How One Product Demo Changed a Career

This is the story of the demo that literally stopped me in my tracks.

Today with all the smart phones, laptops and computers in our lives, it’s hard to imagine a time before individuals had their own computers.

At an early age, I became fascinated with computers. The wave of personal home computers had arrived, and I learned about every computer model and chip that were available.

When our family got our first computer, I spent hours at the keyboard in front of an amber monitor. I started to learn how to program. It was fun and challenging to create something new that had never existed before! It took me a while to come to understand that creating new software products that add value was what I was born to do.

Throughout the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to build a career on riding big technology waves. It started with the personal computer revolution, then the Internet, data analytics, then mobile, followed by virtual reality, blockchain and now artificial intelligence (AI).

In 2016, After 20+ years of creating software at high tech companies (Nortel, Cognos, IBM and Kinaxis), I made a shift. I left the corporate world to pursue working at start-ups and projects I found interesting. For the past 5 years, I’ve created exciting technologies (in VR, blockchain and data analysis) and took part in entrepreneurial ventures. I was happy with what I was working on and wasn’t looking for a change – that is until Sarah showed me a demo of LEAI (LearnExperts Artificial Intelligence), the LearnExperts content creator platform that uses AI to speed up the time it takes to create a course.

In May 2021, Sarah Sedgman reached out to me for a virtual coffee and to catch up. Sarah and I worked together at 3 companies before, and we kept in touch. We would get together a few times a year to talk about the projects we were working on and bounce ideas around. I followed her and the work she was doing at LearnExperts with interest. I had also worked with Leah McGuire and Taunya MacDonald who had joined LearnExperts last year.

Sarah and Leah were deep into fundraising and offered to show me the LearnExperts pitch and product demo. The pitch highlighted the huge market opportunity. Customers were signing up as early adopters at a fast pace. This showed me that LearnExperts had found a product/market fit -- which is arguably one of the most important factor(s) for the success of an early-stage company. As we walked through the product demo, everything came into focus and I finally understood what Sarah was creating. The vision became clear, and I got really excited!

Better Outcomes with AI

Recently the wave of Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled products have brought new levels of business innovation. LearnExperts is doing this for the training industry and this is something I wanted to be a part of! My career has been built on riding technology waves such as Internet applications and mobile computing. These waves start small but become huge when everything clicks into place. With AI, all the technology stars are aligning: machine learning software libraries, cloud platforms, computing power, and purpose-built AI computer chips.

We are in the beginning stages of intelligent software. AI is not a product on its own, but it can be great at improving a product. The state of the art today is for AI to help people do their jobs better and faster.

The best AI products do heavy lifting and offer assistance while working alongside a human to improve outcomes. In other words, AI offers 'leverage'. The concept of leverage is a powerful one. A good AI can offer a real advantage by helping a person to multiply the quality and quantity of their work.

The Innovation at LearnExperts

Artificial Intelligence systems need to be trained to do what they do. At LearnExperts, the AI has been trained with many decades of hard-won human experience and bakes best practices into the workflow. The team also trains the product to become even more intelligent as more customers use the product. This is super-valuable and is why people are getting excited.

The innovation that I saw in that LearnExperts demo was that it solves real world problems that are experienced by course creators on a daily basis. LearnExperts’ LEAi content creator platform helps in two main ways:

  • Faster course creation

  • Learning content that adheres to best practices and learning theories

The LearnExperts Demo

What I saw in that demo really shifted my perspective. AI has been in products for years, but what I saw was next-level. The workflow has been inspired by the way that the best course creators work. The AI is integrated seamlessly into the workflow and is there to augment the person using it. It doesn't get in the way or interrupt the creative flow. It provides expert advice to make the work better based on years of baked-in human skill and experience. It also does heavy lifting by taking on the grunt work of mundane tasks that normally takes hours.

It takes a lot to impress me, and I was impressed. I wanted to be a part of it. It was the right opportunity at the right time and I’m happy to say that I joined the team!

It's great to be part of such a talented team and to work on a winning product.

If your company currently creates courses or training materials for your products or services, you may want to check out what we're doing at LearnExperts and ask for a product demo.

David Dewar

VP, Technology and User Experience