Teacher to Teacher content marketplace
Amazon Inspire is another product that came out of a Charrette I led in Amazon's Digital Products studio.
At the time, one of the teams I was leading was the Amazon K-12 education team. The goal of the design exercise was to generate a number of new product and service concepts relevant to the K-12 market based on Amazon's current product and service capabilities. We had a number of very exciting concepts, one of them was Inspire.
Amazon's efforts in K-12 have been spotty over the years. Like many corporations, it doesn't have a great sense of the challenges teachers and learners face in the classroom. Most "education" products are enterprise or consumer product with a "Education Edition" sticker slapped on it and a few token features.
In this case, Amazon was looking for a relevant fit for its Whispercast service, a content distribution framework that was originally designed for corporations that needed to deploy kindle content to a fleet of e-readers. It never really took off, and Amazon was trying for years to make the technology stick for school districts. Unfortunately, school districts don't manage content the way that consumers do. Books need to be recirculated yearly, that's not the way that DRM works.
We came up with Amazon Inspire, a marketplace for teachers who develop and share their own lesson plans to freely share them online (the original concept was to let them sell them like a marketplace). It shipped to beta last year. Maybe now they'll get to work on some of those other ideas...