The one-sorta-long-page summary of how our communities and business model works.
We build communities focused on peer-to-peer sharing, collaboration, and support from people like you.
It starts with screening. Every member organization and every individual participant is hand-screened to ensure they’re a fit.
Bringing together “people like you” is the most important thing we do.
We carefully screen all participants to make sure they are at the same kind of organizations, in similar roles, with similar problems. Just as important, we keep out any sort of vendors or consultants.
The result is a safe space where people can open up, share, and build deep personal bonds. They have a vast amount of common needs and common problems — which means they have plenty to talk about. Of course, everything is extremely confidential.
Each community is 100% vendor-free.
Selling is never allowed. That means no vendors, ever. Really. We’re not kidding. We don’t even allow sponsors at our events.
This means members never have to question the motives behind the advice they’re getting, never have to filter what they say for fear of a vendor listening in, and nobody ever tries to sell them anything.
Our members collaborate in three simple ways.
- Member Meetings: We get together in person at quarterly live meetings to dive deep into the big issues.
- Calls: Each week, we hop on the phone for a real-time conversation about the hot topic on everyone’s mind, a behind-the-scenes look at a member’s program, or simply for a chance to pick each others’ brains.
- Email Discussions: Members can ask a question, start a conversation, or share an idea with other members on our email discussion list. They’ll get answers within minutes, and the typical conversation starts and finishes in an hour.
In our communities, members get better answers than they can find anywhere else.
They’re better for two key reasons:
- All of our conversations are generated by members. Our members create all of the content, and they decide what the community talks about. The results are incredible conversations where they’re talking about the most important issues in real time, as it’s happening — and it’s all between peers who have been-there, done-that experience.
- We’re intense moderators. We ensure our members are never distracted by off-topic conversations. We have a dedicated moderator for every 40 member organizations, and a core part of their job is to make sure every conversation — each and every one of them — is relevant.
We keep it small to keep it great.
Our communities are capped at 400 member organizations and most of our discussions are in sub-groups, called Councils, of just 80 organizations. When the group is full, we don’t accept any more members. We limit the size of each community to maximize the quality of conversations and personal relationships.
We deliver the best support and service from a member organization you’ve ever seen.
We go above and beyond to blow members’ minds with awesomeness. We love to surprise and delight, and we’re committed to earning their love (and their membership renewal) through amazing service.
But, what members really get is the ongoing support of a community of people who want to help them win.
Our members have tough jobs. We connect them with peers who understand them, know exactly what they’re going through, and can help them succeed.
We help members stop worrying about the unknowns and stop being surprised in meetings about news that broke while they were dealing with yesterday’s breaking news.
Members in our communities sleep better at night.
It’s a simple business model.
Companies pay $15,000 for an annual membership and up to seven of their senior-most representatives can participate. Other than event registration fees, we’re all inclusive.
Because each community caps at 400 members, each community has a potential annual revenue of $6MM. We’re self-funded, profitable, and we’ve seen steady growth since our founding in 2007.
We currently have two communities, with more on the way. We’re exploring communities for corporations looking at issues related to sustainability, LGBT, and health.
This is all we do.
We don’t sell other products. We don’t offer other services. We don’t sell sponsorships. We’re not consultants. We never upsell our members.
We do one thing: We create incredible communities that help members do their jobs better.
This commitment is our secret sauce — and it’s the reason why our original members are back for their eighth year.
Yep. That’s our entire business plan.
There are no secrets here.
The work we do isn’t complicated. We bring good people together, give them a safe space to talk, and they create wonderful value and content for each other.
Anyone can start a peer-to-peer community. But it takes a lot of work and a lot of entrepreneurial gut to make a community stand the test of time. You have to know the industry, remain connected to the members, and stay true to the original standards that made the community great in the first place — and frankly, most don’t.
This focus is what makes us different — and it’s actually really hard to do…