Tom Willis in conversation with Pierre Dubuc
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Listen to Pierre Dubuc, Co-founder & CEO of InClassrooms on the Culture Eats Everything Podcast in conversation with Kevin Davis.
In this episode, Pierre Dubuc, the Co-founder and CEO of InClassrooms, discusses his journey of building a mission-driven company that aims to make education accessible and lead to jobs. Pierre talks about how he and his friend started building online courses at the age of 11 and 13, which eventually turned into a business. He also talks about the company's mission to make education more accessible and how they are achieving this goal. Viewers will gain insights into Pierre's story and learn about the company's mission and values.
Read more about Pierre Dubuc:
Pierre is cofounder and CEO of OpenClassrooms, founded with Mathieu Nebra in 2013, after 10+ years of making education accessible as a hobby. OpenClassrooms aims to make education accessible. We created an online education platform for tomorrow's skills and jobs, to train and place students in the workforce, and provide job-ready talent to employers.
We provide fully-online state-endorsed bachelor's and master's degrees with individual mentorship and a job guarantee. Today, OpenClassrooms trains 300,000+ students per month in 100+ countries.
Checkout our book - https://www.phoenixperform.com/book
Know more about Tom - https://www.linkedin.com/in/thomasawillis/
All right, everyone, welcome to another episode where we have a CEO joining us to discuss life, culture, and leadership. I'm thrilled to introduce our guest today, a Frenchman whose name I fear mispronouncing and unintentionally disrespecting his culture and language. Please welcome Pierre Dubach! Thank you, Kevin. Well, thank you, Pierre. I'll do my best. Pierre, why don't you tell us a bit about yourself, your company, where you're currently living, and give us the highlights.
Thank you for having me. I'm Pierre, the co-founder and CEO of InClassrooms. We started this business in France about 10 years ago, and a few years ago, I moved to the United States and expanded the company here. InClassrooms is a mission-driven company that focuses on making education accessible, particularly education that leads to job opportunities. We specialize in higher education, careers, and the job market, including recruitment and apprenticeships. Our journey began when I and my friend, at a very young age of 11 and 13, built online courses on coding and web development. We continued this work throughout middle school, high school, and college, and our platform became a reference for coding education in French-speaking countries. It eventually grew into the company InClassrooms, which we established 10 years ago.
That's amazing, Pierre. Your story is so fascinating. I had no idea you started at such a young age. It's incredible how careers evolve in ways we can't anticipate. For most people, what they study in college differs from what they end up doing later in life. But for you, at 11, it was impossible to predict where this journey would take you. What has surprised you the most along the way?
You're absolutely right. When we were 11, we were simply focused on creating personal websites and a few courses. Having a few dozen or hundreds of visitors was already a significant achievement. But in just a couple of years, we were receiving tens of thousands of visitors per month, and our platform became a notable presence in the industry. I remember when I was 17, we started incurring hosting fees amounting to thousands of dollars per month. At such a young age, we had to figure out business models like banner ads to cover the costs. It was then that we realized we needed to turn it into a business and create a company. We had no idea how to write a business plan, so we turned to Google for guidance. At that time, reaching $100,000 in revenue seemed like the pinnacle of success, a sum that would allow us to stop and enjoy life for many years. Surprisingly, we achieved that milestone in just two years and quickly realized that it was merely the beginning. We had so much to learn, and one thing that consistently surprised me was the limitations of our own perspective. We could only see what was within our immediate surroundings, and it was challenging to imagine what lay beyond that without prior exposure. As we grew as leaders and entrepreneurs, gaining access to the next stages of companies, leaders, clients, and employees, we discovered that there was always more to be done. Overcoming the mental roadblocks and limitations was both inspiring and eye-opening, and we realized that we could surpass what we thought was possible.
That's huge, Pierre. The example you gave about the $100,000 revenue milestone really puts things into perspective. We often underestimate the potential impact and growth our businesses can achieve. Our own limited vision can hinder us, but it's essential to recognize that our potential is only limited by ourselves. Now, could you share a bit about how you have managed to stay the CEO of the company since its inception, considering you co-founded it with someone else?