Exploring the challenges of sustainable startup community building

While I greatly miss having Joe Maruschak as an example of how and why to work on startup communities — like he had in Eugene, Oregon, for so long, I’m incredibly happy to see him gaining the perspective and distance to be able to analyze and inform other community stewards who are still struggling to do the work and realize the opportunities.

Joe’s latest treatise is on the challenge of startup community building. And the primary insight? We’re measuring the wrong things. Especially if we’re hoping to architect a role that ensures long term sustainability of those communities.

I have failed in both not realizing the necessity of bringing people along — and of taking the time to clearly articulate the behavior of the new systems. I failed to appreciate that the deliberate, reasoned, and measured approach toward measured inputs/outputs is the metric by which the organizations that govern us are run. To them, I must have looked like a lunatic looking for oil, my focus on connecting everyone and anyone to try to locate a ‘gusher’ seemed foolhardy and random… except it is not. The relentless connecting and community gardening- the planting seeds of trust — if you go long on relationships, the future has a way of creating the situation where the magic happens when the right people connect in the right place at the right time in history.

For more, read “The Challenge of Startup Community Building.”