I’ve been working with Linux Academy for about a year now, which means this is my second Black Friday promotion. I can tell you that pulling one of these off is a heavy lift on almost the entire organization. So I’ve asked myself, and our leadership team why we put ourselves through that pain? Yes, our learners are conditioned to expect the promotion. But still, it’s a huge disruption. So, why Black Friday?
Making continuous cloud training affordable
The simple answer is that we really care about making continuous education and self-improvement affordable. Of course, the business side is real — we’ll add many thousands of learners during the promotion. And for that we’re grateful. But honestly, we’ll likely do that regardless, just at the $449 regular price instead of the $299 per year special price. The fact of the matter is that an unlimited year of Linux Academy hands-on learning for either price is a pretty good deal.
If it was all about “business” we could add two users instead of three and make the same revenue. But here’s the kicker. As a culture, we truly do care that $299 is much more affordable to many more people than $449. We deeply believe that modern technology training is a massive personal value driver to raise people up beyond where they are today. We care about that. And we care about democratizing technology as widely as possible.
Our history includes a pricing change that narrowed who could afford our training. That change was brought about because of real costs associated with delivering the best characteristics of instructor-led training, in an online, self-paced solution. Turns out Hands-On Labs are awesome, but they’re also not cheap to deliver instantly to hundreds of thousands of learners. So the price needed to go up. And it did, a couple of years ago now. That’s also why Hands-On Labs are not part of our free, Community Edition.
So that leaves us with very real, tangible reasons to offer Black Friday (and maybe one other promotion each year). (We did far fewer promotions in 2019 and will likely do fewer still in 2020.) But for right now, Black Friday | Cyber Monday is ON! And it’s a great way to get a full year of hands-on learning for our absolute, lowest price. We hope that many of you who can’t make $449 work see $299 as your ticket to continuous self-improvement and new opportunities in 2020.
But why no Black Friday for Business?
Linux Academy for Business has a very different feature set and cost structure than our personal edition. It makes far less sense for us to offer that level of sophistication and scalability for $299 per year. But probably the clearest reason Black Friday does not apply to our business customers is that Linux Academy for Business is regularly priced the same as the personal edition. One way to think about it is that it’s always on sale — always priced as aggressively as possible.
Yes, you can upgrade, not cancel and resubscribe…
And a couple of things to keep in mind for those of you upgrading from free to all-access or converting your monthly subscription to annual to the Black Friday special. First, you don’t need to cancel your current subscription to get the Black Friday deal. And once you subscribe at a lower price, you keep that price for as long as you continue to renew (without canceling). This is our grandfathering pricing commitment to you.
One parting thought on the future
I’m sure all of you want Linux Academy to continue to invest in the tools and content that will help keep you and the companies you work for ahead of the cloud curve. In order to do that, we must sustain our business with pricing that makes sense. Black Friday is part of that well-considered strategy. We will continue to push the boundaries of online training with the features and content you need to be successful. Thank you for being part of the Linux Academy family. And welcome to Black Friday 2019!