Oh, how I love Reddit AMA (Ask-Me-Anything) posts. In almost all cases, the inherent down-to-earth nature of a community-driven interview leads the most interesting of people to open up in genuine, honest ways that they otherwise might not in a one-on-one interview. Plus, they’re almost always jammed with all sorts of interesting facts and stats.
Take this AMA with Khan Academy’s founder, Salman Khan, for example. Currently the top post on Reddit, Khan has spent the last two hours detailing everything from their recent growth and his workflow to the team’s plans for the future.
The Highlights So Far:
- Over the last month, Khan Academy saw 4 million unique users. That’s up from 1 million in the same period last year, and up from 3.5 million in October (asked by dbigthe)
- The Khan Academy team is currently made up of 22 people, and they’re hiring ~1 more per month. (asked by dbigthe)
- “I’d say that 90% [of the videos are shot] in 1 take. 99% are 2 takes.” (asked by johnsmcjohn)
- “I will definitely do much more advanced mathematics in the next year than what we have now.” (This resulted in Michael Nielson, leading quantum computing expert and author of the standard text on the subject, to offer his assistance right in the thread)
- On how long each video takes to make (asked by ctngu):
Depends on the video. If I do an example problem in, say, algebra, I don’t do any prep so it takes me about 10 minutes. If I am thinking about introducing a complex topic that I already know well, I think about it on my walk to work so it may be 30 mins -1 hour total. If it is a topic that I need to brush up on, it might be half a day. When I did organic chemistry, I spent 2 weeks immersing myself in the subject before making the first video.
- On the people he respects greatly (as asked by Puranto23):
Mark Twain. Muhammad Yunus. Bill Cosby. Richard Feynman. Bill Gates (regardless of how you feel about Microsoft, he has redefined philanthropy and is directly saving a ridiculous number of lives. He’s also amazingly smart and down to earth) .
- On why there are no foreign language courses on KA:
I can barely speak English :)
Seriously, we will try to eventually address this. Don’t know exactly how and there is a lot other stuff in the pipeline, but, i agree, it is important.
While these are some of my favorite bits, it’s just a tiny chunk of what Khan has covered. I’d highly recommend checking out the full AMA over here (especially if you’ve got a particularly pressing question — as of the time this post went live, Khan was still answering things.)