Masters of Community with David Spinks

How Nextdoor Scaled Community to 268,000 Neighborhoods with Sarah Leary

Episode Summary

On this episode, we’re joined by longtime community leader, Sarah Leary, the Co-Founder of NextDoor and investor at Unusual Ventures. Sarah discusses the influence community is having on personal and professional lives, and its key role in building businesses relationships with customers. We discuss Sarah’s experience building the NextDoor community, growing it from 1 to 250,000 neighborhoods across the United States. Sarah emphasizes the need to embed community into the product team to create a change in the product and put community insights into action. Dive into the full episode to learn what Sarah looks for when investing in communities and how she measures the business value of community. Who is this episode for?: B2C, Online and In Person, Scaling 3 key takeaways: Embed the community into the product team to enact change into the product itself. Community insights are actually put into action and lead to a better product over time. Invest in building community early on by authentically interacting with your users. Identify the early adopters and develop relationships with them that will lead them to become the voice of the community. Measurable impact of community: Percentage of growth coming from organic sources and referrals Notable Quotes: “Where can you get the resources to put the ideas into practice? So sometimes that means just embedding it in the product team, right. So the simple act of having someone who owns community, who's sitting in the weekly, or potentially even daily product meetings and constantly raising what the issues are and getting that team to be hyper-responsive to the needs of the community, like that can have a huge impact.” “You can plant the seeds, but you've got to nurture it and turn over the soil and water it and cultivate it in the early stages of building any community, and this was true with next door, you've really got to do the hard, heavy lifting of nurturing a community.” Rapid fire question answers: 1. What’s your favorite book to recommend to others? Bowling Alone - Robert Putnam 2. What are critical Industries you’re looking to invest in? FinTech, Crypto 3. What’s your wildest Community story? Epinions blows dogs. Revolt from community. Changed reward system and limited ability to edit reviews. Cannot take away community’s ability to change content. 4. Who’s an up and coming community builder you think is going to do big things? Evan Hamilton at Reddit, Erica Kuhl formerly at Salesforce and now a consultant 5. What’s a community building technology/app all should use? Nextdoor Contra, which is a place to connect with other independent/freelance workers - profile is at the forefront Building robust profiles should be a focus of all communities 6. A community product you’d love to invest in if someone built it today? A platform to help our country unite across political lines 7. What’s your go-to community engagement starter? Personal Appeal - tell a story when you have a need. 8. Weirdest community you’ve been a part of? Son of Sam Horn community, Foodie Community (Food 52) 9. If you’re on your death bed and you could only leave one piece of life advice behind for all the future generations, what would that advice be? Most treasured things in life must be earned. There’s not shortcut. The harder they are to achieve, the more they will be treasured. True in personal life, business, and community. Work on things that have impact and extend beyond your direct day-to-day involvement. If it feels hard, that’s a good sign. Contact Info Twitter: @SarahLeary Unusual.vc