per user basis. So you can crudely think of us as sort of the Spotify for professional learning, where we bring together all the right content and then match it to people based on their role and location.
William Tincup: So how often do people equate you to the older software category LMS?
Chris: All the time. Yeah.
William Tincup: I figured as much. But-
Chris: All the time and I’m happy to sort of run through how we actually very complimentary to existing software players. We’re not seeking to displace learning management systems. We work deeply with tens, hundreds of them around the world. Go 1 is designed to actually make those systems and tools more effective by integrating in our content library, integrating in our recommendation engine and those pieces of the puzzle. So those tools are actually more effective and it kind of even goes a step further than that, where we then actually also can operate as the link between some of those LMSs and other business tools like Slack and Microsoft teams. So we can be the linking point that allows a user to take content in Slack, but also in their existing LMS they may have within the business today.
William Tincup: I love that. So if they have an LMS, that’s fantastic. A lot of LMSs at least historically have had challenges or failure because of content. So you’re actually fixing something that could make their LMS, whatever current LMS that they have could make that experience better. I want to ask a question because you started with the right learning at the right time, and then you mentioned recommendation engine. Could you kind of unpack those for us a little bit?
Chris: Yeah. Absolutely. I think at least my experience with professional learning online, both within organizations and external in my own personal time has been fairly overwhelming. If you want to learn a new skill like negotiation or presentation skills, or even just need to do some training for compliance reasons and you Google that, or if you’re a HR professional and you try and find a vendor for that, there’ll be thousands of different results. Sometimes hundreds of thousands of different results. And it’s really difficult for both the HR leader, I think, and the end learner to differentiate between those pieces of content, is this presentation skills 101 piece of training from provider one better than this presentation skills training from provide number two, based on me, based on my location, does it have US specific, cultural nuances or French specific cultural nuances, which negotiating or presenting in those two different languages and cultures can be quite different.
So we kind of try and solve that problem. And so what we call the discovery problem, whereby taking what we understand about you, which is generally things like your role, your location, and your skills and interest areas, and then overlaying that with our existing understanding of learner consumption across hundreds of different, thousands of different content providers, our goal is to be able to help you find and suggest the best piece of content and for you, not just for your organization or for your industry.
William Tincup: And when your skills and interest, things that are work related, right? You’re a Java developer. And so there’s all kinds of things there that would kind of help you with your skills, but you’re also a drone racer or you enjoy drone racing. Do you find that your customers kind of like content that comes in all forms, meaning things that surround their interests, whether or not it’s work related or not?
Chris: Yeah. So this is a really, really great question and it kind of goes to, I think a lot of the sort of HR workforce, upskilling trends we are seeing at the moment in the industry where… Obviously the last couple of years, we’ve all had our personal and professional lives, upturned and intermingled. And it’s all coming together as one. And what we’re finding and what we’re trying to also support is the awareness and pursuit of business adjacent skills actually will benefit the organization and benefit you and your career. So we absolutely do promote skills that are outside the core of your role. So you might be a developer and you want to, as you were saying, improve your Java development skills or along those lines or move into your next kind of ML role or something like that. But we absolutely do promote the pursuit of skills that may be not quite within your wheelhouse, but outside of your wheelhouse, because we believe it does make more holistic people learn, leads to a better work life experience and will help you in your career and the sort of medium to long term as well.
William Tincup: Are you thinking those transferable, like, Johnny, you’re good at this, you’ve done this training on these things. You might also want to look at this training.
Chris: That’s it. Yeah. So that’s not how we think about that recommendation structure, it’s a mix of role and location because that’s a very specific things. A lawyer in California will have very specific requirements compared to a lawyer sitting in Sydney but equally you’ve taken these three things and you may be a lawyer, but actually you’re taking a bunch of courses on, machine learning. Why is that? Let’s encourage that stream of interest and promote that and help you progress in that stream of interest.
William Tincup: I love that. So with each piece of content that comes in and someone has an experience with it, a user has an experience with it. Are there ratings or reviews or is there feedback, did they get what they wanted out of that piece of content?
Chris: Yeah. So this is a really important question because one of the topics which comes up a lot when we’re talking to particularly the sort of HR and LND professionals is the old quantity versus quality debate.
William Tincup: Right.
Chris: Does it make sense to have hundreds of thousands of pieces of content? Well, maybe, but only if you have the stuff which I’m looking for or is relevant to me at that point in time. So we sort of care deeply and think deeply about this challenge and the way in which we can tackle that is through a mix of sort of passive and active pieces of feedback and signaling. So we enable people to like and rate particular pieces of content and to suggest their relevance. But also we look at completion rate of pieces of content. What content is started but never finished. So what are the scores on different pieces of content? So we can form a bit of a view on which are the most effective variations on a topic, most effective content pieces on a topic, which we can then in turn kind of feed more actively into the sort of learning base that we have. So it’s a mix of active learner feedback and also passive, completion and effectiveness feedback.
William Tincup: So where do you sit? Do you sit inside the LMS? Is it an overlay to the LMS is a better search engine and recommendation engine and again, getting more consumption and all the other stuff, or is it a separate system that’s tied to it, conceptually, I’m sure people are listening to us and like, okay, I get it. It’s going to get me to the content I want and it’s coming recommendations. Okay. Everyone’s been on amazon.com, so okay. We get it. Fantastic. But for the layperson, where does it sit?
Chris: Yeah. So the answer is it could be either. So for those that have an existing LMS and they’re really happy with their learning management system and it’s delivering in line with the business goals they’re after, we just plug into that. So where an interface within that, the content library gets pushed out, sort of our search technology can be pushed in. So if I’m a learner, there’s no need for me to ever leave the existing LMS.
William Tincup: Right.
Chris: And then we can sort of bolt on the Microsoft teams or Slack or business collaboration piece, in addition to that as a connector. For those organizations that don’t have an LMS, we do have a lightweight interface that can be deployed really quickly to consume content. And that can be deployed fairly quickly in a matter of minutes. But generally we find that those having existing business infrastructure. It’s better to just plug into that and use that sort of distribution reach that’s already there.
William Tincup: Right. So the things that you want to find out about users, obviously we started with location and role, I’ve always thought about learning and thought about learning styles, how people like to learn and also learning differences, things some of the barriers that kind of get into the way of learning, do you all never own the edges of either of those?
Chris: Yeah. So sort of really big, interesting topics, I think, around the future of learning, particularly the future of learning online. So there’s probably two buckets, I would say. One is a sort of accessibility topic, which is something that we care deeply about and helping navigate through different formats of content. They’re kind of best for the person. And on one level, this could be something like, is this mobile compatible, so you can on the train or on the bus. On another level it could be does this have subtitles? Does this have other accessibility features for kind of myself and my personal circumstance. And so we make a very proactive effort to understand those on a per piece of content basis to then be able to filter or recommend based on some of those accessibility attributes, to be able to sort through different providers and pathways based on, again, your sort of personal circumstances. On the second bucket is more around, I think, preferences and styles, because it’s not unusual.
We’ll talk to 10 different HR leaders and some HR leaders will be explaining how they really dislike animated content and they really love face camera content. And then another one will say, no, I actually love animated content because it’s engaging. And I don’t want to use anything else except animated content. And so this kind of goes to the learning styles piece and there’s a video best for you as a quiz, best for you, but is a reading exercise, best for you. And one of the whole ideas of Go 1 is that, for any topic at any sort of level of leveling of experience, a basic course in X or a basic experience and Y there’ll be multiple versions of that and from different providers in different styles and in different formats. And so then we kind of view our dual as helping you find the right variation of that kind for you based on how you learn and what your preferences are.
William Tincup: I love that. Last thing before we get some buying questions is, do we learn about our users aspirationally? Because we got their location, we got their role. And as they consume content, we can kind of learn about how their interests, if we don’t ask explicitly about their interest, but what if they aspirationally they want to be at a different place, not the company, but be at a different role? Do we do that? Or how do we do that?
Chris: Yeah. So there’s probably two layers to that again. So one is, so we have built a large number of career and skills, playlists and progression pathways. So a learner can independently see, okay, this pathway here is from basic Java to senior Java, or this is a introductory pathway to machine learning, or there’s a whole bunch of different things. There’s Harvard business publishing content in there around executive leadership. So we’ve built a large number of these pathways to help people understand and guide them towards a progression, not just a point in time piece of learning. In addition to that, if a learner is willing to and if they’re excited about it, they can let us know that they can say, hey, look, I’m particularly looking to upscale in these three things for my progression. And then the content recommendations will change based on that.
William Tincup: I love that. All right. Three questions, they’re all by side. Questions that practitioners should ask you at Go 1. So in the buying process, a practitioner, you’re interacting with them or your sales teams interacting with them, obviously, what are questions that they should be asking of you of Go 1?
Chris: Yeah. So how feel on this that we kind of view the starting point for a great learning experience in a company, as an extension of the talent priorities of the business. And so fairly frequently, we’ll get into a conversation about a business that needs to solve a, maybe a compliance that they want to procure Go 1 to solve a compliance challenge, or they really want to improve the technical skills of their team, but the more that a buyer could help us understand the business drivers for that, then the better the outcome will be because it’s such a large library and because we have these overlays of sort of data and recommendations and existing business systems we can plug into, the more that they can help us understand the core business drivers behind it. Maybe there was a compliance incident, one of the warehouses, maybe there’s a organizational shift to digital environment.
And at working an agile way is really important across the whole organization. So I think the starting point in the buying cycle is one of the actual business drivers that are sometimes manifesting in very narrow sort of learning requests. In terms of question, the primary question I think that I would be asking is, A, is it kind of too good to be true in the sense of all this content for a single subscription and my organization can take what they want. And the extension of that is do you have what I need? And it kind of links back to the business priority pieces. Great. You have a whole bunch of content, but then these are the three priorities for me. Help me understand that the content which you have will help me solve these three priorities.
William Tincup: I love both. Yes. I love all of that. Favorite part of the demo. So if you’re showing people for the first time, you show them Go 1, what’s your favorite part? I know I’m asking you to pick out your favorite child. I get that, but what do you love? You get to a certain place in a demo and you’re like, yeah.
Chris: Yeah. So I have a personal favorite part and there’s probably two of them, but I really… Learning is such a fragmented experience today in workplace. And people just lose motivation if they need to log into a system, jump into another, if they think, oh, I need to do this, I need to separately log into my LMS and complete that, and that takes a number of minutes to do the sort of system swapping. So I personally, part of the demo really love the point where you can show content being taken in an existing system and content being taken in somewhere like Slack or Microsoft teams.
And so to show how those two systems can work in tandem and how content actually can be where the learner is versus the learner needing to kind of be extracted from their tasks and their current day to day environment. So I really love that piece. And then I all also just really love where someone sort of first gets in the system, has a play and just sees the breadth of top tier providers that Go 1 has, and that they can take A executive leadership, mentorship course and from Harvard business publishing, but then can jump into some technology training from pluralsight, straight away afterwards, and because of have those two, very different, very important experiences and in a very short space of time.
William Tincup: I love that. And especially on the first one with Slack, you’re meeting them where they are. So they’re already in Slack and it’s easy to then transfer over and go, I want to learn this and it serves up as a recommendation and it serves up what they want. And again, getting back to the thing you led in with the right learning at the right time. All right. Last question is kind of your favorite innovation story. And this is where customers kind of use Go 1 in a way that maybe you didn’t initially think, or just a way that you really, really love how they’ve used Go 1 to kind of further those people initiatives.
Chris: Yeah. So there’s just lots of examples. I have a personal lens on this, which may not necessarily be what’s expected, but one which I always just really value and find quite exciting is when a customer then themselves may become a content creator back in the library. So-
William Tincup: Cool.
Chris: I’ll use a specific example, which is we do sort of a lot of work with… There’s a particular domestic violence awareness organization in Australia, which we’ve worked with for a long time. And they originally procured Go 1, for their team, for their own LND needs. And then over the course of the relationship, they have put their own IP and their own content back into Go 1 and back into the library. And and we’re now working with them to distribute that out to the wider Go 1 audience. So I really love that loop closing, where we work with the customer to help solve their LND needs, but in doing so, we discover actually our customer is a expert in this other topic. Well, why shouldn’t we be sharing that topic with the rest of our Go 1 audience? And I really love that process. I think it sort of really gets to the heart of kind of why we do what we do. Yeah. That always really excites me when that happens.
William Tincup: Well, I love that story actually. That is fantastic. Chris, this has been amazing. Thank you so much for coming on the Use Case podcast.
Chris: My absolute pleasure. Thank you so much for having me.
William Tincup: Absolutely. And thanks for everyone listening to the Use Case podcast. Until next time.
William is the President & Editor-at-Large of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. He's been writing about HR and Recruiting related issues for longer than he cares to disclose. William serves on the Board of Advisors / Board of Directors for 20+ HR technology startups. William is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a BA in Art History. He also earned an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.