startup community building is orthogonal to successful startup/company building. discuss.
— Paul Singh (@paulsingh) April 4, 2013
What I’m really trying to say is that community organizers shouldn’t be trying to “build the startup community” via events if your ultimate goal is to encourage more successful startups to emerge from your region. Startup community building is about celebrating entrepreneurship, about celebrating the results of successful entrepreneurship (eg, “yay, you raised money!”, “yay, you successfully exited!”, “yay, you created jobs!”) and about exposing more people to the idea that they can start something too.
That’s very different than what’s required to build a business. Successful founders and teams need to focus on curating their networks aggressively (which often means avoiding startup events and meetups) and building a sense of urgency amongst their team (usually by shipping code/product early and often).
The techniques that help build a strong startup community are very different than the techniques used to build a successful startup. Rather than trying to build a successful community in order to encourage more startups to emerge, we should build successful communities the same way we build successful startups: curate them aggressively and incentivize for urgency. Make them harder to get into, rather than easier.