The Secret to Building a Community

As I’m focused on growing the Olive Tree Writing Club this Fall, I’m revisiting the community-building book, Get Together by Bailey Richardson, Kevin Huynh & Kai Elmer Sotto.

One of the core themes of the book is how to build community with people instead of for people. Earlier this year, I was co-organizing the OTWC with my friend Dmitri. Eventually, he moved out of the city due to visa issues and I was the sole organizer for the writing club. It wasn’t bad for the first few weeks but eventually, it got exhausting doing it on my own. I was also the single point of failure, wherein if I wasn’t in NY for a Wednesday then the meetup was canceled. I realized I couldn’t do it on my own and thankfully, one of my friends, Abi, volunteered and we’ve been co-organizing ever since.

As a Product Manager, I approached community as something I was creating for people. However, I soon came to realize that in order to have a successful community, one must build with people, not for them. That’s a key difference between building products and building community.

October 23, 2023

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