I’ve been spending a lot of time engaging with different types of communities, taking to community builders, learning more about community building, and organically growing a couple of communities. And one of the takeaways I have from these experiences is that communities don’t scale if they only has one person supporting it. So what do communities need to grow?


You can’t scale unless there’s buy-in. You need to have a many-to-many relationship. That shouldn’t be people just from your team or company. But while your community is being built, you’ll need people from your company/team to be the support structure. To hold things up until they’re settled. And remember, your team will be the example for the community. Great leaders create great leaders.


You need to be responsive. There’s almost nothing worse than entering a quiet slack or discord. It’s almost like entering a large cafeteria and everyone is eating in silence. They’re there, you can see them, but no one is talking. I don’t know about you, but I’d turn around and walk the other way. You don’t need to immediately respond, and you should give your community the opportunity to respond to each other, but unanswered questions are a sign of an unhealthy community.


Community is a long game. You don’t grow a thriving community overnight. It takes time and there often aren’t clear metrics to track what you’re doing. Community needs to grow authentically. Unless you already have an invested community–like Jamstack did, for example–then you have to build it from the base, brick by brick, learning about what your community wants, who they are, where they want to be, what they need.

Just a note on the challenges you might face if you don’t have buy-in: Not only will you have to carry more of the weight of the community, but you’ll be constantly trying to prove yourself and beg for support from people who don’t understand or want to have community interaction added to their plates. This may be the biggest impediment to your success. Starting with support is the best way to grow a community. It’s not the only way, and you can certainly start without that, but the challenge to growing a community and maintaining community health will be greater.