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Hack To Start
Episode 175

Michael Karnjanaprakorn

founder @skillshare

Listen to this episode on iTunes, Stitcher, & Google Music

Michael Karnjanaprakorn is the Co-founder and Executive Chairman at Skillshare. Michael has always had a passion and love for education and learning. His career in tech began as an outsider looking to prove himself. And so he ended up taking a pay cut to move to New York and join Scott Belsky at Behance with two things in mind: do whatever the team needed and learn as much as he could. While product/market fit was already found at Behance, Michael later dove into product at Hot Potato, both deepening his skillset and knowledge in this area, and getting to experience the search for product market fit first hand. He then dove into launching a startup of his own - Skillshare - by following 3 simple rules. Michael joins us to share his story, how he got into startups, how he and his cofounder proved to themselves that Skillshare would work, what it was like building the platform in the early days, how they’ve approached raising close to $25M, what’s next for Skillshare, and much more.

Main Objectives For This Episode

  • Learn more about how Michael got into startups
  • Learn more about the 3 Rules behind the launch of Skillshare
  • Learn more about how they approached raising ~$25M for Skillshare
  • And more!

Episode Overview

Michael Karnjanaprakorn is the Co-founder and Executive Chairman at Skillshare.

Michael has always had a passion and love for education and learning. His career in tech began as an outsider looking to prove himself. And so he ended up taking a pay cut to move to New York and join Scott Belsky at Behance with two things in mind: do whatever the team needed and learn as much as he could.

While product/market fit was already found at Behance, Michael later dove into product at Hot Potato, both deepening his skillset and knowledge in this area, and getting to experience the search for product market fit first hand.

He then dove into launching a startup of his own - Skillshare - by following 3 simple rules.

Michael joins us to share his story, how he got into startups, how he and his cofounder proved to themselves that Skillshare would work, what it was like building the platform in the early days, how they’ve approached raising close to $25M, what’s next for Skillshare, and much more.


Some Of The Questions We Ask

2:34
Can you tell us more about yourself - where are you from and what did you study?

3:17
Where did your passion for tech and entrepreneurship come from?

6:19
So given that startups weren’t as obvious a career path as they are today, how did you start your career? What were some of your first few jobs?

7:40
How did you meet Scott and create the opportunity to join Behance?

8:46
You then ended up joining another startup called Hot Potato to work specifically on Product. So what was this phase of your career like?

10:18
You spoke a bit about what motivated your to launch Skillshare, but what was it about that time or that phase of your life that really motivated you to go all in at that point?

12:11
So how did all those ideas really distill into Skillshare? What was that process like?

18:47
Skillshare has raise close to 25M. I’m sure you could talk for a while about just fundraising, but overall, what was that experience like for you?

21:02
What were some of the biggest challenges in scaling Skillshare along the way?

22:32
What’s next for you and Skillshare?

287:03
Do you have any final thoughts or advice to leave us with?


Here are some of the most important links and resources mentioned throughout the show.

Twitter Handles & Websites

Michael Karnjanaprakorn on Twitter
Michael Karnjanaprakorn on the Web
Skillshare on Twitter
Skillshare on the web
Tyler Copeland on Twitter
Franco Varriano on Twitter

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