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Cover image for A Community Builder's job is to allow members to create value for each other

A Community Builder's job is to allow members to create value for each other

nityesh profile image Nityesh Agarwal ・2 min read

Communities can be the ultimate value creation machines.

It's been one week since I started the 8-week On Deck Community Builder's fellowship.

My biggest takeaway is how they enable their fellows to create value for each other, and thus, for On Deck itself!

Community Builders, take note:

Our job is to allow members of our community members to create value for each other.

How On Deck allows it's members to create value for each other

On Deck Community Builders (ODCB) fellows create value for each other all the time:

1. They host Serendipity Dinners

Once a week, On Deck bands participants in small groups of 10-15 people for a 1 hr "dinner chat".

These chats are 100% hosted by a fellow.

2. They ask questions during Fireside chats with experts

On Deck organises 45-minute Zoom calls with 2-3 experts every week, for ODCB fellows.

Our program director, Lais, interviews them for the first 20 mins.

But it's the fellows who ask the most interesting Qs in the remaining 25 mins.

3. They make the Icebreaker sessions awesome!

What's an Icebreaker Session?

It's an hour-long session where you connect with 7 randomly chosen fellows on a 7-minute 1-on-1 call.

Think speed dating but better because everyone goes home with amazing connections.

I remember having such an adrenaline rush after participating in my first Icebreaker session.

Oh the serendipity and excitement of connecting with a stranger around the world who gets you!

Shoutout to: Icebreaker Video for creating such a delightful app! 😍

4. They'll create even more value as the program progresses

In fact, we were invited to an ODCB Community Calendar to keep a track of the events that are 100% organised by the fellows.

These are events based on specific, shared interests (like edtech, venture, gen-z etc).


Did you notice how it's the paying customers who are creating value for each other, but under the ODCB brand?

This is the On Deck playbook for running their 15+ fellowships, each of which cost more than 1900 USD to enter.

So, On Deck is not creating a valuable product for their customers.

It's creating it with them.


You can follow me on Twitter to read my brain dumps on community building, writing on the Internet and self-learning.

Discussion (3)

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oliverding profile image
Oliver Ding

Hi Nityesh, thanks for sharing your experience with ODCB. I have noticed the growth of On Deck. It is a great example of community-led business. I think the 10-15 people chat is a key for build deep connections.

What kind tools do they use?

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nityesh profile image
Nityesh Agarwal Author

Nothing fancy:

  • Slack for async communication
  • Zoom for calls
  • Icebreaker for icebreaker sessions
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oliverding profile image
Oliver Ding

Thanks!