Engagement trumps revenue

It's been 17 months since Instagram was purchased by Facebook for just under a $1B USD. And about 18 months prior to the purchase, Instagram didn't even exist. While the timeline from launch to acquisition is spectacular, what's equally phenomenal is that Facebook acquired a company with zero revenue. Sure,…

Has Twitter replaced IM?

That very question occurred to me today as I was DM'ing (direct messaging) a friend via Twitter. Before sending the DM, my first thought was to SMS him on my phone, or send him an email...but at the moment, sending a Twitter DM felt more efficient. I have to…

More on Economic Development: Recruiting

One aspect of a city's economic development strategy is local employment. In particular, local employers must be able to grow their employee base as business success necessitates. In the technology industry, a significant segment of the employee base has a professional background, and specifically technical expertise. Thus, finding the employee…

Communities and Economic Development

Intrinsically I think we understand the value a community can bring to its own members. Can certain communities also create value to the greater region in which they reside? Here in Austin, Texas, the Door64 community creates value for its members. However, while growing this community, I realized it also…

What's so difficult about building an online community?

Imagine you are in the market for a new car. Under normal circumstances, you arrive at the dealership, and browse a few models until you settle on the one with all the features you desire. You negotiate with the salesman, end up buying it, and drive off the lot. All…

Community Value: Perceived Value

Why does someone decide to join a community? I tackled this question in part via my previous post about the threshold of participation. Recall my statement that a community's perceived value to an individual must be greater than the obstacles that deter that person from joining: Perceived Value > Threshold of…

Community Value: The Threshold of Participation

Why does someone decide to join a community? This is the underlying question that has to be answered by anyone responsible for community growth. Now from this point forward, when I say growth, I mean increasing the community membership with the right people who should be there...versus mindlessly inflating…

On Leadership, Leverage, and Trust

I hesitate whenever I hear the word leverage in the same sentence as community. It just doesn't sound right, in the same way the phrase, "using a friend" doesn't feel right. However, truth be told, communities are meant to be leveraged. A community that is addressing a problem is collectively…

The Nozzle

As I speak with individuals about the goals for their community, inevitably I aim to understand what primary problem he/she is attempting to solve, and for whom. If the responses become too generic, I tell them about my lesson learned from a garden hose. The nozzle of most all…

Sustaining Momentum

In my previous blog I discussed the flywheel and initiating community momentum. But what happens when the community gains some momentum? How do you sustain it? From the very beginning of Door64, I was passionate about solving this problem: hosting a community calendar for Austin-area technology events because I was…