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Combining Community and Partnerships to Create Thriving Ecosystems with Jared Jones

Posted Nov 15, 2022 | Views 1.1K
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Jared Jones
Head of Ecosystem @ Moov Financial

Jared Jones is the Head of Ecosystem at Moov Financial, responsible for Moov’s technology partnership and community development. Before leading Ecosystem at Moov, he spent time leading the effort to build worldwide developer ecosystems at category-defining companies like LaunchDarkly and GitHub.

Jared believes that developers rule the world and has committed his career to empowering developer communities to build the brightest future we haven't yet imagined.

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Two of the most misunderstood functions at any company are Community and Partnerships.

Community is regularly handed marketing KPIs, and partnerships are routinely measured against traditional sales metrics. Jared believes that these two functions, regardless of how you measure them, both exist to serve the same objective - How can I get closer to my customer?

Jared will focus on how to think about the segmentation of these audiences, how they can work together within the ecosystem as interconnected entities, and how to build an organizational ethos that appreciates the value of a holistic, balanced ecosystem.

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Jared, we're talking about ecosystem for, for community, specifically community and partnership and how those can, can come together. And I'm excited for, for this conversation with you. I think the first time you and I chatted, we were talking about gradual, but it devolved into just talking about community as a concept of ecosystem.

And then we, um, completely forgot to talk about anything else productive other than that. So I'm excited for this to just be an extension of that conversation. I'm. Yeah, , that's, it is just gonna devolve into rambling and then Tim and Chris and Scott and Wayne are gonna jump in and it's just gonna be a, a good, solid conversation.

You are the head of Ecosystem and community, um, the head of ecosystem at Move. I'm gonna let you do some, some introductions of yourself, of just like your, your journey thus far. But really thank you for, for being here. Why don't you give the, give the people a little bit of a background of who is, who is.

Yeah, sure. Well first thanks for the intro and thanks everyone for sh for showing up. Um, so you know my name by now. I think it says on the screen at the bottom somewhere. Um, and I am head of ecosystem. It's kind of a bit of a, I think a. Non-standard title I think in, in technology. And, um, I would like to say we, we made it up.

We didn't, um, I didn't make it up, but, um, what really what ecosystem is at, at move and what we're doing here is, um, really it's the combination and culmination of, um, too disparate functions that, um, I think have always been kind of separate and, and disparate, which is technology partnerships. Um, and then in our sense it's mostly integrated partnerships and then, Uh, community and what do you do with community?

Um, so I'm excited to talk about those things. Um, before I was at Move doing community and technology partnerships, um, I worked at DevOps and dev tool companies. Um, notably launched Darky where I was head of ecosystem there as well. And then before that, I spent four plus years at GitHub, where I led business development and technology partnerships.

Um, the, the fine print was I was building communities and ecosystem there as well. Um, I found a lot of joy and a lot of, um, success at both those stops in my career. And I'm grateful that I can carry over some of the things I learned, um, and the failures. Uh, I made there in those, in those two stops to hopefully build, um, a world class ecosystem in the FinTech space now.

So that's a little about me. I'm, I'm also in Oakland, California, so if you're in the Bay Area, look me up. I love meeting online, but I like meeting in person better. I love it. I think we've got some, definitely got some folks in the area that would love to chat about community and, uh, I'm, I don't wanna spoil anything, but sometime in the not so distant future, we'll even do some, some in person get togethers and meetups that.

We, I wanna start with a little bit of some, some definitions because I think partnership can mean some different things for folks as well as ecosystem. And I know you've got a, a, a way that you think about this. Um, yeah. And as we do this is, I was genuinely, um, Genuinely want this to devolve into just good conversations.

So, Tim, Chris, Scott, Um, Rob, Rob as you have questions, um, Wayne throw those into the, into the chat or, or jump in. Um, we want to be able to, to have this be a chat and then we'll have some dedicated time towards the end that we'll probably split in and maybe groups of three or something and, and have a little bit of a conversation as well.

So you.

Partnerships by any other name. We're talking about sponsorships, cor, corporate relationships. What's the, the quick definition there? Yeah. You know, I think, um, for me the quick definition is, um, integrated or, um, referral type of technology organizations that complement, um, what we do here at move. I think partnership is one of those terms that is,

Um, at first I was really frustrated by how, I think it was commandeered by everyone. My partner, she's in sales and her title is, um, partnerships director, and it's like she's an account executive. She just slangs awesome products and I'm like so upset for some reason that she has partnerships in her title and my, you know, everyone kind of uses this.

So it's, it's, it's kind of been at some point I felt like, Like someone's stolen something from me, you know? But now I've come to really embrace and appreciate that it's being used in so many different contexts, um, especially in corporate sense, because I think it demonstrates an evolution of, and the acknowledgement that the way that we've been thinking about building businesses, um, and internally and externally, um, is ripe for change, you know?

And that we should be thinking about how. Give first, help other people out, help ourselves. And so I do understand why other people want to use partnerships as a construct or a concept when they're applying it to all different types of things that I don't think are traditionally partnerships. So, um, I'm glad I'm happy about that kind of, um, change of the industry come to, to embrace it.

Um, for me, I think about partnerships and the technology side of things like you. We have all of these partners that kind of live behind the scenes of, like, my software move is a payments platform and we have partners that, what I would say supplement our deficiencies. We can't do something specific. And so we, um, have a partner that supports us or bolsters us under the scenes I work with, with those partners a little bit, but I'm more interested in working with the partners at Augment.

Moves capabilities. So like, you know, we do payments well who can help us do payments? Plus, plus, plus, right? Whether that's going cross border or adding a level or layer of security on top of it. How can I extend my value to new markets, verticals, communities, individuals, in a way where my software and solution is hopeful?

A multiple of magnitude better when it's integrated and working with another solution. So that's really what I work with on the partnership side. But again, we also apply it to all different things. I have partners that send sponsorship dollars over for my conferences. I have partners that show up and give, you know, we do referral type agreements and then I have partners where we're doing deep.

Co solution oriented, integrated, go to market, um, solutions. And so it really runs a gamut, um, which I love, but that's really what partnerships is at, at move and, um, that's what I'm working on. Nice. And I think you what the distillation I take from that is partnership is, uh, description of the behavior in the relationship.

Not, not necessarily. You can label whatever group you. So for us and Jerry and the engineering leadership community, we, we classify our sponsors as partners because we think that there's a, not to spoil this conversation, mutual benefit for them and us to be part of our ecosystem. Um, so let's, let's talk about, let's talk about ecosystem.

Yeah. Um, the. I think one of the early conversations I teased earlier that we had you shared one of the ahas was that we need to think about community and its interaction with these disparate parts, which may be in the past were considered a separate division or department as as an ecosystem. What do you, what do you mean by By ecosystem?

Yeah. So, you know, I think it's kind of, um, When I think about the term ecosystem and as it relates to what I do and how I think it probably applies to a lot of other people, I think of it both as kind of, um, a more inclusive way to think about community, right? Um, a lot of communities, I think were born out of niches.

Um, I'm a Ruby developer that is working in this vertical and live in this region, and I have a meetup for Ruby developers to solve problems and it. Yeah, you should connect with those people. Um, I think of it as an evolution of, of that or things like that. Um, but also a kind of more inclusive way of driving more value from what your community is.

And so, you know, it's easy to think about who you are and what you do in your little niche and then kind of go after. I think it's more valuable if you can think about it in terms of, well, there's all these other different players, entities, um, organizations that maybe aren't in my exact specific Ruby developers that need to fix thing X in Austin, Texas.

And if you can go a click or two up or outwards, there's a, a, a broader. Skills and experiences and, um, networks that all I think can help benefit your community. And I think that's the ecosystem. And so it's really about, um, broadening that community into a network of maybe sub communities or niche communities or just a broader sense to derive more value.

More interwoven connectivity and connectivity, connective tissue, um, to hopefully get to the value, uh, which is information sharing and trust building. Um, faster. Yeah, you the. I think there's, if I look at a longitudinal curve of community over time, initial value is, Hey, we all have the exact same focus and topic and we get together and we talk about it, but at some point that doesn't derive as much value we need outside perspective.

So bringing in the way I think about it is bringing in that outside perspective. It doesn't violate the core purpose of the community. But it provides broader benefit for, for all the members, is that. To Totally, and I think like a real example of this is, you know, my, our community at MOVE started off as an set up open source projects in FinTech.

Like if you wanna build payment things and you wanna do with open source, you use Move. And you start with those, those, those projects. And so it was very open source developer, FinTech heavy, like that niche that I was talking about previously, Like we were in it. And so we started community around there and then realized, Well, there's other people that maybe aren't open source developers.

But are adjacent to or could be support these folks. For instance, the VC started showing up and it's like, Oh gosh, the God Forbidden VCs are in our community now. Oh my gosh. Right. Well, they're, Sometimes they'd ask questions like, Hey, does anybody know of anyone who's. Operating in these open source communities that blah, blah, blah.

Cuz I have an investment and we're looking for a technical co-founder to be a CTO or whatever. And now you've got people that were, you know, doing something completely different and now they've had an opportunity to step into a portfolio company position as a founder. From one of the VC members who's in our community.

And you'd never think that that vc, you know, general partner and that open source developer should actually be in the same community, but they are. And there's mutual beneficial value derived from being able to allow them to connect and, and, and find value together. So things like that were kind of eye opening to me in, in the community building sense.

And I'm glad that we're able to. Yeah, the, there's probably a hurdle that you have to get over. And we talked about this and this tease is one of the other things that we, we were gonna talk about was thinking that the community has to stay this very rigid box, that the yin and yang of the. Protect the community and keep the, I don't wanna use the word purity, but kind of integrity of the community and bring in those, those outside folks.

I think most community communities start with that mindset, and I think that's good. It's important. You don't wanna water your thing down the minute you start it Right. And you don't wanna lose the base of who you are, your identity. I totally understand. And I think there's value in being vigilant about kind of the constructs you put.

How you attract community members, how you maybe filter out some folks that really shouldn't be there or are, um, making the community less valuable by them being there. I think that's real, but I also think people should keep an open mind and be intentional about creating space for more diversity within their communities.

Cause I think ultimately we'll make it better, um, over. Tim. Tim asked a good question just while we're on the topic. From your move experience, was that, was that planned that you'd bring in those outside folks or those kind of perspectives, or did it, was it serendipitous and just kind of happened? Little column?

A little column B? Yeah. I mean, I don't know if like I would call VCs, You know, chasing after whatever they're chasing after serendipitous, but it certainly was organic, right? Um, they, you know, they understood that there's value in these communities and they're interested in learning more about what was being built.

And I think the serendipity comes from, or the aha comes from like the developers, not realiz. That the VCs were actually adding value into the, the community. Like when that started happening, they're like, Oh, like they're not all evil, or they're not all trying to like sell me capital, or they actually can provide good things in connectivity into the community.

I think that was more of an aha moment for the OGs in the community. You know, the, the really technical kind of. Um, high fidelity influencers of the community, and I think that that was the big, a big moment I think. Yep. You, uh, one of the things that I would be afraid of would be protecting the integrity of the community.

I think tactically we talked about one of the things you put into place, and this gets to. Bald on your question a little bit around how do you, how do you maybe set up some ground rules or guardrails so you can invite that outside perspective, but it still protects the, the core of the community or the purpose of the community?

Yeah, it's a great question and, and I actually didn't create our ground rules. I kind of inherited them, um, after I joined, um, about almost two years ago. Um, I think. You know, I don't, I think it's important to kinda set a baseline, you know, code of conduct, if you will, for just to kind of level set with folks so they can opt out if they really don't feel good about what that code is.

Um, and just really be clear about what your intentions are around building this community. But they should be pretty basic and loose. I think, you know, I don't, I don't think it should be super rigid and I don't, I think you should add friction. As you need, right? Like, you're not gonna want to be putting in strict policies around language or whatever until maybe you have an issue with language in your community.

Um, just don't, I think it's just important not to try. Solve for a problem that isn't there yet. And so the policies can always change. Um, the ground risk can always change. You can always remove people if you need to. Um, hopefully you don't have to. But, um, for us it's kind of just a step function. Like keep it open, keep it inclusive, create it.

Friction, not frictionless, but. Low friction until there's a need to add friction in. And then if you start to see negative impacts on your growth or the engagement, maybe it's time to remove some friction from the process to how you engage as well. And it's, it's a balancing act. We don't have to do that very often, but we certainly have to, you know, every, every couple times a year.

Yeah. Twice a year. Plus, I imagine that our experience of the conversation we've had is if what you value about the community partner is the, the genuine nature, the active engagement. If you want that to continue, you gotta, you gotta kind of play by the rules and bring that same ethos to the table. As soon as we start to violate that, then exactly what you find valuable about this community starts to deteriorat.

A hundred percent. Um, and then of course conversely, you also want people to feel like they can be their authentic selves and show up the whole self to the community. And so if there's policies around, you know, don't do this, or then they might feel, um, Violated, but maybe just not, um, comfortable being speaking their, their voice or being on guard.

Yeah. So it is always a balancing act. Um, and you know, we just try to strive for inclusivity and find ways to encourage people to show up and speak out. That makes sense. Makes sense. And Tim, great point. Yeah. It's a living, breathing thing. As we see things that need to change to foster the, the community, then, then we change those.

That's right. Um, We, we talked about some of the high level altruistic reasons to provide the, uh, I like your, your, the biodiversity of your community ecosystem. Um, there's also some bottom line, dollar and sense reasons to, to do it. Can you maybe speak to some of your experience or outlook on why it's important for, from a business perspective, for community and partnership to be joined for the success of the c.

Yeah, I don't think it's critical, but the results can be critical, if that makes sense. Fair, fair. I think you can do separate both and do both separately and spin it in a bunch of different ways and have both be successful. But I think when you do combine 'em and do it well, you can actually get really positive force multiplying results that enhance both functions in a, in a crazy positive way.

At least that's been my experience and so, mm-hmm. , you know, Luckily, I work at a company and hopefully most of us do, where you under the leadership understands the value of the community, that community breaks. Most people don't understand how to fully get there. I'm learning every day as well, how to extract the value, but baseline, we know we need it.

It's valuable. Let's invest in it. It's impossible to invest in that function unless there's more revenue. A corporate sense or more investment dollars that can be put into hiring or programming or marketing or tools. Otherwise, your community's just a cost center. And in my experience, uh, cost centers are usually tod and they're not seen as something that is growth oriented.

It's, um, reductive and so, If you can find ways to say, Hey, when we do X, Y, and Z within our community, we can actually achieve higher business results revenue, uh, whether that's in implicit, indirect, or direct. Then you can start to receive and make a strong business case for further investment into the community.

And I think a good way to concrete way I I can hear you've done is that. Is we actually have an in-person event called FinTech dev com. We run every year, and it's a community event. Um, you know, it's a community that for developers in FinTech, but that event is, um, and, and I help co-produce that internally with a, you know, marketing team and so on.

That event generates almost seven figures in revenue. From sponsorship dollars from my technology partners, so those same technology partners who live and breathe in my community because they have all the other things they want to do or learn or grow from. They're also showing up at my in-person community events and they're writing corporate check dollars to put their booth up and be a part of the event.

I can take that money and go make that event for my community members. Awesome. Or I can peel some off and buy some awesome ULA or hire a full-time dev advocate if anyone at moves listening. I need a full time dev advocate. Uh, so there's lots of things I can do with that, but I couldn't have even made the case if I hadn't generated those revenue dollars from my in person event and the sponsorship that came from having my technology partners as a part of my community.

So I think that's a good example. And I think that, um, there's lots of other different ideas I have about how to play on tying in business results and revenue into the communities to make a bigger impact and rein. Yeah, I think that topic alone could be, could be something we work through itself. And I know Scott, uh, Scott w has some, probably has some great insights on, on that one too.

And everyone, everyone else here on like how to, how to navigate that. Um, that community is great and we likely do it because it feels good to be able to provide those spaces for people. But for a lot of us it's gotta, gotta be, can't just be a call center. Exactly. Got it. And it shouldn't be because there's so many, like it's just, I think it's just a community member.

Community managers and leaders have just been trained to have adverse reaction to the idea that re dollars have, can be or should be tied to their community. And I understand why, because it's been done poorly so many times before. But there's new ways to think about it, and I think that, um, ultimately it's a, it's a win-win for the business and for the community.

Yeah, absolutely. Uh, it, it helps keep, keep the flywheel moving. Absolutely.

Um, I see Ra uh, Scott, I saw your question about the community practice around product management. And Chris, I see yours as well around VC free. I will, we'll come, come to those here, here shortly cuz I think we're gonna, we're gonna talk nuts and nuts and bolts. Jared, you talked about a little bit about like, okay, well we, we made the case for why community and partner.

Could be combined into Anique ecosystem. I'm curious, a little bit of a, a, how, how does this look like for, for you? Um, what, what does it mean to combine community and partnership? Yeah. I mean, maybe combine is a bit of a. Overuse of the term. Sure. But sure. You know, like, it's not like I, I have a jar and I just poured them into the same jar and now we've got them, It's a mixture.

It's Kool-Aid or whatever. No. Um, but I lead both functions and I think about, you know, growing my organization and having people that both lead kind of these concepts, but also. Are very much tracking after the same kinds of joy. Like maybe you'll have a community metric and maybe you'll have a, a partnership metric, but there's going to be ecosystem metrics that we measure that are combined that, that demonstrate what these two things are doing together.

Um, I think when I think about, when I think about combine the, the idea of combining these two, I think it's more about like, are my partnerships better or worse? When they're isolated in a vacuum from the community, they're worse. We can talk about why. And then is my community better or worse if I extracted all of my partners and my partner organizations from my community?

It's worse for sure. A hundred percent. And so if both of these things are, are, are better when the other. Touching or influencing or just directly involved with the other one, then why wouldn't you have them together? Especially because I think that, I think companies have, have maybe not thought about this properly.

Maybe I'm, maybe I'm being arrogant by saying that, but to me, the foundation, uh, of why you build communities, um, at a, at a corporation and, and the reason why you run integrated partnerships. In my, in my view, are the same. And that is to get closer to your customers, right? Or to get closer to the market, right?

And so, sure, the community might be something special, but the truth is that those developers work at companies. And those companies could be your customers and then with your partners, they have customers and users that also are click or two away from you. And the truth is that you're trying to influence.

And make it easier to kind of make that hop into how do you work with those two and three level click away companies or business opportunities. Um, it's probably an overly corporate way of thinking about it, but to me, they serve the same purpose. And I think for me, if I kind of keep that lens around how I build my team, my objectives, then again, it, going back to we're talking about it, it makes it really easy to reinvest.

Any type of direct or indirect revenue that's associated with my community or my partners back into the ecosystem because I know that they're working better together. One of Chris's question is where my head goes next. So we've got the opportunities for intersection would maybe be how I describe it, not a combined, we're not mix.

Yeah, everything into the same jar. Do you still maintain those separate spaces? So like for his Chris's example is, Alright, I've got places where my community proper NVCs can interact, but there are still those protected spaces that are just for that kind of core community. Yeah, I think that's happened, but I don't think it's happened intentionally.

So an example would be, we talked about the origin of our community being open source projects. Like these are hardcore go lang repos, right? That are living and breathing on GitHub, free and open for anyone. There are no VCs opening poll requests on those, on those repos. There's no demand gen people opening issues or flagging bugs in, in over there, right?

And so the community. Lives grossly in, in art Slack, but the developers that are a part of our open source community, they're living in breathing in GitHub because they can, and that's kind of their home, right, for their, their specific thing that they wanna work on. And then conversely, my technology partners, , you know, we come together in a few other different spaces.

Sometimes it's Slack only, and sometimes, um, it's, you know, Google meet or in person events and things of that nature. And so I think it happened organically, but the developers that really need to nerd out on whatever that thing is, it's probably happening in GitHub. Um, and then the VCs and salespeople and demand Gen and BD folks.

Some people I also like to hang out with, they're probably at a happy hour that we threw. Right. And so there are these dedicated, segmented spaces for these two different audiences. But they, there is also the Slack group where it's kind of the, the melting pot of, of the broader ecosystem. Got it. So for your particular community, it was kind of organic or where they exist natively.

Right. Our developers probably gonna be on GitHub, other folks elsewhere. Yeah, and we obviously have Slack channels and so like sure. I don't think any of them are private. And of course if you have. You know, ISO 20 0 22 channel. Sure, the BD guy could show up, but is he going to probably not. Right? Sure. And so, um, is there even any need for him to show up or her to show up?

Probably not. And so the, we do it and we try not to be too forceful about it. We just try to create space where it just makes sense for people to implicitly opt in, find their people, the knowledge and community and, and networks that they're looking for, and usually organic. That things kind of suss themselves out into the natural habitats.

Right? Right. Plus you, we talked about your kind of rules of engagement, the combination of the, here, there's a space for it, if you wanna talk about it, and then some general understanding of how we're gonna, how we're gonna engage. The combination of those two means that we don't, you, it's a, it's a deal with issues as needed, not necessarily needing to preempt everything.

That's, that's exactly right. Don't, don't create a rule for something that you don't know is a problem. Doesn't exist yet. Yeah, that's fair. We, we talked a little bit the, the why and the how, your experience. What does, what does it look like when this works? What does a thriving ecosystem look like to you?

Yeah. What's your, what's your me? What's your thriving ecosystem? It's as AED developer advocate on the team. No, I'm just playing. I'm not gonna be there. I think Regina, Regina was calling you out. There's a community club. Slack, uh, has a dev focus channel. I bet you could go, Go recruit in. Okay. Thank you Regina.

I appreciate the player. I'm checking it out as soon as we drop. So what does a thriving ecosystem look like? Um, you know, there's the vanity metrics, right? Um, Sure if you're more people are signing up, your community's probably some indication that there's some health or at least interest in what's happening.

Um, you know, I have, uh, tools like Common Room, shout out to Common Room and everybody at Common Room. Um, that platform is awesome for getting really deep in insights into what's happen. . Um, there's all kinds of engagements, interactions happening in my community that I had no idea about, and then I'm just like, Oh my gosh, that makes so much sense.

Or I had no idea why is that happening? And I get to pull on this thread of why is that person talking here or saying these things? And who is that person? Like, I get to do really awesome, awesome insight building with tools like Common Room. So again, shout out, love them. They're the best. But I think for me, and it's hard to measure, I haven't figured it out yet.

Um, I think it's two things. It's one that this kind of, um, interwoven engagements, right? It's not just going back to it. The Ruby developers and Austin who need to fix this one problem and this one Slack channel. Slacking each other all day or opening a million pull requests. That's not it, but it's when a person that's doing marketing that's that's in this space is needing help from an open source developer who also has got friends in Lavia who needs to fundraise.

And then somehow within the community this kind of chain reaction of community members and interests and, and needs and, and connections all manifest. Someone getting a desired outcome very quickly and easily because of how interconnected the, the community is. Super hard to measure, but there are these anecdotes that pop up and you're like, Okay, we're doing it well.

Like I could tell it's working, you know, How do I quantify it? I don't know, but it's working. The second part of it is trust. This also is something I haven't figured out. Whoever's building the tool to measure trust in communities, uh, take my money, I'm ready to go. Um, but I think that trust is the most important thing, um, that every community should be thinking about building.

And it's why I think managers think about the integrity or the fidelity of their community members run the jump and they're so protective. They understand that it's about trust and I. You know, there's all these things that happen in the buying cycle of corporate America or cor, the corporation corporate world now.

Um, and people don't buy software or anything the way that they used to. Like it's all rapidly changed. And so there's these like concentric circles I think of like, How humans are interacting with each other within broader ecosystems. And I think, you know, if you wanna talk again about commerce and, and revenue and money being this driver, that kind of can be gasoline that fuels your community to grow it, expand it, enhance it.

I think that if you don't understand that there's a level of trust that has. Curated, created, fostered between the companies, the individuals, and your broader kind of community ethos, then, then it's not gonna work. But that, that trust has to always be there for the individuals to to show up, opt in, continue to engage, and then give.

Time and energy into hopefully giving back to the community to make it better. Um, so I think that's the one big thing that is the, the, the, the magic sauce in a growing, thriving ecosystem. Still working on how we, we measure it, but it's there. Spoiler alert. That's, uh, that's our working group question for the breakout conversations to get you started is how do you, how do you measure trust within your community?

Great. I, yeah, I love, I love that. I think that's the underlying theme as a, as a community person is, I would ask myself that question when making a decision to say, Okay, well I'm gonna start to introduce sponsors or partners or bring these, have these audiences intersect as like, will this build or erode the trust that I have within my community?

Is this action building or, or taking from that, from that trust? A hundred percent. And that's, that's, and it's a very tricky balance, especially when you're getting squeezed. For timelines or deadlines or you know, growth. And it's like, Oh man, I could really sponsorship dollars right now. Right. Pulling that lever, right?

Yeah. It's like, ooh, I got a lot of data. I could just, I could sell that data. Right. That's the Right. So it's a really tricky thing, especially when I think a lot of us are working at growth oriented organizations. Right. And um, but fight the good, fight . Yeah. Maintain trust. I like it. That's the bumper sticker.

Maintain, maintain the trust, build it. That's the bumper sticker. What I want to jump into questions and conversations about this before we do a quick, quick breakout. And I think the, um, one of the topics that we started to hit on, and I wanted to say because I, this could be a whole talk in and of itself is, uh, Scott Baldwin's question around, he's got a community of practice around product management.

How would you approach partnerships with different communities of people where they've got their own, I like how, how you put it, Scott Waldo Garden and I've got my Wald Off Garden. How do we create paths between them? Curious your reactions or thoughts about that, Jared? Yeah, great. Great question. I, I, you know, I don't have a good answer for it for that one because we have adjacent communities that.

Would say they do something similar to what we do as well, or they, their, their ethos or their purpose is similar and like the overlap is pretty crazy. You know, like probably 30 or 40% of our members are, are there they're members and vice versa. You know, I think, I think that, and everybody kind of wants to, I think, control the narrative and the audience members.

Right. And I think if you. Put your swords down and say, you know, it's not about my control or my, or your control, or my growth or your growth, We have an overlap, right? My community members are your community members. Your community members are mine, or they should be. Um, what is the, what is the intersection of what, who they are, what they value, and what we can offer to them.

And let's identify that and work on it. , Um, I don't know what that is for the product management organization or the group that you founded, but, or that you're a part of. You manage. Sorry. But I do think finding that common ground would probably be pretty easy. And then finding out how you commit the resources mutually to this new thing.

And it could be an entirely new community. It could be, I don't know how that would. Because everyone's already busy enough. But it could be that, but it also could be shared channels that is for this intersection of your two organizations. I'd love to kind of talk with you about what, what's happening and, and hear more.

Cuz it's very really interesting and I don't have a ton of experience doing it because I think I'm so focused on all the problems , that I have in mind that I, I never get a chance to really dive into how can I actually do more together with other folks? But it's a great idea. Scott, what are you, any thoughts or what are you doing?

What have you ideated thus far on how to keep, keep paths open while not violating the sanctity of. Yeah, I mean I've, I've tried to largely describe essentially like how it can be mutually beneficial. So I think, you know, keeping back to the partnership kind of nature of things, um, and that essentially this could help us both attract like-minded folks, um, and also essentially help us with our content creation, curation, and all that kind of stuff, which is, you know, a big effort for a lot of people on that side.

Um, I've also tried to keep it open as far as like the way in which we can lead. And try to understand the ways in which they can lean into potentially that partnership to again, find the ways that we might, you know, scissor up and, and, and work on that side. It's just, I guess, like increasingly it's, it's really the walled garden.

Part of this that's really interesting is it's like I put a lot of time into building my community, my thing. We own this thing and I don't wanna like give up the reins to have like potentially people. My wall into your garden. Right. If that makes sense. And I, I think that's a piece, it's kind of funny like to kind of pitch it that way, but, um, it's, it's really odd to run into people that while they're building community, don't seem to really actually want to build cross community.

They wanna build their thing, their wall. I totally, But I do think it's also delicate. Right. And, um, for. Because you're saying this in like some idea, like some anecdotes are coming back to me. I'm like, Oh, I remember when that thing happened. We had a, like if, if we were businesses, we'd be competitive, right?

Like this other community, like they're smart people, they're good people, but like they do something similar to my community and you know, I've seen them post things that it's like, Hey, come on over to our community. Right? Kind of like extracting my community members and their eyeballs and engagement into their very similar community.

And, you know, um, part of me gets really upset and I'm like, Oh, like, stop, these are my, you know, my thing. The other part is like, well, if my community members are getting better or more over there, maybe I'm not doing it right. Maybe I need to be creating a better message or better events or engagement for them.

Totally. Why would I ever leave? Or maybe it's interesting, I'll check it out, but this has nothing compared to what I'm doing over here. And so to me it's a reminder that I gotta do more, I gotta do better. My community members deserve me to be highly engaged, which I haven't been as much as I'd like to be cuz I do few different things at move, but it's a reminder that somebody else is interested.

My community members are valuable and their engagement is something that I should invest. Um, that's how I, I treat it. It's not the answer that you probably are looking for, but that's my remind. No, no good lines. Good lens. Thanks. Yeah, I, Right. That's the, the product approach that if your only market differentiator is the customer's lack of awareness of an alternative, that's, that's a problem probably.

Yeah, I wanna make sure we get into some, some best practice sharing and connection in a second. Laura is from, our team is gonna open up some breakout rooms and we're gonna jump in and the. Suggested prompt could be how do you measure trust within your community? Or maybe it's just you've got your own question or conversation.

It's probably gonna be a pair of like two and two or maybe a group of three and two. Um, myself and Jerry and Laura and Jared will pop in and out of 'em. But, um, this is an opportunity to connect with other community leaders like yourselves and, and discuss this topic. Really, whichever, whichever topic is most pressing for you.

So, Laura, take it away. Let's open up those, those breakout rooms. Thank you. I'll put in my thank you now for joining us. Appreciate it. We've got more of these coming up. Our next one's on December 8th, I think we'll probably bring some semblance of this crew back for another co topic of conversation that my favorite part about these is we always end with a new, a new topic to talk about.

Um, but thank you, Jared, for joining us and being here and jumping in this conversation. Thanks for having me. This is really cool. I like all the people at, at Gradual, the platform's obviously awesome, but most importantly I got to meet some new friends. Social Wayne, what's up? I see you, uh, and everyone else.

Thanks for showing up. It's great to be connected. Always. Let me know if there's anything I can help you out with. Um, I'm not that hard to find on the internet. Um, my LinkedIn is usually pretty wide open. Um, But yeah, if you ever need anything, I'm here to help. Whether it's partnerships, community or otherwise.

You could also message anybody that was here. If you hover over 'em, you should be able to, to message 'em. You can. There you go. Just in and date. Pleasure, Jared, with your questions. Yeah, there you go. Nice. Thank you everybody for, for joining us. We're gonna certainly hang out for a little bit if anybody has any questions, but, but no obligation.

Appreciate, appreciate you all being here and making the time for it. And Jared, thank. Thank you. Appreciate it.

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