Interview with Sharath

Lessons learned from shipping products and launching communities

This post-interview was published on the 29th of September 2021, during my collaboration with Uncommunity Club.

Uncommunity Substack is a bi-weekly newsletter. that brings you community experts' interviews, resources related to building and growing communities, tools that you can use to scale your community or events, and books that you can read to become better community builders.

Today’s AMA guest is Sharath.

Sharath is known as the “Product guy”. He is a maker and design/product nerd. He co-founded Shout Out which is the recipient of Product Hunt's Maker Grant for 2021 and was acquired by Rocket Gems product studio.

He’s building online communities by solving people's problems through the products he creates.

Let's begin.

If we want you to describe a Community Builder, what would you say?

To me, a community builder is someone who is extremely service-minded, strives to provide value for others, and has rooted for them to win.

"Each week you create content about founder mindset and community building".

Mahmoud Aitelkatab

What every Community Builder should know when building a community-first product?

That it is a long game and you have to play it with patience.

What are the best qualities to make a better community builder?

Wrote a thread here. Hope this helps:

Is there any specific framework you follow to build communities online?

It’s not something you timebox. Community building takes time and you need to do it to build positive relationships with people.

 We have counted more than 30 AMAs on your Twitter account, covering different aspects, from B2C products, building in public, founder mindset, no-code, playbooks, and a lot of resources. 

Mahmoud Aitelkatab

That’s amazing! It’s like Jab Jab Jab! How do you do it?

I love interacting with the community and sharing as much as I can what I learn. That is the secret to my consistency.

I once saw a tweet on how to build a startup. You frame it on ten steps, all the same, “Build a side PROJECT” 10 times then build a startup. What is your advice to people who want to build a community?

Build many small products before building a startup. Naval Ravikant tweeted about it, and I lived it by shipping 12+ projects as a maker. Start building these products by looking within, finding problems you have, and solving them. The last step to close that loop is launching on Product Hunt. You will learn so many lessons like talking to customers, iterating, validating, gathering feedback, and everything else that requires you to start a startup.

You are a founder at Shout Out and currently Program Manager at Product Hunt, and you work full-time as an online community builder, would you share with us some productivity tips on time management?

Getting up early in the morning, building systems in a way that serves you, and doing things that you love the most.

James Clear and other founders helped you in your early-stage career and personal life. What can you tell to community builders today?

Build community first and then products. I realized this a little late, but it is so important to have a community around you. Start a newsletter, curate content, share your lessons, and more importantly, create value for others. Make sure you bring the community along with you on your journey.

Lastly, have fun doing all the above. You’ve got a long life, so don't worry about results, and enjoy the journey!

Follow Sharath on Twitter.

Weekly Reading List

  • You probably heard the news! Twitter Communities are here. It's never been easy to start a community, and since a great number of community builders are using Twitter, now we are seeing "Tweet to your Community" as a way to drive conversations. Twitter Communities allows creators to create, moderate, and find other communities. Read more here.

  • Not all communities are created equal, a great article by Li Jin, founder and an investor at Ateliers Ventures and Variant, addresses three components to having a truly defensible community. Hallmarks of the “real” community she mentioned are:Intentionality: members seek out the community as a destination, not just as part of a broader platform’s feed.P2P interactions: strong engagement and ties between members.UGC content: members contribute content vs. just engaging with what’s broadcasted to them.

  • Turn an Internet Community into a DAO in 3 Steps. Written by Kevin Liu, who runs Decentralized Economy at Hackernoon. In this article, Kevin, co-founder of MetisDAO, addressed the pros and cons of DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations) and why should an internet community become a DAO. Read the full piece here.

  • Step 1: Create a DAC and invite your community members to join

  • Step 2: Activate your community via various collaborations

  • Step 3: Accumulate Reputation Power and get incentives.

  • How to Choose Your First Community Channel? In this article, The Roomies team revealed their first choice of community platform they’re using, then they went dive deeper into the decision-making process. Read about evaluating channels, objectives definition, engagement dynamics selection, and tradeoffs assessment.

Weekly Tweets

Twitter Communities release.

Optimism is a key for community builders.

Upgrade in the creator economy.

5000 community members process.

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