I'm very interested in the idea that anyone can teach anyone else in the world anything they have knowledge of.
I know, Google Helpouts had this idea and failed, but honestly I dreamt of this concept 2 years ago! I want to create a platform where subject experts can sign up and charge time-based fees for online video instruction, complete with video, screenshare, and blackboard software. As mentioned, I know of 2 companies with almost same ideas that have launched and folded, Google Helpouts and Liveninja. Should I take this as an opportunity to enter the marketplace or as a lesson learnt of it not being a good idea?
I see other companies who take this concept and focus on niches, such as Clarity itself for business, codementor for coding and Doctors on demand for medical.
What challenges and possible solutions do you forecast with live web video instruction site that welcomes all subject matters? How about pairing the idea of setting up your publishing online learning materials ( like Udemy, Skillshare) with 1 on 1 video tutoring with instructor that students can additionally purchase?
An acquaintance of mine works full time doing 1-on-1 video instruction for a very small niche topic.
If an individual can succeed with that business model, even after reinventing every wheel, and do well enough to give up an engineer's salary, then surely a broader platform could succeed. Economies of scale should save individual instructors time, energy, and money as far as marketing and infrastructure are concerned.
Just depends on implementation ...
You mention a variety of different ideas here that although tie in to your main concept, are all over the place. I think that in order for you to understand wether it is feasible or not you will have to narrow down your concept. What I advise you to do is to write your concept down as if you are explaining it to a five year old. If you can do that then you know what you want and from there you can analyze wether it is feasible or not. But as you said if two major corporations have tried it and quit then there must be a reason for that (e.g: Too much capital required vs too little potential profit).
As a YouTube channel host, University Professor and Consultant, I applaud your enthusiasm and your caution. Good to have both at the onset!
The question that needs answering is : what subject(s) will people pay for?
Your competition is at a variety of levels : basic k-12 is covered by Khan Academy and the like. More advanced how to videos are available for free on YouTube. True - you are going for an interactive full service approach, but there are discussion boards to supplement that.
Thus, our niche platform is those subject areas or problems that must be tackled with a live guided and interactive instruction.
We can talk further about iteration, pedagogy or teaching best practices and creating an MVP for funding.
Happy to help you further, let's talk!