Go1 CEO Andrew Barnes talks about the future of e-learning subscriptions

Welcome back to our Workplace newsletter. Just got back from our first company retreat, which we jokingly made up Protocol IRLFest. It was my first time meeting many of my IRL colleagues, including my own editor, Meg Morrone! I remembered a song I wrote some time ago the (kind of) return of business trips, which takes on a different form in a post-COVID world. Even a few days with all your colleagues makes all the difference when it comes to boosting morale, creating a sense of belonging and developing overall strategy and ideas. All of this is still quite difficult to do on Zoom.

Today, my colleague Amber Burton interviews an edtech CEO about why companies invest in learning subscriptions for their employees, and Issie Lapowsky looks at the responsibilities of rideshare companies when it comes to employee safety.

— Michelle Ma, journalist (E-mail | Twitter)

Choose your own adventure

When I think of subscriptions, I immediately think of my Netflix subscription and my Amazon Prime subscription, oh, and that HBO Max subscription that I never canceled after watching the last season of “Succession.” I’m sure you understand where I’m coming from: I’ve accumulated a lot of subs. And I’m not the only one. HR managers have been stocking up on learning and development subscriptions to give employees an edge (and hopefully entice them to stick around a bit longer).

Someone who has noticed this shift is Andrew Barnes, CEO and co-founder of Go1, an education technology subscription company that provides custom libraries of course options for businesses around the world. Go1 does not charge per course, but rather offers companies a way to create custom libraries of learning subscriptions. The subscription service provides access to over 100,000 courses and services ranging from Pluralsight to Blinkist, the book digest subscription service. Like many other educational technology companies, Go1 realized that L&D is now about allowing employees to choose their own adventures.

“The data that we’re seeing is really interesting, because an organization will subscribe for their staff, and that staff member can access a wellness course or a leadership course or a Pluralsight course or whatever of the same way that you sort of think about subscribing to Spotify,” Barnes said. “You don’t need payment per genre of song you’re accessing. When we look at it, individuals often chart their own path as to what’s important to them, as opposed to some sort of top-down approach.

Barnes considers the top-down approach HR managers used to take to training and development a thing of the past. Employees now prefer to choose the enrichment courses that they believe can best advance their personal lives and careers rather than waiting for a list of courses approved by their employer.

Go1 gave us some insight into what employees and employers are most interested in when it comes to subscriptions.

What types of learning subscriptions are most popular among tech companies:

  • Courses related to top cloud providers, as well as courses related to leadership and communication skills.
  • Barnes shared that in the North American market, Go1 has also seen an increasing focus on wellness-related content.

Fastest growing subscription content vertical at Go1:

  • Subscriptions focused on personal development are growing just as quickly as professional subscriptions. Barnes shared in an email with Protocol that organizations are really focused on providing their employees with content that meets both their personal and professional needs. Due to growing demand, Go1 has added content around project management and improving communication, as well as productivity.
  • Barnes said there’s also interest in classes that help develop the soft skills that make a person a better leader or teammate.

Top reasons companies invest in non-job related courses:

  • Retention, Retention, Retention: “We’ve seen organizations increasingly focus on what it takes to attract and retain quality employees. We’re no longer in an era where office snacks are the beginning and end of what companies do to invest in their teams. Organizations need to look for innovative resources that allow employees to grow in their role and how they can apply those learnings to their next job, whether it’s within the company. »

And it’s not just about keeping employees engaged. The focus is on the engagement and support of the HR and training and development teams.

  • Content specific to human resources and training and development is currently trending on Go1, as the platform offers more courses on the future of work, the big quit and how to retain talent. “Organizations can see what other organizations are doing, how they’ve succeeded and where they’ve struggled, and can take that knowledge and refine it to make it work for them. Now more than ever, companies need to have conversations about what their employees expect of them and how they can help them achieve their goals,” he said.

— Amber Burton, journalist (Twitter | E-mail)

Today’s tips and tools

Many of my protocol colleagues flew out for our company retreat this week, so I thought this AirPods travel hack from CNN Underscored would be appropriate. AirFly lets you connect Bluetooth AirPods to TV screens on an airplane that only have headphone jacks.

—Lizzy Lawrence, Journalist (E-mail | Twitter)


The speed at which security has been tightened over the past 12 months has been a derivative benefit of what we have seen during the pandemic. Privacy, compliance and security are three legs of the same stool. What we are seeing more and more is that this intersection continues to occur. RingCentral has invested in all of these.

Learn more

“Why didn’t Lyft do anything?”

A Lyft driver, Kristian Philpotts, was killed on the job, and now his mother, Marla Rice, is calling on the company to beef up its safety features and do more for the victims and their families. Rice spoke to my colleague Issie Lapowsky about what happened to her son: “I want Lyft to pull itself together…There are so many things that have gone wrong. Lyft told Protocol that it is working hard to develop safety features to keep drivers safe, including texting, partnering with ADT and establishing a 24/7 safety team. /7. Lyft isn’t the only one with security issues. Gig Workers Rising revealed that more than 50 gig workers have been killed on the job since 2017, not counting those who died in traffic accidents. The majority were Lyft and Uber drivers.

Read the full story.


At RingCentral, we strive to make hybrid working easier for organizations so they can better set up, run, and manage their business. We wonder what is the benefit we can get, or afford, that is better than the best in class in the industry?

Learn more

Thoughts, questions, advice? Send them to [email protected]. Good day, see you Sunday.

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