250 Members and Beyond

One month and one week into existence, Founders LIVE has officially hit the 250 member mark.

This is a great milestone (one of many to come) and all of us should be proud of the initial growth thus far given it was a soft launch with zero media or marketing. Thanks for all the help in taking action, you guys rock!

If you would allow me a few minutes, I will expand on what I have learned in the short time launching Founders LIVE and what I envision for the next phase of growth.

You may recall when I announced the launch of Founders LIVE I was opening it up for free registration for a limited time – the first 100 members, then it became first 200 members to join would get Founders LIVE memberships free for life – and then turn on paid subscriptions as we built it out. That is still true today, and it’s still free to register as of this publishing so go tell that friend you’ve been thinking would love Founders LIVE right now (maybe even use the share buttons at the bottom of this post!).

Paid subscriptions are indeed on their way. The current functionality is not where I’d like it and I am awaiting a technical update to take effect so the registration and payment process is a seamless as possible. It should be implemented within the next month so until then, share away and let your friends know this thing is open for free just for a limited time more.

Launching Founders LIVE has been an incredible experience for me. The biggest thing I have learned during this first month is how much people actually crave community. This might be elementary to some of you but for me I am quite surprised how much we as humans desire to belong and be a part of something larger than us. It’s just human nature to want to belong and connect with others; to explore and meet new people; to learn new uplifting and positive things each day. A community. A group of like minded people. A collective that talks the same language and is heading in the same direction for the same reasons. That’s what we are building here on Founders LIVE and the feedback thus far has been centered on how cool it is we together are forming this unique virtual community around the entrepreneurial spirit.

One of the other things I learned has to do with the word “Founder.”  The word has numerous connotations and meanings. Some of you may not directly identify with being a “founder” or call yourself one when talking with others. You might even say “oh, I’m not a founder…” as if to be hesitant to self identify with the word. I don’t fully understand that position given what I do – and given I started this platform called Founders LIVE – but regardless it is a feeling some have and I respect it.

Yet I don’t believe it. I actually DO think you are a founder. I think most – if not all – people are founders in their own ways. Yes Founders are people who start companies but they are also much more than that. Founders are creators. Founders are starters. Founders are dedicated people working on things that bring value to the world. Founders are leaders who influence others and bring out the best in people.

Any of those sound like you? Being a founder is a way of thinking and a way of life, not just a title on LinkedIn because you started a company.

It seems to me the word Founder is a little scary due to people like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and other highly successful, famous and wealthy people who are leaders of very large organizations. Many of us simply cannot see ourselves in a similar light as those individuals because the media has warped what it means to be a founder. The “myth of the founder” – wiry haired (usually young white male) who is working 20 hours a day in their garage – has also played into influencing how we view ourselves as founders or not. If you don’t fit that stereotype, it’s easy to think to yourself you are not a founder.

I’d like to urge you to drop the assumption you are not a founder – or that founder is something to not be embraced. If you have joined this platform already, you have self selected as a founder. If you are hungry everyday for wise and helpful information you can use to move yourself forward, you are a founder. And if you are one of the millions, no billions, of people creating things in this world – be it a painting, a song, a technology, a company, a non-profit, a family – you are a founder.

Welcome home. And in the end if you really don’t feel you are a founder, sticking around and getting to know the founders on here will give you better insights on how we think, act and work.

(Not on Founders LIVE yet. SIGN UP HERE.)

My vision for what’s ahead is as ambitious as it is exciting. And I think is well within reach. I believe Founders LIVE will be the new destination for entrepreneurial education, entertainment and encouragement.

I started Founders LIVE as an effort to create a new approach to content creation and community engagement. The realization came when I noticed blogging was really just one->many and not much of a social experience. Also, that experience was really just about me and my work. Not others.. I quickly realized there’s a better model. I determined to create a platform for creatives, entrepreneurs and go-getters to connect with like minded people and if desired, be provided a channel to display their talents – be it crafting pithy nuggets of wisdom, writing blog posts, conducting interviews, distributing podcasts or creating fascinating videos, art or music. More importantly, I wanted to create a central channel for others (outside the network) to find this type of valuable content and in the process maybe become better people. And to open a space where all of us creatives can see and be seen, to read and be read, and to hear and be heard. I believe everyone has a unique set of talents. Founders LIVE allows you to share yours, and discover other talented people and enjoy what they have to offer.

The 3-5 year horizon I envision for Founders LIVE is to become a thriving media property specifically created around entrepreneurship and creativity. Replacing the current lean-back entertainment of TV shows, Founders LIVE will embrace new forms of participation media such as live mobile streaming, live events, blogging and writing, commenting, messaging, sharing, content curation and social interaction. All this in one channel specific to founders and the greater entrepreneurial population around the world.

Within this property, Founders/entrepreneurs – as well as others that simply want to learn and be entertained – will be delivered hyper relevant content around aspects of starting companies, creating products, art, music and anything that tugs at the creator’s soul urging to be brought to society. I envision this channel to be truly authentic, built for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs, with content generated and crowdsourced by the community as well as curated by the Founders LIVE team so as to retain a high level of quality aimed to add value to the people subscribing to it.

Also, Founders LIVE will become the default “social network” (if we can even still use that term) for any would be/existing entrepreneurs, a must have platform to be active on if you want to move forward. LinkedIn has become too corporate-y, professional, recruit-y and spammy, and really only serves as your new resume. And now owned by Microsoft! Founders LIVE should serve as both one’s channel to display their talent/work as well as the most authentic, safe and enjoyable space for creatives to connect with others who see the world as they themselves do.

For the near term, I’ll be starting the new live streaming experience shortly with a new monthly event specific to this community. I won’t dive into too many details soon but rest assured it’s going to be cool, fun, entertaining and most of all uniquely ours.

I am excited for what lies ahead. Honestly – and I am not just saying this – you should also be as honored and as excited as I am to see something like this form right in front of your eyes, because you will gain just as much value, connections and experience from this platform as I will.

Here’s to 250 and beyond!

Not on Founders LIVE yet. SIGN UP HERE.

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