Whether you are in the freelance economy, sharing economy, enterprise or social, community is (in my opinion) the most overlooked piece of the puzzle. This is especially true for newer enterprises looking to either enter a highly competitive market or creating a new offshoot market.
The power of community is essentially the strength of a businesses foundation. In the beginning these are the early adopters, but if approached correctly they become the evangelist of growth and rationalization.
Look at foursquare, salesforce, apple, and even the American Cancer Association … the reason for their success is a highly mobilized and passionate core community evangelizing what they are passionate about as well as anterior communities that also gets engaged to lesser but equally important extents.
The thought that someone can merely build a product and offer a service without passionately, non commercially and openly developing and engaging a community shows a massive disconnect with their customers, an egotistical growth plan and a fundamental lack of foresight of the nature of the 21st century economy (as a result of social networking & the financial crisis).
Your community will support you, guide you, empower you and evangelize you … and at the end of the day having passion for a product is as equally motivating as having equity and skin in the game. Trust your users, engage your users, love your users because one user becomes a community of early adopters, which becomes a catalyst for global growth, scalability and regional physical community growth.
"Everyone’s got a plan until they get punched in the mouth"
Be so good they can’t ignore you"