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Indie Hackers: The Business of Bringing People Together

The entrepreneurial struggle is real, it’s tiring, and it’s lonesome. And it’s often too much for small teams or solo founders to handle. It’s no secret that most startups fail. But the strength of community could be the lever you need to prevail.

On this Indie Hackers podcast, host Courtland Allen sits down with Derek Andersen, founder of Startup Grind, a global community of over 2 million entrepreneurs, and David Spinks, founder of CMX, the premiere network for community managers. It’s the story of two founders and how their shared sense of isolation led them down parallel paths that would one day converge.

After a number of projects falling flat, Andersen knew he couldn’t be the only one questioning the sustainability of the entrepreneurial lifestyle, so he gathered local peers for support. What started as a single event quickly became Startup Grind, a growing series of meetings that are now recognizable by name. The rapid growth of Startup Grind was exhilarating, and Andersen immediately recognized its potential. Not wanting to lose momentum, Andersen decided to focus his energy on growing this community.

For Spinks, it was his first position as a community manager where there was zero peer support. He, too, started a meetup in an effort to build communication between leaders, an initiative that lead to his first conference. After years of connecting fellow community leaders, CMX was happily acquired by Andersen’s latest venture, Bevy. Bevy’s platform enables over 40,000 groups to organize and coordinate in-person events.

The question of whether or not community is crucial is an easy one to answer for both Andersen and Spinks. So much so, they deem community as the backbone of a company, predicting its success and longevity. Spinks turns to big name companies to prove this strong belief in community. According to Spinks, Apple transformed the smartphone industry by opening up app development to an entire community of software developers. From this community of creative and passionate developers, came the beginnings for many of today’s tech giants (think Twitter, Uber, Snapchat).

What the founder and VP of Bevy want you to know about starting from scratch, is that a clear business model is not necessarily the first priority. Community is. Community has the power to keep people engaged through those early tough times, and maintain the momentum needed to succeed.

Whether you choose to create your own community, or join an existing one, one thing is certain, community provides a strength that can’t be found going it alone.

If you enjoyed this, please listen to the full episode here:

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