I’ve always been a big fan of The Teaching Company and have enjoyed listening to many excellent college lecture series. I’ve also always been impressed by how they do such a good job of demonstrating a savvy business maxim of “selling by giving away”. This same maxim is the foundation of the tremendously successful shareware industry, for example, and even companies like Microsoft use this technique now, when they offer you the ability to download a fully functional 30-day trial of Microsoft Office 2004.
For Valentine’s Day, The Teaching Company is offering a free MP3 download entitled St. Valentine’s Day – A Medieval Origin by award-winning lecturer Dr. Philip Daileader of the College of William and Mary. It’s worth downloading and is engaging and intriguing listening, and an informative substitute to the dreck available through podcasts.
As you listen, think about how The Teaching Company is packaging and marketing their information product compared to, say, your local hometown newspaper. Even the description from their “our gift to you” email message is engaging and compelling:
Don’t take my word for it, though. visit their “landing-page” Web site, download the lecture and then visit The Teaching Company‘s Web site to see how a potentially dull and uninteresting product can be made compelling and engaging.
Oh, and don’t hesitate to browse… if you’re like me, you’ll doubtless find dozens of lecture series to drop into your wish list! In fact, since I know someone will ask, my favorite lectures from The Teaching Company are:
- The Theory of Evolution: A History of Controversy
- God and Mankind
- The Rise and Fall of Soviet Communism
- The History of Hitler’s Empire
- The History of the English Language
- Science Fiction: The Literature of the Technological Imagination
Highly, highly recommended both from a business/marketing standpoint and just as a wonderful venue for people smart enough to realize that to learn is to live life to its fullest.