Monthly enlists experts and celebrities to teach 30-day online classes

You may know Max Deutsch from Month to Master, his year-long self-improvement program where he tried to master one “expert-level” skill each month — such as solving a Rubik’s Cube in 20 seconds, holding a 30-minute conversation in a foreign language and even challenging world champion Magnus Carlsen to a game of chess (Deustch lost).

Now, Deustch and his co-founder Valentin Perez are launching Monthly, which Deustch told me is designed to “leverage technology to help scale this kind of learning to many more people.”

Specifically, Monthly offers 30-day classes taught by experts and celebrities — the instructors often have hundreds of thousands or millions of YouTube subscribers. For example, Andrew Huang is teaching a class on music production, Daria Callie is teaching a class on realistic portrait painting and Stevie Mackey is teaching a class on singing.

When you enroll in a class, you’ll be assigned a different task every day; you might watch an instructional video one day, and then do something more hands-on the next. While the classes are online, you have to enroll and take the class at set periods of time — currently, Huang’s class is the only one open for enrollment.

Deutsch acknowledged that this can seem “a bit antithetical to the benefit of online learning (that you can do it whenever you want),” but he noted that often, ” ‘whenever you want’ ends up offering most people too much flexibility and becomes ‘maybe some other time.’ ”

So by having explicit start and stop days for a class, he said, “the commitment you’re making to yourself is more significant and as a result you’re much more likely to stick with it and follow through on your aspirations.”

You’ll also be placed in peer groups with 20 other students, with whom you share work and give and receive feedback. And at the end of it, Deutsch said you’ll have produced “something tangible that you’ve made that you’re proud of and that you can share with the world” — a voice recording, a film, a painting, etc.

Pricing will vary from $179 to $279, depending on the class. Deutsch didn’t provide specific numbers on how the money is shared with instructors, but he noted that the split varies depending on whether students signed up via Monthly or via an instructor promotion. And either way, he said, “creators are getting a very compelling split.”

As for funding, Monthly has raised an undisclosed amount from Ann Miura-Ko at Floodgate, Intuit founder Scott Cook (Deutsch worked as a product manager at Intuit) and OVO Fund’s Eric Chen.