Startup Communities

How to build communities of entrepreneurs

#3 Product of the DayJuly 24, 2015
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@bfeld getting my question in early for one of my favourite startup books :) If you wrote this book again, would your 4 steps be the same given the increasing presence of communication tools like Slack? I think the steps would be the same but in each their may be more variation of how to execute them...
@bentossell Slack and other real-time comm tools are sort of helpful, but not critical. Often, technology slows things down if forced on folks, because a lot of people in the Startup Community simply won't engage consistently with it. I've seen 1,567 different efforts to create "Social Networks for a Startup Community" and most of them stale out after a brief burst of usage. So - I don't think it really changes any of the fundamentals - it's just an augmentation and potential leverage. And, don't forget, Slack - while great within a domain ( is still pretty weak across domains. It's getting better, but as someone who is in about a dozen Slack teams, it's not awesome yet since it can't consolidate activity. And, email continues to be a very effective least common denominator across diverse communities.
For companies that are building online startup communities (ahem...) how does your advice differ from building off-line, in-person communities? What are the differences and overlaps?
@eriktorenberg I think the principles are the same. The tactics are different since it's hard to smell and touch people online, so you have to get the nuance of personality a different way. But having synchronous activities (AMAs, Group Hangouts) in addition to the asynchronous activity that pervades online communities is key.
I actually just interviewed Brad on The Twenty Minute VC but I did not get the chance to ask him: What would he advise a non technical person wanting to get into the startup world?
@harrystebbings Harry - that was a fun interview - I'm looking forward to listening to it. I just listened to Jonathan Triest's which was great. If anyone out there is interested, check out Re: advice to a non-tech person getting into the startup world, just start! Being technical is not a requirement as startups require a range of skills. Start showing up where other founders are hanging out. Go to a Startup Weekend. Participate in a Startup Week. Hunt down interesting meetups. Become part of the community by doing stuff. Put energy into things without knowing what you are going to get back (#givefirst). Be USEFUL to others rather than just ask them to be useful to you. Magic will happen surprisingly fast.
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@bfeld what is the most important step a new VC (I'm a partner) can take to help a new/young startup community (In Iran) flourish and succeed?
@mossibat Engage actively as a participant in the startup community. Don't try to control or lead. Instead, choose one thing (activity or event) to put on and lead, and then show up at a bunch of others as a participate. Be open to anyone - do things like open office hours or random days - and be accessible. Treat founders like peers - do NOT believe that you are "one up" on them since you have the capital and they want the capital. Be responsive and respectful. And, when things don't work, try again.
Super excited to welcome Brad for an AMA on 7/24 at 1130 AM PST! Ask questions in advance :) BIO: Brad is a VC at Foundry Group and co-founder of Techstars. He lives in Boulder, Colorado, invests in software and Internet companies around the US, runs marathons, and loves to read.
@eriktorenberg That's me!