Business Plan

Please comment below.

Business Plan for The Real Learning Project  2015-2016

real coverworkscapeRL


Take meta-learning mainstream. Be the catalyst for millions of people to become meta-learners.

Provide do-it-yourself means of getting started with social learning, experiential learning, and informal learning.


Product value added:  enables people to learn and grow without institutional support.

The individual benefits by

  • saving time, as a more efficient learner. Following practices such as goal-setting, frequent reflection, taking on appropriate challenges, using techniques recommended by science; making them into lifelong habits.
  • working smarter,  staying on top of information, avoiding  black holes,
  • knowing a path to becoming what they want to be.
  • career advancement, by focusing on learning what it takes.
  • lead a more fulfilling life.
  • appreciating what learning really is, it’s not school! and appreciating the magic of tacit knowledge.

The organization where that individual works can benefit by creating self-starting do-it-yourself learners. Not everybody is going to get on board. People whose work provides for little discretion don’t really need this (for professional reasons; it’s still useful for life planning and hobbyists). However, the impact of a few dozen super-learners on an organization can be significant.

CLOs who have given lip service to investing in informal learning now have a simple way to do just that. We’ll offer kits with instructional plans and supporting in a MOOC and video. A kit for a team of eight would include lesson plans, eight copies of Real Learning, a copy of Informal Learning, a copy of Modern Workplace Learning, PowerPoint decks, discussion area on Slack, and frequent HangOuts and Tweetchats and costs ~$160. Big bang kit includes license for 999 copies of Real Learning, Internet Time Alliance library, support and costs $8,000. Or something like that. This is an early market, the guilt-driven CLO who has to actively experiment with informal learning.

I’m rereading Clark’s new book on Revolution…

A study on informal learning reports that 97 percent of respondents indicated informal learning played some role in their organizational learning. On the other hand, more than 75 percent had no informal learning programs in place.

It’s not just corporations; those happen to be a market I understand. Other agencies, charities, and outreach programs could help empower people by introducing Real Learning, perhaps in an AA format. Foundation? Perhaps Bill & Melinda would be interested.

Different from other self-help and how-to-learn books: focus on tacit learning, working smarter, social and informal learning rather than “study skills” and cramming for the test.

Price Quantity Revenue
Electronic $10 500 $5,000
Soft cover $16 200 $3,200
Hard cover $40 20 $800
Kit $160 100 $16,000
Superkit $8000 6 $48,000

Clearly, developing the kit is a top priority. 10/25/15 Added an appendix on ways to implement Real Learning in groups.


My prime objective is to get millions of Real Learners benefitting from Real Learning.

Essentially, a majority of the content will be online at the free homepage. This will probably expand book sales rather than cannibalize them. I will offer Plogs. Assessment. Goal Setting. VIdeo lessons and highlights online. The JDIs.

A page might be formatted with video message, big picture, important bullet points, JDIs, information and links.

Videos will show how to set up a meta-learning group and provide a weekly curriculum.


Real Learning.

  • 220 pages of text and 70 images self-instructional text. By end of November, formatted version will be available in soft and hard cover, pdf, epub, mobi, kindle.
  • Companion website links to content. Logically, this should be part of the ebooks. Plan to add video.
  • Real Learning community. Now Google+. Soon migrating to Slack.
  • Email hints and reminders.


Real Learning has received only cursory testing. Twenty-six readers responded to a survey. 26 out of 26 “would recommend Real Learning to a friend or colleague.”

Real Learning will always be in beta. There will always be new discoveries. I can imagine the content morphing into an online experience, an intelligent tutor, a network of go-getter learners, and more.

priorWe need partners to take Real Learning to the next stage.

A learning laboratory. If your organization has the capability to provide feedback at the detail level and a interest in developing lots of Real Learners, we should talk. Together we can co-create the next version.

Opportunity for consultants and organization developers: work with us to implement Real Learning throughout organizations.


The Real Learning Project is currently my deal. I’d been a factor in promoting the now universal meme of “You’re responsible for your own learning.” It troubled me that no one stepped up to explain how you’re supposed to carry out that responsibility. I decided to give it a shot.

I’ll feel fulfilled if I can help a couple of million people become meta-learners who prosper from the precepts of Real Learning.

I’m a great conceptualizer but not so hot on implementation. Besides, I’m 71 years old, so the calendar will see to it that I hand off Real Learning to another group or philanthropy for stewardship in a couple of years.


The Real Learning Project is run on a shoestring. Total expenditures April ’05 through November ’05 are <$6,000 including proofing, edit, design, software, and reference books (but not including 1000 hours of my time). Returns: gave me a dent-in-the-universe project to raise me out of depression. Enjoying having a new cause. About a hundred people have bought the beta version at $2.99, $300 total. (I’m not in it for the money.)


Low price point, especially when client’s overhead eats delivery costs
Do-it-yourself positioningchart2
Fits trend toward informal learning
Fresh content
Breezy format, well-written
Unique focus on experience
Convergence of work and learning

(Data from Cushing Anderson, June 2012 CLO magazine)

Content is unproven
This is beta
No test cases yeta
No budget for marketing
chart1No budget for product improvement
Not set up for mobile
Probably needs video
Perception that learning = schooling
No content recommendations, MOOCs, online study guides

Grab pole position on social and informal learning
Build on reputation of Informal Learning
Synergy with Internet Time Alliance
Strong reputation in L&D market

Competition rips off idea
Can’t find test site and improve with feedback
Seen as superfluous by totally net-savvy folks
Doesn’t work; nobody finishes

Internet Time Alliance Action Library

Hart, Modern Workplace Learning
Hart, Managing Workplace Learning
Cross, Real Learning (mucho copies)
Quinn, The Learning Revolution
Jennings, 70:20:10