Michael Karnjanaprakorn thinks anyone can be a teacher — doers, dreamers, thinkers, tinkerers. Anyone, yourself included. No college degree, formal training or accreditation required. All you need is knowledge and passion, and an eagerness to share both.
The 33-year-old entrepreneur and world champion poker player’s mission in life is to democratize education throughout the world, one online class at a time. “My goal is to transform education and make it accessible to every single person on this planet,” he says. “Education is a basic human right and we need to break down the $50,000 tuition
barrier to it so that anyone, anywhere can learn whatever they set their mind to.”
To make the dream he set his mind to a reality, Karnjanaprakorn co-founded Skillshare, a “learning community for creators,” with his good friend and fellow tech startup veteran Malcolm Ong. (Ong has since moved on to other ventures.)
That was five years ago, back when Skillshare offered only two classes, the first being a poker-skills class taught by Karnjanaprakorn himself. Today, the burgeoning subscription-monetized startup, anchored in the heart of New York City’s SoHo neighborhood, offers some 1,700-plus peer-to-peer classes online. In all, the platform has served an estimated 1 million students.
Video-based courses that people take at their own pace on demand are offered on the buzzy, ad-free education hub in several categories and subcategories. They cover everything from snapping creative self-portrait pics (selfies!), to creating effective Google AdWords campaigns, to brewing your own beer at home to throwing a pot on a pottery wheel. You can even learn the art of screenwriting for short films from actorJames Franco. The class list is constantly updated and there’s something for everyone.