Elon Musk’s Synthesis School

Ismail Ali Manik
2 min readJan 9, 2021

Ana Lorena Fabrega has brief video on the Synthesis School and its concept.

Covid19 is bringing more innovation into the education sector — recently outlier.org and many others came into the market.

For Discussion: Are we trying to bombard kids with additional work beyond their age and with more pressure to perform better at school?


What Is MasterClass Actually Selling?

Rogier had an idea: What if anybody could learn from the best? “That would be kind of awesome,” he said. Especially if he could offer the class at a relatively low price. After two rounds of fundraising, getting the first instructors on board (Hoffman was the first to agree — Rogier was school friends with his daughter), filming some test classes, and hiring a small team, Rogier asked a friend, the entrepreneur Aaron Rasmussen, to join the company as co-founder and chief technology officer, which he did. (Rasmussen left the company in January 2017 and later founded the for-college-credit education platform Outlier.org.)

At first, Rogier said, many people told him his idea would never work. It was unclear whether people would pay to watch high-end tutorials when they could view lower-budget ones on YouTube for free. It was also unclear whether celebrity teachers could be recruited in meaningful numbers. The best in the world will never want to teach, people told him. They’re not going to be good at teaching. People aren’t going to want to learn from them. It’s going to be too expensive. People won’t pay for production — they won’t care if it’s higher production quality. Everything’s free on the web. Why are you trying to do everything from making the classes to putting the classes out? You should just take one small slice. One of the things Rogier is still often asked is whether he’s selling education or entertainment. The question annoys him. “Why can’t education also be entertaining?”

Rogier always knew that part of being an entrepreneur is believing in something that nobody else believes in, but still, he was scared. Within a few days of MasterClass’s launch in May 2015, however, the numbers told him he was onto something. Within four months, he had 30,000 students.



Ismail Ali Manik

Uni. of Adelaide & Columbia Uni NY alum; World Bank, PFM, Global Development, Public Policy, Education, Economics, book-reviews, MindMaps, @iamaniku