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What I've Learned as a Serial (Community) Founder: The Community Life Cycle

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More on my site: http://whenihavetime.com/2015/01/27/what-ive-learned-as-a-serial-community-founder-the-community-life-cycle/

I focused on the various stages of community and how the leadership roles and individual member roles change and shift over time. As you'll see in the three examples I mention below, I have founded communities which still live today. They live without me, a founder, and they are successful and thriving, even. One of the most important lessons as a founder is preparing for and learning to let go as a natural part of your community's success.

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What I've Learned as a Serial (Community) Founder: The Community Life Cycle

  1. 1. T H E L I F E C Y C L E O F A C O M M U N I T Y S A R A R O S S O @ R O S S O W O R D C A M P PA R I S 2 0 1 5
  2. 2. W H Y M E ? W H Y C O M M U N I T Y ?
  3. 3. W H Y M E ? W H Y C O M M U N I T Y ?
  4. 4. W H Y M E ? W H Y C O M M U N I T Y ?
  5. 5. W H Y M E ? W H Y C O M M U N I T Y ?
  6. 6. A C O M M U N I T Y ’ S L I F E C Y C L E
  7. 7. I N C E P T I O N
  8. 8. • Information • Support • Recreation • Relationships I N C E P T I O N A N E E D
  9. 9. • Founders critical • Validation • Consensus • Division of roles I N C E P T I O N L E A D E R S H I P
  10. 10. • Few; founders • Tightly aligned • Not participatory • Foundation work I N C E P T I O N C O M M U N I T Y
  11. 11. G R O W T H
  12. 12. • Actively participating • Sharing & Reinforcing vision • New roles & ownership created • Empowerment at lower levels L E A D E R S H I P G R O W T H
  13. 13. • Interaction • Attract new members • Consumption of information • Members begin to create and contribute C O M M U N I T Y G R O W T H
  14. 14. M AT U R I T Y
  15. 15. M AT U R I T Y • Individuals’ impact lessened • Vision and mission sustain community • Macro-level activities • Continuity L E A D E R S H I P
  16. 16. M AT U R I T Y • Self-sustaining • Culture and identities, relationships • Subgroups and specific topics • Continual cycling of members C O M M U N I T Y
  17. 17. W H AT N E X T ?
  18. 18. M I T O S I S • Separation or division from original community • New leadership • New separate life cycle
  19. 19. D E AT H • Decline of engagement & membership • Needs of community met • Technology enables; doesn’t define • Leadership must empower community • Members ultimately decide fate
  20. 20. T H A N K Y O U ! S A R A R O S S O @ R O S S O Images by Sara Rosso & Death to the Stock Photo

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