Community, no longer an afterthought
“You’re trying to mold the art of community into a profession.”
When we talk about community, we often hear this sentiment: that community is important, but it’s not a profession or function.
In one case, when describing the profession of “community”, a person laughed and said “that is not a profession”.
And for many people there is still this stereotype that community is a thing we do, but not a part of your business’s performance.
Those days are ending. Founders no longer ignore the importance of community in their companies.
Why? Because founders more and more are recognizing that the impact of their technology isn’t solely about the product itself, but the insights, conversations and creativity that the technology enables.
It is all about conversation
This past weekend, a founder shared a discovery with us:
“Yes, our technology identified a gap in the current process, but the real value was the conversation the stakeholders had about fixing that gap.”
As technology organizations, your products are catalysts for people to do their work in better and more creative ways.
By enabling diverse voices to come together to discuss insights from your products, organizations can respond, adapt, and see not just impact but longevity. Community is your greatest ally.
Providing the people who believe in your mission with a platform for insight on your product sets the stage for impact. And the impact goes far beyond a person or a group of people, eventually the impact can be on a whole industry.
Slowly and gradually your organization moves from a tool that people are using to the center of the industry, a place where people are able to share valuable insights from your product and growth together to push an industry forward.
And don’t just take my word for it. According to CMX’s industry report for 2022. That 89% of organizations agree that community is critical to their company’s mission.
Through Covid we have moved online and so did community.
This transition created tremendous opportunities for technology organizations. In an online format, community can live within your product or adjacent to and the ability to connect diverse voices from around the world significantly increased. It provided an opportunity to make technology organizations more relevant as it connected the industry in digital space.
Simply look at the tidal wave of community roles available today: Community Manager, Director of Community, Community Advocate, Senior Manager of Community, Community Engagement Manager, VP Community, Community Content Marketing Manager, Senior Community Program Manager, Head of Community, Web3 Community Manager, Community Lead, Manage of Platform and Community, Chief Community Officer. The list goes on and on.
And what brands are hiring these roles? Apple, Google, Atlassian, Instacart, Cisco, Salesforce OpenSea, Notion, HubSpot, Lego, Airbnb to name a few.
Communities alliance with your mission
Community: "a group of people who connect with one another to grow together and make their difference in the world."
This definition of community encompasses three core pillars: connection, growth and fulfillment.
What is the purpose of an organization? To provide a service or product that helps an individual or company reach a goal. Purpose-driven organizations know that the goal is part of something bigger than themselves, a difference they want to see in the world.
Ultimately, a startup is focused on helping clients not only grow, but make a difference in the world.
And what about community? Community provides a strategic advantage to this mission by amplifying insights and creativity through connection and conversation.
Technology + Connection -> Insights + Conversations -> Growth + Fulfillment