What to Watch Out for When Creating a Startup Community

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Startups are businesses that aim to bring a unique product or service to market. Visionaries that create these kinds of companies want to promote innovations that will greatly serve their target audience, making them a necessity for progress. But many startups don’t succeed with their goals. 

A report by UC Berkely and Stanford University found that 90% of these companies fail, leaving both the creator and investors with zero returns.

It is important for startup owners to speak with like-minded people who can help improve ideas, give insights on how to get a business off the ground, and connect a startup with potential investors. This makes startup community the perfect place to perform business-critical tasks.

What are startup communities?

Our past article on ‘How to Build A Startup Community?’ explains that these spaces are places where you can connect with professionals in the same industry, as well as communicate more effectively with your audience. Consistent interaction between both parties is what turns the space into a truly supportive community.

A few great examples of this are Reactiflux and Framer Community. Reactiflux allows members to communicate with top developers and ask questions related to technology. Startups can gain insights on how they can bring their ideas to life through digital means. Framer Community lets community members export program codes so they won’t have a difficult time creating their own from scratch.

We also have our own community at Projectium, which connects up-and-coming startup founders to experienced professionals. Here, you can learn to create and manage your own community. It is another avenue for innovators to get to meet individuals who share the same visions and goals as them.

These supportive spaces help bolster a startup’s growth. But like with many online communities, you should know the risks and things to look out for before creating your own.

Things to look out for:

Cybersecurity risks

In today’s digital age, there is increasing wariness for cybersecurity attacks such as hacks – and even cyberterrorism. Maryville University’s write-up on cyber terrorism defines this issue as a premeditated attack, or the threat of such an attack, from nonstate actors. These actors intend to use cyberspace to cause physical, psychosocial, political, economic, ecological, or other damage. Many of these attackers aim to get trade secrets and access to intellectual properties. For many startups, this could spell trouble, as their ideas may be stolen from them after being shared with online communities.

Having set safety and privacy measures in place, such as proper vetting processes and member restrictions, can help prevent cyber terrorism and hacks from occurring on your platform.

Declining engagement

At the onset of community creation, engagement may be high because more people are coming in, communicating and sharing ideas. But without proper strategies, members may start to forget about the platform, as it slowly loses value to them. Your startup community will experience a decline in engagement — rendering it useless to both you and the people you want to serve.

To combat this, you should host activities, talks, and even Q&As so your community members continue to find your platform relevant. You should also market your community through other media to ensure that you are fostering member growth.

Management difficulties

Handling a small group of people can feel like a breeze in the beginning, as it won’t be too hard to scan all messages sent and ensure that you are keeping your platform a safe and informative space. But as your community starts to grow, it is necessary to have platform managers monitoring messages and handling interactions between members. A study from Carnegie Mellon University explains that moderators can be effective at managing online communities by understanding the values and goals of your platform, promoting quality discussions, and ensuring fairness with their decisions.

You can either hire dedicated moderators to look after your startup community when you are unavailable, or even ask veteran members if they are willing to volunteer for the role. This will make platform management more efficient, so you can focus on expanding the community and building professional social networks which are both fulfilling and meaningful.

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Prepared by: JBeasant

By JBeasant

JBeasant is a writer who is passionate about business and entrepreneurship. She believes that SMEs and startups can boost economies and promote growth for both communities and individuals. When she isn't writing, she likes to create cakes and cookies for her loved ones.

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