The primary users of Pathwright are the hundreds of thousands of students completing learning steps every day. None of these users pay us.
Instead, they pay our customers who are made up of a much smaller group of school administrators, IT directors, and content creators from educational organizations of all sizes. (In fact, we have several customers who make way more money than we do.)
From a more conventional business perspective, it would make sense for us to prioritize designing primarily for the users who pay us first and then for the learners who don’t pay us, right?
That’s exactly what many of our competitors do, and it’s working for them, at least on business side of things. However, if you’ve ever used any of the more conventional LMSs (learning management systems) or marketing-oriented course platforms you’ve probably seen how this plays out: eventually, the product becomes 90% administrative actions, content authoring, and/or marketing tools, which is what 90% of the paying customers say they want. That leaves perhaps a measly 10% of features and polish focused on the actual learner experience (LX), which in contrast is where most 90% of the usage actually exists.
We take a different approach. Whenever we develop a new feature for Pathwright, we start with the learner experience first and then work our way back from there.
Why is this important?
By starting with the learner experience we can:
While the above approach may not be the most obvious business strategy, our team has been happy to grow slowly and steadily for years by putting the learner first every time.