Dearest startup communities, You’re succeeding despite your best efforts to fail and burning out your biggest fans

There’s a great concept in the book Startup Communities about how folks have to have a long view on building communities. It’s work that takes decades. And that decade starts again every single day.

Well many startup community leaders and organizers — often individuals and founders who are passionate about building community more than the business models of getting paid for their economic development efforts — are nearing the actual end of that decade of work or well into their second decade. And, at the same time, collectively nearing the end of their proverbial ropes. Ropes to which they’ve been clinging as unpaid volunteers, for years.

Joe Maruschak shared some insights into his experience in a recent post about his leaving the startup community he helped create in Eugene, Oregon, because it is no longer financially possible for him to remain in that critical role. And that revelation has inspired other startup community builders to speak out in harmony.

Like Mitch Daugherty of Built Oregon, who has been an ardent supporter of the consumer products industry in Oregon. And a visionary champion of the potential the state holds in that regard. This morning, he unleashed a poignant, insightful, and all but depressing thread on Twitter about his experiences as a startup community builder. And it’s well worth the read.

[Full disclosure: I am the cofounder of Built Oregon. And I served on the OEN board while Mitch was chair.]

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