he Motley Fool adviser Brian Stoffel states that Rosetta Stone's failures are the result of poor management. That may be only 50% of the story. Rosetta Stone was developed by Allen Stolzfus who copied the system from a homeschooling program called The Learnables that has been selling to homeschoolers since 1986. The developers were professors at the University of Missouri-Kansas City who conducted years of research to perfect an immersion-based language learning system. Unfortunately Mr. Stolzfus copied their 1970 model which was altered in many ways after testing thousands of students. The current model of The Learnables, although a picture-immersion system, differs considerably from the model of Rosetta Stone. After Rosetta Stone was sold to venture investors, the Rosetta Stone model added features that are not consistent with linguistic research. The system as it now stands is inconsistent with linguistic and psycholinguistic findings, resulting in a course of study that will provide only limited learning of a foreign language. I will not go into the linguistic details here. Of paramount importance is that all five levels of Rosetta Stone covers less than the first semester of a college course and definitely does not prepare an individual to be conversant in a foreign language. Yes, some words and phrases can be learned, but these are minimal accomplishments for a program that promises you that you will speak a foreign language. Furthermore, Rosetta Stone's advertisement is deceiving. Originally they said the US Army uses the Rosetta Stone course of study, but in fact it was only made available to army personnel on the internet. It is not the course of study used by the army at the Defense Language Institute. None of the Motley Fool advisers has ever requested expert linguistic opinion regarding the Rosetta Stone course. Instead they looked at growth of revenue or their own experience with the course. Can you imagine recommending a drug company, a computer company, or a new DNA company without finding out the value of the potential product. Regarding Rosetta Stone's initial sales In America it is easy to account for their surge in revenue. We are a large country and there are always individuals who will try something new especially when the company advertises that it is "guaranteed." With regard to the foreign market for Rosetta Stone, they will sell some sets, but most Europeans and Asians who are learning English are far more advanced than the material provided by Rosetta Stone. Furthermore they usually buy English-learning products when recommended by their classes. This last point is especially true in China and Japan. Those individuals who need to learn moderately advanced English attend language institutes usually as a resident for two or more years. Finally, when the CEO of Rosetta Stone claims that language learning is a 89 billion industry, he must have known that the industry includes schools at all levels and specialized institutes. Rosetta Stone could never enter this market as language learning is part of the school and college curriculum or the required curriculum of statesmen and international business people. In summary, Rosetta Stone copied a program that was designed for homeschooling, altered it in a way that is contrary to linguistic theory, advertised it with statements that are not credible, and evaluated incorrectly its market potential. But we have not seen the last of Rosetta Stone. It will use its remaining dollars to attempt to recapture revenue, as a smaller, perhaps private company, that is, after the venture company and the insiders sell their stock.
How can you fabricate such a bulls**t story and pass it off as the truth? Rosetta Stone was NOT copied from the Learnables. I was there at the beginning with Allen, and I know that for an absolute fact! Given your propensity for lying, I must assume that the rest of your comments are equally misleading.