Udacity and Georgia Tech cross the Rubicon

Udacity and Georgia Tech cross the Rubicon

Udacity and Georgia Tech cross the Rubicon, by Michael B. Horn and Gunnar Counselman on the blog for the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.


“There are a few moments in my life I will never forget. Like the moment I proposed to my wife, Petra. … Today is one of those moments.”

So wrote Udacity founder and CEO Sebastian Thrun upon announcing a new $6,600 master’s in computer science degree in partnership with Georgia Tech.

Georgia Tech’s dean of computing Zvi Galil expressed similar glee when he said in an interview, “You know there is a revolution going on, right?”

Hyperbole about disruptive innovation in higher education is rampant. Starting as a trickle of conversation a decade back and turning into a torrent today, innovation now dominates the ecosystem’s collective mindshare.

Any time something new emerges, we at the Christensen Institute are inevitably asked, “Is this disruptive?”

Sometimes the circumstances around the innovation are opaque, and we are forced to write nuanced opinions that caveat our answers with things like government funding, regulation, accreditation, and “we’ll see if they can establish an actual business model.”

But in this case, there is no need for qualification. The Rubicon has been crossed. 


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