Learning Through Dabbl Discovery with Ryan Palmbaum

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AVFL/TP Ryan Palmbaum

[00:00:00] Welcome to this special edition of Transformative Principle. This is a simulcast episode of my new podcast, A Vision for Learning on Transformative Principle, and I'm excited about this conversation because as you may or may not know, on a vision for learning, we talk about what the future of learning is going to look like, and we have a great opportunity to hear from Ryan Palm Baum.

Who is the founder and CEO of Dabble Discovery, which is an educational bite-sized video learning platform that's designed to help people discover and follow new interests and career paths through short videos. Create exclusively by experienced experts and educators in a wide variety of industries.

Before he entered the EdTech space, Ryan was a world traveled, ex-co collegiate, and professional soccer player. Having lived in 10 over 10 countries, across three different continents, all before he turned 20. Now there's more to [00:01:00] him than this, and so we are excited to get into our conversation with Ryan.

Ryan, welcome to the show. Appreciate you being here. I.

Thank you so much for having me on.

Yeah, my pleasure. So what is most valuable to you from our conversation today? Why should people listen to this?

I think you and I both have pretty unique insights on the educational community, but I think one thing that's super important is to, I. Understand that it's not always about becoming a specialist in one specific area. I mean, it's, it's important to figure out what you really love and what you're passionate about and follow that. But the kind of spreading your wings and becoming a jack of all trades is important as well, because you never know when the dots are gonna connect, and you never know what industries are going to provide value in your. Current industry. So I think that's, that's a big piece in in our conversation and I hope everyone enjoys

[00:02:00] Absolutely. And I, I, I like where we got to where we talked about how. Your learning is your own responsibility and whatever tools you can take to take advantage of that, I think is incredibly valuable and worthwhile. So this is a great conversation with Ryan. We will get to that conversation here in just a moment. (ad here) All right. So Ryan, let's just start by talking a little bit about your background. 'cause it's pretty fascinating. You've, you've been all over the world as a soccer player and lived in a bunch of different places. Tell us a little bit about that experience and, and what your learning life was like.

As a young man who, who went overseas to play soccer before he even before he even graduated from high school yet.

Yeah. So I grew up and I was, I was born and bred as a professional soccer player. I, when I was 10 years old, I moved to Argentina. Lived there for about three years. Uh, when I was 16, I moved [00:03:00] overseas to, to Greece. Played over there for a year, then Spain for two years. I learned a lot of, of pretty invaluable I guess techniques and, and cultures and everything about the world and, and about people.

I learned new languages and it really set me up well for from my life. And I'm able to connect with a lot of people from a lot of different backgrounds now. Not just who speak different languages, but just. All different you know, demographics and, and lifestyles. So yeah, I mean, it was, it was a really great experience and obviously being able to do it before I was even, you know, before I could even drink legally in the United States, I it, it was really beneficial for, for my development and, and to get where I, I am today.

Yeah. Yeah. That's super fascinating. So tell us about what Dabble is and, and why you created this platform. Because that's really what it is. [00:04:00] It's a different type of social network. So tell us what it is and, and why you made it.

Yeah. So I, I created this, this educational short form micro learning video app. Where only the top educational educators and experts in the world can create content. So really it's kind of like the love child between Masterclass and TikTok. It's concise, it's trusted. And I, I think it's a really great place for interest discovery.

So I. I have been a lifelong learner forever obviously being overseas and learning about the different cultures, different languages, but I wasn't just a soccer player in those times. I decided I wanted to. Be a commissioned painter, a graphic designer, a video game programmer. I, I just learn.

I love to learn. And for me that was really beneficial to kind of become a jack of all trades in my life because I was able to connect a lot of different industries. But. You know what I saw when I, when I went to college [00:05:00] towards the end of, of college, I saw a lot of my friends and, and people my age and myself included falling into this sort of brain rott rut from, from these other social medias like TikTok and Instagram. Where, you know, there's a lot of, it's, it's sort of dominated by misinformation and dangerous content coming from people that may not actually know what they're talking about. It's hard to verify. So I decided I wanted to build something to fix that and so I created dabble discovery. Yeah.

Yeah. So how do you, so there are two parts of this. Number one is micro learning, which I've talked to several people on the show that I should probably introduce you to as well, who, who are in the micro learning space where you don't have to. In education, we think, oh, I wanna learn marketing. I need to go take a marketing class.

And then in the business world, it's like, I want to learn marketing. I need to go find [00:06:00] a coach and, and learn from them or do a bunch of Google searches or whatever. And what you're creating is a place for people to learn in small chunks very similar to what Drip seven is doing. More, they're doing it on the enterprise scale.

You're doing it on the social network scale. And I think that's a really fascinating perspective because learning is incredibly valuable and it's also incredibly personal.

And so being able to learn the things that I need to learn right now is essential. So how, how do you manage making sure that the people who are on there are experts and, and not just, you know, some random, random Joe off the street?

Yeah, so we have, we have a whole process for our vetting and, and recruitment of creators and you know, we go through their credentials. We go through their previous content. We fact check, we have actual in-person or over, over video call interviews with these people [00:07:00] so we can have sort of a character. Check and it's, it's a pretty thorough process to, to make sure these people are, are trusted. Of course there's some people that are, you know, very well known in the community for being purely educational that may not have to go through as much of a rigorous process, but, yeah. For, for the most part we, it's creator by creator, but we have a full on vetting process for all of that. And to kind of speak on your point about the learning being personal, I. What we have, I think is really interesting because it's, it's an organic adaptive learning algorithm in a way where the more you interact with certain subjects and certain topics, the more you'll see topics and videos that are related to those.

Those subjects. Right? So if you're interested in, if you don't know what you're interested in at all in, right, you go on the platform and you start to watch these videos and you see something about engineering that you enjoy and you [00:08:00] give it a like, or you watch it for the, the full. Length of the video, and then you swipe and you know, you see a, a marketing video.

You might not be interested in marketing. You might swipe, you might see robotics, and you might be interested in that. Again, it starts to learn with you and understand that there are these connections between these interests that you, that you're yourself and it'll start to show you more opportunities and more topics about those. Those industries, which I think is really amazing. I think that's, that's great for, for users and figuring out what their passions are. 'cause that's really, at the end of the day, you hear all these professionals talking about what, you know, what they would tell people to do. It's follow what you are passionate about.

So what we're trying to do is help people find that essentially,

Yeah, that's cool. Have you by chance read the book range by. David Epstein.

I haven't, no.

Okay. I'm currently reading that book right now, and I just, I think this would be a, [00:09:00] that would be a good book for you to, to read. It basically talks about how generalists are better positioned for the world, the way that our world works now than specialists are.

And so, you know, you're, you're a good example of that and how you described. Yourself already that you've been interested in a lot of different things and that has likely positioned you to, to be in a good position to run this company and and have had a lot of different experiences that make you uniquely positioned to, to be able to do this.

So, definitely a, a worthwhile thing to check out,

especially as it relates to this.

look for sure. Yeah,

Yeah. So with with

you, you were,

you said, you said generalists are better set up. I am a big proponent in, in actually specializing in something, but I do think that you can't only be focused on one thing. You can be a specialist that has information about all these other industries, right?

You can't, [00:10:00] like if you're, if you're a, like the best. Coder in the world and you code and code and code, but you can't communicate at all and you can't monetize, you're not gonna be able to be successful, right? Like there are special cases, but for the most part, it's difficult if you don't have multiple skills that kind of make you more well-rounded.

So really what we're trying to do is help people become more well-rounded and Steve Jobs said you never know when the dots are gonna connect. Um, because, you know, he took his, his calligraphy, he sat in on the calligraphy course and later on he added fonts on the Mac. So like, you'd never really know what's going to be beneficial in your life.

So, yeah, we're, we're really trying to help People're kind of piece stuff together throughout their lifetime.

Yeah. So how do you keep learning from being. Ized is the word I use for it or make, keep it from becoming boring or stale or lecture only. How do [00:11:00] you keep it interesting and how do you encourage your creators to keep it interesting?

Yeah, so a lot of the creators that we have are experienced in the content creation space, so they understand, you know, how to make their videos engaging. But on the platform side, we actually are incorporating gamification tactics, with different quizzes and, and different streaks and, and just like little mobile game-like techniques that make the, the education more engaging. So on that side, the platform side, it's, it's already turning into you know, a more engaging way to learn. But then our creators are amazing as well. I mean, they make, they make the content feel like you're just, you're. I mean, it, it's fun. It's fun to watch their videos. I, I love watching it. I, I use the platform daily and yeah, and I mean, it's, it's it's really on the creators.

They, they make the content as engaging as they want it to be. They make it as [00:12:00] educational as they want it to be. And then on our side, we gamify make it as, as fun of an experience for the user as possible, as well. (ad here)

Yeah, I appreci that. So, talk about your how you see platforms like, um, Instagram and TikTok and which are, you know, we're in the attention economy, so taking attention away from one of those things that our, I. You know, enjoyable. How do you, how do you see yourself different from them and overcoming the, the pull that they definitely have?

So I heard this thing the other day from Luis Von is the CEO of of Duolingo, and he said, he said, essentially, when you're creating an educational app, you are trying to make broccoli taste like cheesecake. You have these ins, you know, the Instagram, the TikTok that are really engaging, really fun. But then you have broccoli over here that, you know, you're probably, if you're sitting it straight [00:13:00] up next to a a cheesecake, you're probably not gonna want to eat it. But what we do in this kinda edutainment business is we try to make broccoli taste a lot better, right? So, you know, with these mobile game game-like techniques and these engaging formats that already is sort of pushing it in the right direction. I think a lot of the draw is that people waste a lot of time on these social medias and a lot of times they feel pretty bad about themselves after they, they waste that amount of time. Uh, so on our platform, you know. I would say if you lose 20% of the engagement, you gain that other 20% in that self-actualization.

Like you're actually doing something with your life and benefiting yourself. So at the end of the day, you're really back up to the same level of, productivity and, and in what you're doing with your time on, on social media.

[00:14:00] Yeah. Well, and like from my perspective as a parent, so my, one of my daughters is really into running and she said just yesterday, I want to get Instagram so that I can follow these runners and learn from them. And I'm like, I. Hey, are there any runners on dabble? Because if she wants to learn how to run and fuel her body, right, that would be, I'd much rather she go there because the goal is, is that, whereas that is not the goal, that's just something that happens on Instagram.

Right. And on TikTok.

Yeah. No, we're, I mean, we're a hundred percent trying to find people from all different industries, all different skills, pretty much anything to be able to better our users, right. So, I. Runners are welcome and, and fitness experts, and culinary experts and astrophysicists. We're really trying to get a whole culmination and, and community of all these great creators who are teaching people to do great things with their lives.

So, [00:15:00] definitely.

Yeah. Yeah. That's really powerful. All right. One other tool that I think is really cool that is similar but certainly not a competitor with you is read wise. Are you familiar with that tool?

I am not familiar with Read Wise.

Cool. This is awesome. So Read Wise is, is one of my favorite tools. What it does is it takes your highlights from books, articles, stories on the web tweets, stuff like that, and it will resurface them to you on a regular basis so that you can remember and review the information that you've saved.

And what, what is really cool about it is that it's taking a similar approach is that you don't learn. In a big course function,

you learn in little micro doses rather

repetition, right?

and, and so it's all text-based or it transcribes the videos and then you, you save those parts. But,

But it's a really powerful tool, one that I happily pay for and pay for [00:16:00] every year with glee because it is so good

at what it does.

So definitely, definitely in a, a similar vein like Duolingo, like that's for language. You are for video content, for learning things. Drip seven is for technology stuff and and Read Rise is for anything that you can read and then say for later. So

lots of really good stuff, and I've got links to all those in the show notes if anybody wants to, to check those out.

So the last question I wanted to ask you is when it comes to learning, what is your. Vision for what the future of learning looks like more long term than, you know, like, and you can bring in other ideas about education as a whole or whatever, but how do, what's your vision for the future of learning?

Yeah, I, I think that, institutional learning in the next however many years isn't going to change too, too much. I think colleges are gonna be around, universities are gonna be around. But I do think that there's [00:17:00] gonna be a big shift into these sort of specialized degrees or certificate, you know, certifications and, and things that, that are, I guess, less of a time commitment.

I think it's gonna be a lot quicker, and I think there's gonna be, there already are obviously those big companies that are creating courses and, and smaller like I said certifications. But I think the really important piece to remember is. To actually study what you are interested in.

Right. So a lot of people, the problem is that they go throughout their, their early life and they are only exposed to a handful of people and a handful of potential career paths. So you have your mom, your dad, your coach, your uh, teachers, and pretty much the people you see online, which are influencers, right? But. For the most part, you're not exposed to all the, all the different opportunities. So I think [00:18:00] what is, what is really important for the future of work and future of education is these younger people should be actually researching all the potential opportunities out there and then pursuing, you know, whether it's college, whether it's these certifications, whether it's trade school or whatever it is, whatever the best route for these different passions. R then you should definitely pursue that. Right. I, I think it's, it's super important to do all the research and get all the potential information that's available to you. So yeah, that's where, that's where I see I see the job satisfaction rate improving because of that, and I think that's super important.

Yeah. Well, and it, it highlights what I've said many times is that your education is your responsibility that nobody else cares about how you do with your education or [00:19:00] anything. They just, like, you're the only one who really cares about it, and you're the only one who really has control over it. To, in, in, in the grand scheme of things, like some people may, teachers, principals, whatever, may have some control, but in the end, you're the only one who controls how you show up, how you learn what you need to learn.

When you learn what you need to learn, what your effort looks like going into that. And all, all the best teachers in the world can't force someone. To learn a certain thing and all the structures and things in place can't stop someone who really wants to learn from learning

because it really is up to each individual person.

Ryan, this has been awesome. Once again, check out dabble discovery, dabble discovery.co, and there's links to that in the show notes as well. Thanks for being part of the podcast today. I appreciate it.

course, really appreciate you having me on.


Learning Through Dabbl Discovery with Ryan Palmbaum