The New Learning Economy: It’s Time To Build in Education | Andreessen Horowitz



Jun 30, 20234 min read


The New Learning Economy: It’s Time To Build in Education | Andreessen Horowitz

Why People Become Restaurant Regulars… And How To Keep Them Coming Back

In today's rapidly changing world, both the education industry and the restaurant industry are facing unique challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted traditional systems and forced us to rethink how we approach learning and dining experiences. However, amidst these challenges, there are also opportunities for growth and innovation.

Education, a $1.8 trillion-dollar industry in the U.S., has been hit hard by the pandemic. Nine-year-olds' math and reading levels have dropped significantly, and teacher vacancies are reaching crisis levels. Schools are grappling with the need to fill these gaps, resorting to bringing back retirees and loosening teaching requirements. However, the pandemic has also created an unparalleled economic opportunity for early-stage companies in education.

The U.S. government's Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds (ESSER funds) have allocated approximately $190 billion to schools across three packages. This influx of funds provides startups in the education sector with a chance to reach an eager customer base. The government's focus on academic support through ESSER III presents a significant opportunity for startups in this space.

Furthermore, the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of technology in classrooms. Technology, which has traditionally lagged in education, is now being embraced at a faster pace. This trend is likely to continue as we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of learning. Lifelong learning has become a necessity in the workplace, as we must constantly adapt to new tools and technologies.

Moreover, due to increasing teacher shortages, schools are turning to third-party solutions to outsource and supplement their resources. This opens up avenues for startups that can provide innovative and effective educational solutions. Additionally, surveys have shown that many college graduates feel ill-prepared for their first jobs, leading to a rise in supplemental learning outside of traditional university settings.

Similarly, the restaurant industry has faced its own set of challenges during the pandemic. However, understanding why people become restaurant regulars can provide valuable insights on how to keep them coming back. Building a loyal customer base is crucial for the success of any restaurant.

For many restaurant regulars, the answer lies in community, routine, and personalization. Establishing a sense of community within a restaurant creates a welcoming and familiar atmosphere. People want to feel like they belong and are part of the place they frequent. This sense of belonging encourages them to return regularly.

Additionally, routine plays a significant role in attracting and retaining restaurant regulars. People value consistency and predictability. Having their favorite spot, drink, or dish served exactly how they like it creates a sense of comfort and satisfaction. By ensuring that these routines are met, restaurants can keep their regulars coming back.

Personalization is another key factor in building customer loyalty. When waiters remember their customers and make them feel special, it enhances their dining experience. According to SevenRooms research, 51% of Americans say that being remembered by their waiter would make their experience more memorable. By personalizing the dining experience, restaurants can create a lasting impression on their customers.

In conclusion, both the education and restaurant industries are undergoing significant transformations due to the pandemic. However, these challenges also present opportunities for growth and innovation. Startups in the education sector can leverage the government's allocated funds to provide much-needed solutions for schools and learners. Meanwhile, restaurants can cultivate loyalty by fostering a sense of community, catering to routines, and personalizing the dining experience.

Actionable Advice:

1. For startups in the education sector, focus on developing innovative solutions that address the gaps in traditional learning systems and align with the changing needs of students and teachers.

2. Restaurants should prioritize creating a sense of community by organizing events or initiatives that bring customers together. This can foster a loyal customer base and encourage regular visits.

3. Embrace technology in both education and the restaurant industry. Explore ways to incorporate digital tools and platforms to enhance the learning experience and streamline restaurant operations.

By embracing change, leveraging opportunities, and prioritizing customer satisfaction, both the education and restaurant industries can thrive in the new normal.


  1. "The New Learning Economy: It’s Time To Build in Education | Andreessen Horowitz", (Glasp)
  2. "Why People Become Restaurant Regulars… And How To Keep Them Coming Back", (Glasp)

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