Gauthier Van Malderen is the founder and CEO of Perlego, a publishing company that offers an unlimited subscription service for students and professionals, providing access to over 220,000 ebooks and other digital publications.
How did your education and previous professional experience shape your current work at Perlego?
As a recent former student myself one of the biggest pain points I experienced at university was the expensive prices of textbooks. I was buying an accounting book worth over $200, reading only two chapters of the book and never using it again. I was using Spotify for music, Netflix for movies and thought surely something should exist for textbooks!
How do you hope your work at Perlego will change how learners approach information?
Our mission at Perlego is to build the world’s online learning library. Our aim is to allow everyone to find any non-fiction or academic ebook on Perlego, all for the price of a single book. We believe the breadth and depth of our content will allow users to experience incremental learning on a variety of subjects. For example, someone who is doing a major in accounting might also look at reading a selection of titles on PHP coding.
What broad trends do you think will have the most impact on learning in the years ahead?
We see a major trend in academic publishing from an ownership model to access models. I believe an aggregated subscription model fits in well to this trend. One of our goals with Perlego is to claw back lost revenue from piracy and the second-hand book market for our publishers. What's even more exciting is that by being only digital we can improve the gross profits of our publishers.
What, if any, are future plans for Perlego?
We are launching our mobile (iOS and Android) apps this month. Our next goal is to improve the searchability of our content and start adding new languages to our content selection.
Image: Courtesy Gauthier Van Malderen