WhyBiology? Wins 2019 Product of the Year

First of all….. Hell Yes! We did It!! (sounds of champagne popping…)

I will have the chance over the next few weeks to talk about the reasons why I built this product, the challenges, the innovative approach and where this goes from here. But what I really want to do in this post is to acknowledge the amazing group of people who made my dream of changing science education finally happen.

2019 McGraw-Hill Product of the Year

Before I get to the kudos, let me provide a little backstory first. The WhyBiology? Product represents an innovative, theme-based approach to teaching non-scientists about the relevancy of biology to their lives. I have worked on this project for almost a decade, and only in the past few years have I encountered a team of people who recognized the potential that we had to fundamentally change science education in this country.

I have had multiple opportunities to attend the McGraw-Hill National Sales Meeting over the years. In most cases I have been involved mostly with talking about digital platform changes, implementation of resources, textbook changes – you know – the fun stuff.

Then, what changed between this year and last?  This was a year where I noticed that a national publisher, operating in an environment that historically has been resistant to change, recognized that their future success was dependent on delivering truly innovative products that gave educators solutions to the challenges that they are facing in their classrooms. All of the nominees for Product of the Year shared that characteristic, and it was an honor to be included in that group.

The Team

It is much easier to say “We are innovators” than to actually be Innovative. That distinction is only possible if you have a team of skilled professionals who share a common goal and possess the skills and experience needed to make it happen.  Lucky for me, I have exactly that team.

Britney, Michelle, Eric, and Beth.  Thank you for listening, recognizing the potential of this project, and most importantly taking the chance to build a product that pushed the boundaries of innovation in so many ways. Your encouragement, and more importantly, constant patience, is inspirational.

You do not build a product like this without bending the rules, taking risks, discarding long-established production procedures, and brainstorming to find solutions. Anne, Kelly, Angie, David, and Lori – thank you for being the professionals that you are, your amazing ability to find solutions to issues. This project required a lot of time, and time is the most valuable resource to people who produce products, and I appreciate you keeping WhyBiology? in the forefront.

There are many others to thank, from the instructional designers to the sales team who got WhyBiology in front of the educators.  McGraw-Hill is a large company, and I will probably never know how many people had a role in the success of WhyBiology? So, please know that I sincerely appreciate all that you have done. Thank you!

Those of you who know me know that I have never been one to sit back and rest. So I will end here with a quote from Michael Andretti:

“If everything is under control, you just aren’t going fast enough”

So let’s push that right pedal down a little harder in 2020 and see where this ride takes us.