Hi! It’s me, Spiffy the interplanetary journalist reporting from Planet Earth with the latest scoop on entrepreneurs making a difference in quality education for all of us around the world! Today I’m in Boulder, Colorado, to meet Allison Kent-Smith, the co-founder and CEO of Giide. She's elevating the way we share content and learn from each other! Are you ready to be inspired?
Spiffy: Welcome, Allison! I checked out a few of your giides and I have to say, I love them! Can you tell us what problems you are trying to solve with giide?
Allison: I’m happy to hear that, Spiffy! We're addressing the large scale challenge with educational formats not matching how students prefer to consume, share, and interact while learning. Our mission is to advance knowledge by providing access to high quality educational content fast.
Spiffy: Life is certainly fast paced. What motivated you to hone in on this issue?
Allison: I was working in learning for many years and noticed that much of what was published was in formats that were outdated—like really boring presentations, webinars, and online videos that very few were watching. I felt the world needed a new content format that was easy to create, share, and consume.
Spiffy: I agree! Can you talk about how giide is working to make the world a more equitable place?
Allison: Having access to learning content that matches how we're moving through our lives is paramount. So much of education was about location and showing up in a classroom. Today we are mobile, on the go, remote, and distributed so we need new ways to create and consume content that advances our knowledge and connections around the globe. Giide solves for this. We offer giide to teachers for free—for life.
Spiffy: Oh wow, that’s amazing! Did you hear that teachers? Have you reached any milestones lately that you’re excited about?
Allison: Much of what we do is open the platform up to those who want to share knowledge, ideas, or concepts to a larger audience. For us, opening up the platform to anyone who wants to make interactive audio for free in minutes was a major milestone for the company. Now you can visit giide.com, sign up, and start making and sharing audio giides for educational content in minutes.
Spiffy: I am always curious to learn how entrepreneurs deal with failure. What about you? Can you share an experience when you faced failure and didn't give up? What did you learn?
Allison: Wow, Spiffy, there are so many examples to share here. Being an entrepreneur means that everyday you are close to failure. Risk taking, failure, trial and error, tests, mistakes, are all part of every day work. When we first launched giide we had to work hard to find the right creators and educators who wanted to use the platform. At first, we guessed wrong. What we needed to build was a way for individuals to use the platform to make content fast, without any involvement from us, so this was a change in direction. I am not sure if the initial launch was a mistake or a door we had to go through to get where we are today.
Spiffy: Before we sign off, is there anything else you would like to share with our audience—maybe something that has inspired you?
Allison: Well, Spiffy, my sister is an artist. One recent afternoon she was visiting us and I noticed she was laying down on my daughter's trampoline just staring at the sky. Looking up. Just watching. Doing nothing else. At first, I wondered how she had time to do that. But then I realized, how does she not do that? It was so inspiring. Slow down. Take in the moment. Just stopping from pushing so hard for a few minutes can make all the difference. I didn't join her on the trampoline that day, but now I will weave in moments of being still. I bet it will make all the difference.
Spiffy: And it sounds like giide will help open up opportunities for those kinds of moments. Thanks so much for sitting down and talking with me, Allison. It’s been an honor!
Allison Kent-Smith is the CEO and co-founder of Giide, a new audio platform that combines audio with interactive content to elevate learning for anything and everyone. She spent 20 years in the media and marketing industry helping companies evolve skills and capabilities to meet the demands of 21c work. She holds a MA in integrated marketing and a BA in communications. (Nominated by Pathway Ventures. First published on the Ladderworks website on November 2, 2021.)
© 2021 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Jill Landis Jha. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. Follow Spiffy’s interviews of founders building a more equitable world here.