Murugan Pal of CK-12

By • Aug 5th, 2008
Category: Books and Authors, Business & Tech, Diaspora, Featured, Ideas, India, San Francisco/Silicon Valley, Video

Murugan PalCK-12 is a Silicon Valley non-profit organization co-founded by Murugan Pal and Neeru Khosla.

Take Wikipedia, iTunes, Netflix, MySpace and club it all together and target it to textbook manufacturing system and that is CK-12 for you.

CK-12 helps students and teacher create customized content in the form of flexbooks for free. This is a collaborative effort where you can rate, review and share information with others points out Murugan.

I met with Murugan a few weeks ago at their Palo Alto office to find out about this non-profit organization that runs more like a startup. This is a non-profit organization with a difference and it is the technology innovation behind CK-12 that excites and interests Murugan. What Murugan brings to the table are strong technical and entrepreneurial skills.

In Part-1 of the interview we find out how he got involved with CK-12 and how he has helped build the technology for the organization.

CK-12 plans to unveil its offering to the public in late August 2008.

Murugan has helped found SpikeSource, an open source startup and was a founding engineer at Asera. He worked with Vinod Khosla for 9 years and was an entrepreneur-in-residence at KleinerPerkins Caufied & Byers and Foundation Capital, 2 well-known VC firms.

He has engineering degrees from Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai, India and Arizona State University, USA.

You can also watch a video where Murugan explains what flexbooks is all about.

Photo credit: O’

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5 Responses »

  1. What a lovely interview! I loved Murugan’s passion for this field including the brilliant escalator example for explaining vector addition. Also, the idea of harvesting wikis is a very smart one – no point reinventing the wheel when Wikipedia, Open Courseware and now Knol have so much content that can be leveraged. I think CK-12 could certainly have a lot of value for India where the CBSE and ICSE texts are just about starting to come online.

    Looking forward to Part II of the interview….

  2. Welldone Murugan! You sure are to go great gun! Well,it is a good idea he is implementing in a world that is increasingly heading towards being more ‘inclusive’.While that the growth of internet has spawned several such online educational resources(like the OCW,the wikis,knol,cuil,etc.),it needed to reach the less privileged,impoverished and illiterate millions in some countries in Africa,Asia and South America.The scientific community is sure to find better and cheaper electronic gadgets to reach them (Nicholas Negroponte’s still-to-succeed ambitious project of providing a 100 dollar laptop is a pointer).However,still some more inventions are,as yet,prohibitively costly for the millions of masses of the world like,e.g.the Kindle.
    Here,still the Marconi invention comes to the rescue.Perhaps it is the oldest and the cheapest telecom product with the maximum reach to four corners of the world(for decades several programmes aired on radio have been educating the people from various walks of life and professions all over the world,while its younger sister,the television too has been doing its bit quite well too with many educative,infotainment programmes) Radio(especially, the ham radio) continues to play a very useful role in times of natural and manmade disasters like the tsunami,or terrorist activities.

  3. Thanks Amit for your feedback and great to hear that you enjoyed listening to the interview. Yes, his use of that escalator as an example was brilliant I thought.

    Part-2 will be up in a couple of days time.

    Surfersaint: Thanks for your observations and you make some great points.

    Thanks all for listening and for your continued support.


  4. [...] you missed, you might want to listen to the first part of the interview with Murugan [...]

  5. Nice blog design, just wondering where you got it, I’m jealous.

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