This Week’s Best In Beta
Which startup is going to be the next big thing? Investors, bloggers, job seekers, and inspiring entrepreneurs everywhere are dying to know. Hundreds of startups enter private beta each month, and that’s far too many for any one person to keep up with. Fret not! Each week, I share some of the hottest new startups in this column, Best In Beta. Let’s discover the next big thing together!
I love learning. The explosion of online learning opportunities in so many disciplines thrills me. And I love welcoming newcomers!
The latest provider of academic content I’ve come across is Macat. It’s a tool for students, teachers and those like me who like to learn constantly.
I read up on a lot of platforms for learning tech skills, which are absolutely necessary and wonderful. If I had a different lean, I would study coding furiously. As it is, I’m more drawn to the liberal arts – philosophy, history, etc. But no matter your preference, learning across disciplines is healthy for the mind. We’re never so sharp that we couldn’t stand to improve our powers of critical thought.
What I love about Macat is that it puts the most profound and challenging ideas – old and new – front and center. On many subjects. It’s building a library of great works, and offering everyone a chance to engage with the most luminous fruits of the human mind at the pace and level of each person’s preference.
I also love the democratizing of knowledge spreading online. Macat provides a space to grapple with the most important concepts and individual works. Admittedly, I devoured the short introductory videos on Gordon Allport’s The Nature of Prejudice and economist Thomas Piketty’s much discussed book Capital in the 21st Century, among others. They left me hungry for much more (a good place to leave your guests if you’re a beta startup!).
In my line of writing about startups, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have a better understanding of economics than I do. Sorry, but I’m not going back to university to learn more, nor do I really care to take the time to sort through what I should and shouldn’t read. A source like Macat is exactly what I’m after – a tool that lets me get right to the essentials, equipping me with enough information to get my bearings and plunge into conversations more intelligently.
To push learners, Macat has multimedia analyses, reading lists and citations, idea tours, and critical thinking tests to give the noggin a good workout. What fun! Have a look at what they’re up to at macat.com, and seize the chance for free access while it lasts.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find out more about Richard Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene.