The Silicon Review
Technological advancements have made widespread information easier and quicker to access and simple to process. With the current pace of developments, we have to be able to remember information for the long term as well as understand new ideas. So, modern learners need access to relevant learning content anywhere, anytime and on any device as more and more workplaces tend to become mobile and classroom boundaries cease to exist. Traditional learning methods may not be very effective in meeting expectations due to their rigid schedules, lengthy training material and homogeneous learning solutions.
This is where Gnowbe comes in with its pioneering mobile micro-learning and engagement solution intended to help the modern workforce learn faster and better. With office locations in Singapore, San Francisco and the Philippines, Gnowbe makes a significant business impact by revolutionizing corporate education through transformational learning. Its bite-sized social learning and gamification encourage active engagement and inspire behavior change.
In conversation with the dynamic leader, So-Young Kang, Chief Energizer
What were the challenges that you had to go through in your initial years?
As Gnowbe was very new to the market, we were one of the first to pioneer the mobile micro-learning movement. People were super scared of us because they were scared of technology. It’s only after doing some groundwork and explaining the challenge, people started to love us because they knew Gnowbe was the solution to a problem they could never solve. So when we showed a demo of our product to lecturers and trainers, we got much appreciation.
We constantly had to empower organizations to technology to drive and account for real business impact. Furthermore, we care about creating safe spaces for people to experiment and try Gnowbe, without feeling intimidated by the tech.
How do your product and service offerings benefit your clients?
Gnowbe is based on the science of adult learning focused on delivering true business impact. Gnowbe’s software and content authoring platform meets the pains of providing easy access to employees in bite-sized pieces. It also increases engagement and ownership of learners so that they can apply what they learn through social and collaborative learning. Gnowbe provides learning on-the-go from your phones and uses gamification and social learning to drive behavior and mindset changes. Gnowbe is proud to have launched the world’s first public content library designed for mobile-first participatory learning - Gnowbe Learn™ for Teams.
Most of the tech companies invest a significant part of their profits in R&D, which sometimes is not a good option. What is your approach to keeping your company standing?
A lot of Gnowbe’s success can be attributed to our R&D investment in our early years. Before we started, we conducted 6-9 months of user ethnographic research across adult learners, corporate buyers, trainers and HR professionals. We developed 6 different learner personas and built our product based on the underlying motivations of various learners. We then conducted a beta test in 6 countries in 2015 to validate whether people could really develop difficult skills like leadership and creativity using their phones. Our first 2 programs were ‘Design Thinking’ and ‘Leading Others’.
We found that learner engagement was 8-10 times higher than anything in the market so we launched it in full scale. Now we are in over 25 countries. Our approach to R&D is to constantly speak to our clients to assess their needs. We constantly get feedback from our clients to refine and refresh our product features and roadmap. We also focus a lot on measuring learning performance and impact. We constantly look ahead at industry trends to incorporate the latest tech to create the best learner experience. That’s why we are still standing. Clients love us and we have results to show!
Customer service varies, but companies can still be successful. How do you maintain your customers’ trust and loyalty?
We have this super exclusive Gnowbean service called “Managed Services.” Our awesome client success team ensures complete and thorough implementation of Gnowbe into their organization. Our objective is to really help our clients and learners become as successful as they can be. Be it in content curation or increasing adopting and engagement rates, we are always thinking about their success and how to help them scale learning to achieve behavior change.
We really take the time to hear them out. We would rather spend an eternity time listening to them than wasting our time to build a product that no one likes. Their burdens and challenges help to shape our product roadmap.
Do you have any new products ready to be/getting ready to be launched?
Yes! We are super excited to share that we will be integrating with the global software giant, SAP. SAP named Gnowbe as one of only seven HR technologies from around the world to have a place on its ‘accelerator’ program. Being able to integrate with a $20 Billion giant and be a part of their portfolio will open up tremendous opportunities to meet the growing demands of SAP’s global network of clients, of which 90% are from Forbes Global 2000. Our key objective is to get our platform integrated with all of SAP’s success factors.
This year, we will be launching our partnership with Mercer, a global consulting leader in advancing health, wealth and careers of over 115 million people worldwide. Mercer will be rolling out “Mercer Learning Mobile”, a series of micro-learning courses on a mobile platform, targeting HR professionals to up their skills on the go.
Meet the Driving Force behind Gnowbe
So-Young Kang, Chief Energizer
So-Young is the Founder of Awaken Group, Author of “Inside Out”, WEF Young Global Leader, former McKinsey and Citigroup, MBA from Harvard Business School, BA from University of Pennsylvania. She is a serial entrepreneur who wants to change the world by maximising the potential within people.
So-Young considers herself blessed to be in community with the world’s leading thinkers from Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, TED, and to be a Young Global Leader nominated by the World Economic Forum. She is an experienced entrepreneur, published author, global speaker and educator. She started teaching piano at age 11 and started her professional career teaching in Japan nearly 20 years ago before moving onto Citigroup and McKinsey & Company.