How Online Communities Nurture Entrepreneurs
Career Development Where will the next generation of tech entrepreneurs come from? Will it be self-discovery, or will they rise from communities they fuel?
Today, with the support of new media, disruptive technology and a new breed of driven, young minds, community is allowed to be both nebulous and defined at the same time. One can interact in whatever capacity he or she desires.
Community certainly nurtures entrepreneurs; there is no denying that. But how? Communities now exist both online and off, focused around and fueled by new media and new technology. So, how can these divergent communities in 2015 bring about the next great generation of entrepreneurs?
From a subreddit shrouded in anonymity to a monthly meetup.com group where new faces mean new friends, associates and connections, there are countless new forms of communities made possible by technology. We’re certainly in a golden age of community driven by the exponential growth of new mediums, all of which enable an unmistakably unique way to communicate. However, how does one find common ground with another person without a face and only a username?
"Global access to thought leadership inspires countless of up-and-coming entrepreneurs every second."
I’ve had the incredible fortune to be part of many distinct communities driven by technology in three very prominent personal stages evolving with technology in the past ten years. Community has given me the exposure, inspiration and curiosity to take my ideas, utilize the support of my peers and build. In that time, common ground has and will forever be the bedrock of community’s ability to sustain an ongoing conversation. It’s what brings us together, and what keep us together. I believe that exposure, inspiration, and curiosity, the three facets of community, in wonderful synergy, are the driving forces that will empower the next generation.
New ideas, constructive criticism and contact with conflicting viewpoints allow a young mind to establish his or her own sentiments. Exposure to these is crucial to our growth; they are the seeds that germinate into doodles—doodles that are put into wireframes, business models or multiple hour middle of the night brainstorms.
One can gain exposure to anything they want. We hear stories about co-founders meeting, investors sourcing and mentors connecting at every Techweek. One can learn from anyone, take anything to heart or with a grain of salt. Access to information driven and curated by communities, whether it is an app, site, mentor or peer, is limitless.
Once exposed to a multitude of ideas, information and views, common ground and community support furthers the stoking of the fire that has been burning within these potential entrepreneurs. Meshing with the ideas and drive of others can only produce a feeling of boundless inspiration, one that melds with the innate curiosity that all budding entrepreneurs possess.
Global access to thought leadership inspires countless of up-and-coming entrepreneurs every second. Pick your poison: TED, Google Trends, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook—the list goes on.
With exposure and inspiration in one’s back pocket, it’s now time to let curiosity take hold. Curiosity is arguably the most powerful tool community can bestow upon its members. Where will their curiosity take them? How far? With the support of a community, one has the provisions they need to embark on his or her journey. A community mentality leads one to ask questions such as, how can we make this better? Why does this not exist? It takes curiosity to step outside of one’s comfort zone to create something new, whether it is a self-developed app, a bootstrapped startup or a total career shift.
The next wave of intellectually curious, inspired, and informed entrepreneurs will have the security of their multiple and diverse communities. And like no generation before them, they will be able to break walls, surmount adversity and push their ideas from concept to success with natural poise unseen previously.