Community and walled gardens

May 2, 2017
startup

I have helped build and contribute to the NZ startup community since around 2008 and during that time have been granted access to many groups, back channels, side channels, communication channels that I signed up to or got signed up to and it continues, every new group that forms starts creating yet another mailing list and slack channel and Facebook group.

Over the years we have created this monster that looks very open and approachable from the inside but gives no clues on how to join it from the outside. I have been asked so many times about how one becomes a part of this startup community and my answer was always: “Just sign up here and there, I’ll invite you into this channel and sign you up to that” till I realised, this massive ivory tower we built is everything but approachable. We claim to be open when in reality we are open to those in the know.

There are many voices out there that say that people who are keen to participate will find the right channel for them and while this is true for some I see many that are turned off by it and don’t build the companies they want to build or don’t get the advice that would help them to be more successful. It is a bit like in the (hopefully) older days where we claimed that we (as in white male geeks) can create a diverse scene by inviting a few women along to our meetups.

I have set up www.nzstartup.community as a public forum that everyone can read without the need to sign up, where everyone can post news, interesting articles, events and anything they want to tell the community. It is a public place that is inclusive and approachable and even though it is yet another thing we add to the many channels we have I hope it to be a place where people can find information even though they are not yet invited into the elitist circles we have built over the years.

The forum is still in its very early stages but please make use of it, please let me know if you want to help out either as a sponsor or by helping to administrate the forum. We want this to be a highly transparent place so we also release all sponsorship information publicly, to follow along, check out this thread: http://www.nzstartup.community/t/financial-transparency/38

Please use this place, fill it with life and love and start creating the open door we want for our awesome community.