Corporate learning might make a good context for developing the mnemonic medium

When someone joins a company, they’re usually eager to be productive as quickly as possible. But there’s usually a huge amount of basic knowledge that’s necessary before that can happen. New employees at Stripe, for instance, must rapidly learn a huge amount of jargon (internal to the company) and industry-specific details (narrow to the company’s business) to be effective. And if they’re developers they need to learn all kinds of details about the company’s internal infrastructure. This could make an interesting context for developing the Mnemonic medium: The mnemonic medium should be developed in a context where people really need fluency.

An alternate angle would be to focus not just on the narrow case of onboarding but on specific roles which have to internalize a large amount of information, potentially over time—e.g. sales reps learning a playbook.

One challenge here is that formal corporate learning systems are basically always soul-sucking monstrosities—just think “compliance training.” There’s even a whole awful enterprise “industry” around this stuff: Enterprise learning and development. This was what Hickory Training was chasing (unsuccessfully). And it’s what Sana Labs is chasing now. It seems to me that they’re making enormous sacrifices to the conceptual framework in order to appease their buyer (and, n.b., the buyer is not the user!)

The trick in this space would be to find a company which is big enough for this kind of intervention to seem compelling but small enough not to be awful. My instinct is to reframe the interaction so that it’s an employee-centric enabling tool, rather than an employer-mandated set of tasks. This would be an exercise in “disrupting” the L&D space by introducing a “grassroots”-level tool which employees view as genuinely useful and choose to adopt. That sounds… hard. This would involve solving the problems of: The early mnemonic medium offers readers little agency.