I wasn't surprised to hear that Udacity pivoted. I am one of those folks who signed up for the first artificial intelligence class taught by Professor Thrun. I didn't finish. But I knew as soon as I logged in what the fate of that course and offerings like it would be - not good. Why? Because there is no true innovation. A video is just a lecture. And I know from first-hand experience that Ivy league university professors are usually NOT good teachers. They are gifted intellects with impressive research backgrounds, but they often don't have the first clue how to formulate a lesson so that everyone in the room gets it.
Which brings me to the hubris of Silicon Valley technologists - of which I am one. To think we as technologists know how to educate is highly arrogant and frankly, plain ignorant.
But what's worse is that properly smacked in the face with this realization that we don't know what we're doing, what do we do? We create something for those who don't need it. We fail to help the people that could truly benefit from innovation.