Is Community Another GTM Strategy?
“What belongs to you today, belonged to someone else yesterday and will be someone else’s tomorrow.”
It was over a month ago Jared and I started contemplating community. With so many communities and everyone jumping on the community bandwagon, what is the true essence of community? Is it just another GTM strategy that is a vehicle for customer acquisition and retention, or is it more?
Well, to answer this question, we looked at the root of community. Not a community in its current avatar but anthropological communities.
Many anthropologists have conceptualized community and how we could identify one. There is widespread agreement that there are three phrases that can be used:
- shared interests between people
- common ecology
- common social structures
In essence, communities are generally a social practice that gives individuals a sense of belonging, of “having found our tribe”. How does this translate to the boom in online communities today? Especially in SaaS?
Jared and I believed we landed on a pretty good concept. And I set about detailing what it was.
I wrote and rewrote this article a few times. I scrapped it each time because I felt it was missing something. It was strategic and tactically tied to the right levers, but it missed something.
Today I realized what it was and was reminded of something I read a long time ago – “What’s good for society is good for you, and what’s not good for society will never be good for you”.
What does that have to do with the community? Before I answer, let’s take a look at what’s happening in society today.
There is widespread poverty, war, corruption, child abuse, discrimination, disinformation, climate change, homelessness, lack of affordable health care, and I can keep going on.
We have romanticized these issues.
- Poverty is romanticized. We often speak of brave individuals are how much grit they have to have “fought” poverty and achieved something.
- We talk about resilience when people battle inequality and “break that glass ceiling”.
- We speak of how “this too shall pass” when people are laid off and tell them to stay strong.
My point is no one should have to. It’s not romantic to be poor or not know where your next meal comes from. I know this: I have lived this. We should be discussing why we have allowed ourselves to create this society? In this society, child abuse, rape, homelessness, poverty, inequality not only exists but is accepted.
Collective Good Over Individualism
A powerful few have chosen individualism over collective good, and the society we see today is a direct cause of this. The rest of us are the majority; why do we remain silent? Because we are governed by fear. Fear of losing our livelihoods, our way of life, our creature comforts to make any real difference in the world. And that’s how we have designed this society.
This is the society we are going to leave for our children. Let’s pause and think about that for a minute. THIS IS THE SOCIETY WE ARE LEAVING FOR OUR CHILDREN. Our children get a dying planet and a crumbling society that has been designed to support the very few.
How is this ok? This is not ok! Isn’t it time we change that? But how?
Jared and I have been chatting in some depth about the concept of collaborative growth.
And we believe we have a blueprint that will support collaborative growth.
Before we dive deeper and share our thoughts on collaborative growth, let’s do a reality check, shall we? We recognize that collaboration is not really a new term. It has been bastardized and misused for decades. A word that is often associated with teamwork and leadership.
But the essence of collaboration is something far greater and innately embedded in the animal kingdom. Collaboration is a word that conveys vision, purpose, and unity.
Collaboration results in a gain for all parties involved.
Collaboration is not leveraging people for individualistic gain alone.
And now, typing it all back. We started with the community. The meaning of community and what it needs to stand for.
Community HAS TO BE about collaboration and collaborative growth. It has to be about the common good rather than individualism. It has to be about building longer tables not taller walls.
You are probably like this sounds like yet another romantic notion and yes you may be right to think so.
But none of us can grow in isolation anymore. Companies, individuals, products, and solopreneurs can’t grow in isolation. There is no growth in isolation. Instead of creating abundance for everyone, we are harvesting what is already there. Most communities have become about a brand, company, or individual putting out content about themselves (or the problem they solve).
They do not uphold the true spirit of community. We all know this, that is why we belong to so many of them. Because we are all still searching for that North Star. That one community that will make us feel like we belong. That will make us feel safe and supported.
It’s time humans went back to their roots. We are social beings — collaborative growth fosters this at the deepest levels.
This is what community actually is at its core.
Imagine a community that:
- Is Impact-Driven
- Has a Shared Purpose
- Leads to Sustainability
- Is Regenerative
- Helps you skill, up skill and deskill
- Promotes collaborative learning
Join The Movement
Change is the only constant in this world. Regardless of your geo-political and socio-economic views, we can all agree that humanity is at a tipping point. Society as we know it needs to be redesigned. The current societal structures are not working. Isn’t it time we did something about it? Isn’t it time we started tapping into our superpower. Isn’t it time we all came together for the common good? When faced with a common enemy, we humans have always come together. We have always collaborated. The enemy today is faceless, but it exists.
Over the next few weeks, we will be diving deeper into every aspect of collaborative growth:
- The Collaborative Growth Manifesto
- Collaborative growth flywheel framework given to company & individuals
- Leveraging Collaborative Growth for acquisition & retention
- Leveraging Collaborative Growth for GTM Strategy and Motions
- Collaborative Growth for Creators
- Collaborative Growth for Influencers
- Collaborative Growth for Content Marketing
- Collaborative Growth for Customer Experience
- Collaborative Growth for Employee Experience
- Generative AI and Collaborative Growth
And much more…
Yes, collaborative growth is a romantic notion, but it’s also much more than that. It’s a call to arms. Join us.