Textbook publishers are catching a lot of grief these day, some of it deserved. But I met with a Pearson exec this morning and continue to be impressed by the leadership of this company (with whom I have a business relationship).
Long before Obama landed on readiness, Pearson realigned the company around college/career readiness. They are spending tens of millions on personalized digital content even though some of their investments will clearly cannibalize print revenues. They fully understand the emerging power of the learning consumer and the informal learning space.
Compared to competitors that do education as a side business, Pearson is an education company that does media as a side business. I’ve watched them make bold investments in emerging markets that private equity investors have passed on because they don’t share the commitment to long term sector development. I’ve watched them make technology bets that venture investors have passed on because they simply don’t have the market knowledge that Pearson does. They launched a robust services group that will support dozens of school improvement projects in the coming year. They have quietly and effectively supported Common Core and interoperability standards and hundreds of nonprofits holding conferences. They have assembled a very impressive global management team that completely gets ‘The Innovator’s Dilemma’. They are a company to watch.