Online learning is broken, and we need your help to fix it.

We’re building Adeft to reimagine online learning, and invite you to become a founding member of the next big thing in e-learning.

We’re bootstrapping it. Getting the product done requires significant cash. This is why we need the help of our community.

To earn your support, we will give you a 10x deal (5 year access for the cost of 5 months) in exchange for pre-purchasing your Adeft subscription.


Why are we building Adeft?

Since we launched CXL Institute in 2016, we’ve learned many things about online education.

We have data on how people learn online, how they want to use elearning products, and see where it’s failing many.

Some of the shortcomings:

  • Around 90% of people who start an online course never finish it. They want to learn, they want knowledge, but gravity pulls them away. Why?

    – Getting things done is always more urgent than learning. Your boss asks you if you got things done, not if you did your learning.

    – People don’t set time aside for learning. How many hours a week on your calendar are scheduled for learning? If it’s more than zero, you’re a rarity.

    – If you have a family, it’s very difficult to make time for learning, even after work. Kids and partners need attention, too (and rightfully so).

    The end result is that online course completion rates are abysmal. Depending on the studies you look at, global averages range from 5% to 12%.
  • If you’re a mid- to senior-level practitioner, you already know half the stuff in any course. Almost every course is produced in a one-size-fits-all manner. That means the courses are perfect for total beginners.

    However, if you have 5+ years of experience under your belt on a subject, you’re out of luck. Experienced folks quickly disengage since it’s a lot of, “Yup, this is basic.”
  • People feel anxiety about committing to long courses. In my interviews with people, folks used emotionally charged language when describing training programs that are 20, 50, or 100 hours long. Sure, you can’t get advanced-level skills without serious effort, but the anxiety is real.
  • Learning and doing are often misaligned. Folks take an online course on something while they’re not working on that very project. So, when they eventually get around to implementation, they’ve forgotten a bunch—and need to revisit almost everything. Most people learn best by doing.

We’ve been thinking about this a lot. I’ve talked to tons of people and conducted relevant research. We’ve imagined a way to address these issues—to fix online learning for so many.

How will Adeft solve this?

We’re building a new kind of knowledge platform, one that’s focused on doing. After all, people learn the best by doing.

There are no courses. No certificates. Not even video. What you get instead is how to get tasks done in the best possible way.

Our data is clear: getting assigned a task, or choosing to work on something – while being unsure what’s the best way to do it – is what drives people to learn something new.

Adeft gives you access to thousands of 10-step playbooks for every task in marketing, sales, product, and customer success.

Learn for 10 minutes, implement in the next 10 minutes. The best way to learn is to do – that’s what makes Adeft so powerful.

You need to accomplish a task in the moment. Adeft will teach you the optimal way to get it done. You execute right away, and learn.

How it works

If you think about it, most everything folks do at the office is a list of tasks. You have a to-do list. You’re assigned tasks in your project management tool.

While there are many ways to accomplish those tasks, we’re interested in how the best practitioners in their field go about it.

We’ve mapped out 95% of the most common tasks people perform at work—from conducting keyword research to interviewing users to pulling data from analytics. 

We then turn to experts at these very specific tasks, and with their help turn each task into a 10-step playbook.

First do this, then do that, and so on. Playbooks are designed to be scannable. If you already know steps 3–6 well, just skip to step 7. 

Each step may link to another playbook. So for a playbook on building your company positioning, a step might be about interviewing stakeholders. If you’re unfamiliar with this, you can click on it and head over to a playbook on interviewing them.

One of the steps in that playbook might be about creating Jobs-To-Be-Done interview questions. If you’re unsure about that, you can click through to a dedicated playbook on that very topic. 

All playbooks are interwoven. 

Intended audience

The key audience for this is mid-to-senior professionals who work in the revenue organization: marketing, sales, customer success, and product management. 

It’s mainly mid- to senior-level folks because they already know a lot about a lot. So instead of needing a 5-hour video course, they can “get it” by quickly scanning a 10-step playbook. 

It’s the content you need, without the fluff. Everyone’s sick of the “ultimate guides” and 4,000-word posts that have 500 words of actionable value.

Adeft playbooks are essentially 10-step checklists, presented in a matter-of-fact way.

Playbooks are text and images only, no video – to make it easier to skim. Skimming content in a video is super hard, and when clicking around on the video timeline, you’re never sure if you missed anything new.

Key benefits and use cases

We’ve mapped out every task that folks in marketing, sales, product, and customer success need to do, then providing a playbook for it. Each playbook is compiled or reviewed by a top expert in their field. 

Naturally, there can be many ways to do something, and they can all work. Our playbooks show you a way how someone who is at the top of their game goes about doing it.

We’re optimizing for the least possible time spent on purely consuming content, so it’s really “consume content as you execute.”

By presenting all content in text (plus images when applicable) instead of video, we make it scannable. You can quickly skip over the bits you already know, and focus on the parts that are new to you.

  • Learn something, fast. If you’re unsure about the best way to do something, we have a 10-step playbook for it. You have a task at hand you need to get done. Adeft guides you through the task, and you execute right away. It’s learning by doing. 

  • Delegate without explanation. When assigning tasks to junior folks or outsourced help, you can skip explaining how to do something—just send them a link to the playbook. Save countless hours. Imagine all the things you could outsource to virtual assistants.
  • Sync with Trello and other task management tools. You can take a playbook, and assign it as a task to someone in Trello or Asana. Each step in a playbook becomes a sub-task

  • New employee training. Everything your new marketer needs to do, we have a playbook for it. Businesses on team plans can customize our playbooks to their specifics, and even add their own.

  • When you need a refresher on how to do something. Maybe you need to set up a retargeting campaign on LinkedIn or analyze how visiting your About page impacts users’ likelihood of signing up—but you’ve forgotten how to do it. We’ll walk you through it in a minute.  

  • Always up to date. Whenever there are interface changes (e.g., Google Analytics updates its UI), we’ll update our playbooks. 

Over time, Adeft task library will become so huge that it’s gonna be a repository of “how to do your job”. It’s how you scale your team without taking a quality of work hit.

What we need funds for

Adeft will be released as a web-based software, so there are design and development costs. The main cost, though, is content. 

In a way, we’re like an encyclopedia or a dictionary—if too many entries (i.e. playbooks, in our case) are missing, it doesn’t add value. We need to launch with thousands of playbooks. The content is sourced, edited, and QA’d by experts. All of this costs quite a bit of money. 

And we will be forever grateful for your support. 

Back Adeft and become a founding member

We are building a community for founding members like you. You start getting regular updates on our progress, will be able to beta test it, and can directly influence the product through feedback and suggestions. We will be co-creating the product with you. 

Adeft is a subscription product. There will be individual subscriptions starting from $29/mo and team subscriptions starting from $99/mo. 

Estimated launch: March/April 2021. 

Support this project

As stated earlier, we will give you a 10x deal in exchange for pre-purchasing your Adeft subscription as a thank you for your support.