Episode Details S3 E3 Babbel’s Geoff Stead Talks To Us About What Hipster Tech Language Enthusiasm Can Give You

Helping us all learn a new language since its 2007 foundation, subscription-based language learning app and e-learning platform Babbel offers more than 10,000 hours of content in 14 languages, from Spanish to Indonesian. In this episode, we had the very welcome opportunity to sit down with the company’s Berlin-based Chief Product Officer, Geoff Stead — an internationally regarded thought leader on emerging technologies and how they can be used for learning, communication and collaboration. Geoff, a native of South Africa who originally trained as a Computer Scientist, told us why the unique cultural milieu of the Federal Republic’s capital suits him and Babbel’s specific internal culture, about a career that has included stints at mobile chip leader Qualcomm as well as English language certification leader Cambridge English. We then cover a set of topics ranging from:

  • his personal journey from South Africa to San Diego to Cambridge (England) and now, Germany
  • the central place of tech in everything Babbel does
  • and its mission: to help everyone fall in love with learning a language (again)
  • the profile of the kind of people Geoff wants to join his team (from data experts to behavioral scientists to instructional designers)
  • Why embracing ambiguity is a good way to avoid the dangers of generalizing about your customers
  • why nudging has to be different in different parts of the world to work
  • how the brain may not have changed… but maybe the way we use it has.


Geoff asked us to check out the main Babbel site, babbel.com, or follow him on Twitter here @geoffstead

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