About Susan Agliata
Susan Agliata has over 15 years of experience working at the intersection of technology and media. Her various strategic roles in business development include serving as the Director of Business Development for Media Ecosystems Partnerships at Samsung. During this time, she grew Samsung’s CTV platform and mobile services into a multi-billion-dollar business.
Before this, she worked as the Vice President of Global Strategic Partnerships at Vice Media, the Head of YouTube Branded Content Solutions at Google and an Interactive Producer at The New York Times.
All of this experience prepared Susan for her next big opportunity as Vice President of Business Development at Skillshare.
Susan shares, “I am thrilled to finally be joining an organization on the creator economy side, which is back to my roots. I’m thinking deeply about how to leverage that community and leverage the platform to expand to even more channels and more places.”
What is Skillshare?
Skillshare is an online learning community offering thousands of online classes on a wide range of creative topics, including design, video, photography, content creation, crafts, illustration, freelancing, cooking, and more, to over 800,000 members. The company has been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and many other publications.
Skillshare members have unlimited access to all the classes on the platform and can watch lessons offline, interact with a community of curious learners, and learn from experts at the top of their field.
Skillshare teachers are everyday professionals and creatives interested in sharing their passion, experience, and skills they’ve learned in creative disciplines with a curious, engaged community of learners. Currently, Skillshare offers over 34,000 classes and boasts over 11,000 teachers. Some of Skillshare’s top industry experts include Emily Henderson, Thomas Frank, Aaron Draplin, Jeff Staple, and much more.
The opportunity to join Skillshare is an opportunity Susan is thrilled about.
She explains, “Skillshare is really about opportunity and professional opportunity and personal opportunity. Our teachers and, often, our members as well are effectively growing small businesses. Some of them are large established businesses, actually. For our teachers, what Skillshare has done is very similar to what I was able to experience at YouTube – to democratize the opportunity to monetize your expertise and experience. Monetize that talent and also build powerful brands.”
At the same time, Skillshare members can become personally fulfilled and achieve professional advancement by applying new skills to traditional careers or their own businesses.
Susan adds, “They [members] often are pivoting careers and learning new skills in order to pivot to the gig economy.”
The Future of Skillshare
Susan’s vision for the future of Skillshare is to develop the platform into an engine for personal and professional development.
She explains, “Our teacher community fuels this engine. These days, in this macroeconomic environment, inspiration and aspiration, I think, are more important than ever. My hope is that we’re able to bring this real-world impact to a larger audience and across more channels while at the same time providing more value for our members and for the teacher community.”
Skillshare has experienced a tremendous amount of growth over the last couple of years, which is, in part, supported by more people becoming interested in the gig economy.
Susan shares, “I think we really reached a tipping point many years ago, where for the first time, creators were able to actually make a living creating content or pivoting value in different ways… I think, most importantly, what we care about at Skillshare is providing our members and teachers the economic opportunity to have that real-world value so that they can leverage what they’re learning.”
For teachers, this leverage is the expertise they are bringing to the platform. In contrast, members benefit from the value they reap from the online classes and how they apply this learned knowledge to their personal and professional lives.
Extending Learning to Others
Susan notes, “What I’m really excited about is extending the platform. What I mean by extending is taking all of that magic that is Skillshare, which truly is our teacher community and our member engagement, and being able to bring that to a larger and in different places.”
Skillshare members are incredibly passionate about the courses they’re taking and the teachers, giving Skillshare a unique community.
“I think Skillshare is one of the most unique safe spaces in the world for engagement and learning, etc. What I’m focused on is taking that magic and bringing that magic to more people, in more places, in different forms, but also at the same time ensuring that we are building out on the platform with value mechanisms that make sense.”
Skillshare is a global platform, and Susan hopes to expand and provide the same value, features, functionality, experience, and engine for growth to members globally.
Susan says, “One of the unique things about Skillshare and really the reason I joined, having spent so many years at YouTube, is the real-world value. I know I’ve used that word a lot, but I truly do believe it, the value we’re able to give to our members, to our teachers. That value really matters I think, more than ever.”
She is especially excited about providing this real-world value to people like herself, who are not designers or creative entrepreneurs. Anyone can learn on the Skillshare platform, especially with its heavy focus on inspiring students, which is often just as critical as the learned knowledge gained from classes.
Amy DeYoung is a freelance blog post writer covering influencer marketing and business topics. As the daughter of two business owners, she's been fascinated by all things business from a young age, which led her to graduate from college with a bachelor's degree in business. When she's not typing away, she spends her time reading nonfiction books and mystery novels, baking scrumptious desserts, and playing with her dog.