The Goldilocks Dilemma

Q: What happens when a company that customers thought was “Just Right” is acquired by another that many find to be “Too Big”?

A: Customers have less choice – and less service.

Project Education is an education tech company. We’ve been growing a lot lately, and there’s a secret to our success that’s not-so-secret: People. Living, breathing, human beings. Because even though we’re a tech company (and our technology is great), we’d be nowhere without the strong service and support our people provide every day.

Which leads to the “Goldilocks Dilemma” I mentioned above, because clearly, right now, Project Education is “Just Right” size-wise. At least our customers seem to think so. We have a plan for our growth and maintaining the relatability and connection we’ve been able to achieve for our customers is an essential component. There are few things more satisfying than teaming up with the educators to solve a problem, customizing a platform as only we know how, and then seeing it work, changing students’ lives in the process.

Recently, several of our competitors, SuccessEd, Ellevation, and Naviance, have been acquired by companies such as Frontline Education, PowerSchool, Curriculum Associates, etc – much larger companies operating in the same space. And while the announcements and press releases always say that things will continue (but “better!”) in these situations, that’s usually not the case. Big companies acquire smaller ones so they can absorb their customers, gobble up their technology (if they want it), and maybe retain some of their talent and certainly stifle their innovation.

But not their memories. Those get lost in acquisition. The Big New Company is never nostalgic for the relationships, the breakthroughs, the learning experiences, the partnerships. Costs are cut, and the customers are the ones left holding the bag, having signed on for something that’s just not there anymore. While that may be inevitable, it’s Just Wrong.