The story of Float
Created
Apr 15, 2021 03:47 PM
Tags
notion image
 
My family has a rich history in education.
 
My grandpa was an elementary school principal.
 
My grandma was a teacher.
 
My aunt is a teacher.
 
My brother is a teacher.
 
I’ve always had a strong connection to learning, but I didn’t choose a career directly in the weeds of it all.
 
Float is my way of honoring a family legacy.
 
But let’s back up just a minute here.
 

Origins

 
Back in December, I was sifting through my phone and couldn’t help but notice:
I’ve taken ~30 online courses this year!
 
I had learned a ton, and in the back of my mind a seed was planted that I could make a course, too, if I wanted.
 
Over the next few weeks, I started getting all these ideas about long-form content I should make.
 
I set a crazy 2021 goal (that I now know was crazy) to always be building a course, no matter what.
 
I decided that my first one should be about landing pages.
 
So I whipped up “Build a High-Performance Landing Page” in a matter of days.
notion image
 
I was taking all my notes in Notion, and the whole course was organized in there as well.
 
So I decided to just use Super.so to make it a proper website and call it good!
 
Why copy and paste a whole course into another platform, ya know?
 
The course was good, but there were a couple of clear issues:
1. The content wasn’t gated (so anyone could access it)
2. There was no way for students to mark their progress in the course
3. I had to manually add “Next Module” tabs to every single page
 
It was a true case of identifying your own pain point, and crafting a solution for yourself.
 
I kept having thoughts like:
“Why can’t I just host the course in the same place I organize all my notes?”
“Why can’t I gate this content and get paid for my knowledge?”
“What if I didn’t have to format every single page by myself?”
 
Eventually, the big selling point hit me as I was looking around for a platform that would suit my needs.
 
I won’t mention any names here, but just go shopping around for a course creation platform.
 
Price tags start at $40 per month for basic features.
 
For small creators or those offering free courses, that price point is untenable.
 
The light bulb went off:
“If I could build this software on top of Notion, I could make course creation way cheaper for everyone. And I wouldn’t have to risk quality to do it.”
 
I started speaking with all the Notion experts I knew about the idea.
 
As I watched their jaws drop out of disbelief that this wasn’t already a thing, I knew I had to build it.
 
Momentum was palpable.
 
And then...

I sat on the idea for 3 months.

 
I couldn’t find a technical partner who could build it.
 
Then, I joined Copy.ai as CMO! I wanted to dedicate every waking minute to that. So I did.
 
As I got my bearings a bit more in the new job, the idea kept (pun very much intended) floating back up in my mind.
 
Luckily at this point, I had met Zack Lee, my co-founder.
 
Zack had previously built Potion Pages, a website builder for Notion.
 
Serendipity, right?
 
I sent Zack a Loom video of the concept, and he was instantly in.
 
And just like that, the idea came back off the shelf and started taking shape.

What's next?

 
We announced the waitlist to join on April 2.
 
Today, we are opening up registration with the ability to refer your friends to move up the list!
 
And in the next month or so, Float beta will be launched and ready to use.
 
Nothing would make me happier than to see creators make their first dollar online with Float.
 
Everyone has a course in them.
 
Everyone.
 
And now we have the tools to put that knowledge out into the world faster and cheaper than ever before.
 
I’m personally using Float to build the Twitter MBA, so you’ll be able to see it in action very soon.
 
That’s it for now!
 
Exciting things coming, and we can’t wait to go along for the ride with you.
 
Cheers,
Blake