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Ryan Carson is a leader and champion of self-directed learning. He inspires others to take the helm of their education online through his platform, Treehouse, which has made it possible for over 140,000 people to go from zero experience to job-ready in a matter of months. Join us as we chat with a man who is tackling one of the world's largest issues in his ultimate pursuit of equal opportunity.
Visionary. Impactful. Leader.
B I G F I S H P R E S E N T A T I O N S . C O M
Tackling Hard issues
with Ryan Carson
Ryan Carson is the CEO & Founder of Treehouse, a
140,000 student, online technology school that takes
people from zero experience to job-ready in as little as six
months. He is driven not only to succeed, but to help
everyone around him succeed as well. With his
tremendously effective work/life balance, Ryan steers the
company ship and still makes family time a high priority.
He is a leader and a champion of self-directed learning,
inspiring others to take the helm of their own education.
I’m lucky to be alive in the right time…
My work Is the mission of my life. All
of my needs in life have been met, so
now I strive to solve bigger problems.
The world’s greatest presenters and where they stand,
on and off the stage.
the attitude of a person or organization toward something; a
Is there something that
drives you that others would
be surprised to hear?
There’s a company that tried to buy Treehouse.
We talked to them and decided it wasn’t the right
strategic decision at the time, so I told the CEO
we would be passing on the deal. He then flipped
the switch and said “We’re gonna crush you.” I
wished him the best but interesting enough,
that’s when i started waking up at 4:30. It drove
me and made me want to prove him wrong. It
was very primitive competition, but it pushed me
I think the one thing i don’t like
admitting is Fear of failure. Fear
of not doing something that's big.
What’s the biggest risk you’ve
taken and did it pay off?
What did you learn from it?
“My Biggest risk was
saying no to
I would have been rich forever, and the
company would have been taken care of.
In turn, I learned how to sell. I didn’t
think I could sell things, but by saying
no, I had to ﬁgure it out. I learned that I
actually love sales because I genuinely
love people, and I’m selling something I
At Treehouse, you’re answering one of
the toughest questions on our education
systems. What was your process in
choosing to solve this problem?
I don't think I’m going to change the
world’s mind on the power of a college
degree, but i im going to keep trying.
In the meantime, we can create talent by funding
education. I got my computer science degree and then
got my first job. After doing so, I realized I didn’t even
need the degree.
We need trades people, and I don’t like the narrative of
trade jobs being lesser. Trade jobs are necessary in this
world. The employer should be the one who funds the
education when they need the talent. Consumers
shouldn’t have to be the buyers of education.
What’s a belief that
others would challenge
When Thomas Jefferson said all men are created
equal, he did not mean black men, native americans,
This country is founded on slavery. Us white folks,
especially white men haven’t had to accept that. It’s
kind of like the matrix. Now that I know the matrix
exists; it’s like I took the red pill, and I can see what’s
really going on in the world, and I can’t sit still
because of that.
It makes me insanely passionate about creating a new
path because I know otherwise there is not going to be
How do you think others
I’m tremendously optimistic yet aggressive
when ﬁguring things out and executing. It’s
almost like a destructive kind of creativity. I
have a very “Let’s just go.” attitude. It’s kind of a
powerfully positive yet creatively destructive
1. Summarize your personal career.
2. summarize your personal life.
3. ComBine The two to summarize your life
as a whole.
Professional career - “It’s all about helping
people. I’m not a profit driven entrepreneur
at all. It’s all about solving a problem and I’m
passionate about solving that problem.”
Personal life - “I don’t have a separation of
my personal life and my work. It’s all the
Combination - “I’m lucky to be alive in the
right time… My work is the mission of my
life. All of my needs in life have been met, so
now I can strive to solve bigger problems.”
Everyone Stands for
something; What do you
social justice. People need equity, and The world isn’t
working right. Since I’m so lucky, it's my duty to help people
that were not lucky.
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