A week ago today, I posted a long piece about an odd idea. I hesitated for a few minutes before I hit publish. I didn't know what the response would be or what this would ever be.
I'm smiling because now I know the answer to the first question, and now I know that I don't have to answer the second one.
When you work on something that involves apps and the web, the temptation is to think that what you're helping bring to life is the thing. It's the app someone is going to download and the site they're going to visit. It's the logo and the colors, the user experience and the signup flow.
Of course, the thing you're creating is the sum of all of those pieces, and they're important, but they're not the thing. The thing is the problem you're solving, the escape you're providing, the question you're answering, the space you're filling.
In this case, in our case, it's a community that didn't exist before and does now. A group of curious people who want to share things they love with other curious people. I have no idea what the future of this community is, but I do know that it's filled with possibilities and its future will be determined by all of us, together.
I spent a lot of time this week thinking about how I need to hurry up and build this thing and then I realized that the thing is us. The site, the art, the apps, make it easier to be together, talk to each other, and share with one another. I'm incredibly excited to help make those tools, I can't wait to use those tools, but the thing that truly matters is already here, thanks to each of you.
Honoring the Things We Love
I've learned so much about communities in the past week through your tough questions and thought-provoking feedback. Many of you have shared insights into your past experiences, hard lessons, and hopes for something new. It's a conversation that I hope goes on for many months and we can enjoy together. For now, a few quick excerpts:
@robinsloan "My favorite idea: 'And what if there was… original art representing the most popular… favorites.' Yes! Honoring the things we love!"
@stellargirl "Just sharing what makes us who we are, what defines us and what we value, helps us align with and discover others."
@mattt "Filling that out made me realize: I think the reason I don't write more is that I don't feel like anyone is asking...Maybe that's the secret to this whole thing: it's over-sharing when we never asked for it in the first place."
@granthensel "It's a blend of simplicity and meaning: just 10 things, but they're at the core of your being. It would be great to have a community that people are actually invested in and truly value.
@gilbertlee "It really is a breath of fresh air and a great reminder to meet new people and learn new things."
@allisonurban "All kinds of exciting possibilities stirring."
My dream was that within two weeks, 50 people would take a few minutes to fill out a form (who does that these days?) and say they want to help create a new community. Just a week later, 47 lovely people like you have done just that. I can't thank you enough. The goal was to see if this is worth doing. When I read these responses, as well as what you've shared on Twitter and via email, the answer is clearly yes.
Here are a few other numbers:
53% would pay a one-time fee 28% would pay a yearly fee 11% would pay a monthly fee 2% would prefer Kickstarter 6% wouldn't pay for something like this
The Best Thing I Read this Week
One for last week, one for this week :) First, a quote that Diego Zambrano shared on Twitter from Brian Eno:
Every object takes up your time. Ask yourself what it gives you in return.
Second, an essay that many people are talking about, but it is indeed worth your time if you haven't read it yet, The Busy Trap by Tim Kreider:
The present hysteria is not a necessary or inevitable condition of life; it’s something we’ve chosen, if only by our acquiescence to it.
In this first email, I mostly wanted to say two things, Hello and Thank you! One of the most wonderful things you can ever do when someone says, "I have an idea" is to respond with, "Tell me more". I hope I can return the favor very soon.
I have a few questions for you. Answer if and how you like.
What would you most like to get out of a community like this?
What are some other communities you've loved being a part of and what made them work?
Questions or answers, I'm eager to hear from you.