eduFire suspends the SuperPass from January 1st 2010

Just received an email from eduFire as all teachers on the platform, I guess.

As of January 1st, 2010, we are suspending the eduFire SuperPass program. Although we have received good feedback about SuperPass and are excited about its possibilities, we have a need to spend some time working on the SuperPass model as the results were not quite what we had hoped for. […]

That’s quite big news, I’d say.

This is not the end of the email, of course.

[…] We’re going to be thinking about and discussing this so please feel free to email any suggestions you have to or post them in our forums.  Our hope is that we can bring SuperPass back before long and in the meantime we’re sorry to put you out like this.  Normal a la carte classes and 1-on-1 tutoring sessions will continue and we’re excited to see how they grow going forward.

Many of you may have questions about this so please see the FAQ below where we have attempted to anticipate some of the things you’re going to ask.  No doubt we’ve missed some stuff so email additional questions to and we’ll do our best to provide a speedy response.

All the best and thanks for supporting eduFire,

The eduFire Team

This is followed by a Q&A about what is happening with SuperPass classes already scheduled after January first etc. But if you are a teacher on eduFire, you received this email anyway.

Now what does all this mean? Well, first of all it does not seem to have worked out the way it had been planed. What I like about this email is that eduFire is honest enough to name it. Reminds me of the great blog post of Markus Witte of Babbel when he announced that Babbel is dumping the Freemium model.

From the beginning I was suprised that the RPS (revenue per student) was only going up as I expected it had to go down over time when more and more teachers offered SuperPass classes. I also know that there have been some issues with teachers offering several classes a day and hence missusing the idea. The problem I had with this was that there were no clear rules for this, just some kind of a silent agreement between the eduFire community of teachers and eduFire itself.

In the last EDUKWEST interview I had with Jon about a week ago he did not seem to be too worried about the future of the SuperPass although he did not gave exact numbers on the growth.

Anyway, what does this mean for eduFire and especially for the teachers on the platform? For some of them it might be hard, especially if they have built a business around the offer. The same happened to teachers on Myngle back in the days with the Myngle Boost offer. So eduFire might lose some teachers and of course also some students who took the chance to get a lot of classes for a fixed rate.

What I find suprising is that the whole product is suspended. In the first interview with Jon back in August he did mentoin that the offer might be adapted over the time, so less classes or a higher price but suspending the product after only five months seems to involve a bigger issue.

We all had big hopes for the “all you can learn” idea. To see it go is really sad. But wait, there is still some hope. Maybe after some tweaking the SuperPass will return in one way or the other. And if not, there will be other offers.

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  • Marina

    Hi Kirsten,

    I am so sad and disappointed to hear that Edufire is suspending Superpass, as I think it was a revolutionary idea (probably inspired by Myngle promotions). IMHO there are two sufficient and necessary conditions to be fulfilled in order for this idea to work:
    1. ample number of quality teachers offering various subjects/languages
    2. courage (i.e. money) to persevere with this concept

    On the bright side, hopefully both Edufire and Myngle helped novice teachers gain some experience & learn how to teach during these promotional experiments 😉

    • KirstenWinkler

      Jon is a serial entrepreneur and eduFire got funding in January so money is not the issue here. He is to clever to burn through the money if it has not a chance to succeed though.

      So I think we can really break it down to: “…the results were not quite what we had hoped for.”

      Sad for the teachers but logic for eduFire to stop it ;).

      • Marina

        I started my own private language school thirteen years ago, and for the first five years ''the results were not quite what I hoped for'', but the years 6+, made a huge difference. I am aware that this might not be an appropriate comparison, but wouldn't you expect from a serial entrepreneur to allow such a concept a longer 'trial period' (June-Dec 2009)?

  • daveschappell

    Like you, I also love the openness of the eduFire team — we know that they're behind these types of big ideas, and they're willing to test different approaches. That's good for all of us. Looking forward to what's next!

    • KirstenWinkler

      I am sure Jon has something up his sleeve. And maybe the SuperPass will return, who knows :)

  • chinamike

    Good try John! I really wonder what he learned from this. I hope it comes out again so we can study what he tweaked.

    In the end my guess is that for something like this to work the number of teachers and courses must be limited and any growth in course offerings would be tied to the number of students who enrolled in the system. Unfortunately, this (Superpass) approach, which might seem revolutionary, has already been adopted with mixed results by many brick and mortar language schools in Asia.

    • gosiakrumplewska

      All I can say is that education and laissez-faire may not be best friends. Anyway full respect to the pioneers !

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