Isn't that a Holy Grail answer for all community builders?
As part of the first cohort of On Deck Community Builders fellowship, I had the opportunity to jump on a Zoom call and hear how Hila Roth does it for Waze.
In this article, I'll tell you 3 ways she incentivizes the Waze community.
Hila Roth is the Head of Communities at Waze.
Waze provides turn-by-turn navigation information and user-submitted travel times and route details.
There, Hila Roth leads 50k passionate volunteers around the world as they contribute location info that helps 130M people navigate IRL.
She has talked to hundreds of Waze volunteers and asked them what motivates them.
Their Biggest Motivator?
Contributing to improve an app used by millions of people in their country is meaningful for them.
Meaningful enough that they do it for free.
Jane McGonigal deconstructs why this is meaningful in her book - Reality is Broken.
She uses it to explain why 15M gamers joined forces to achieve a nerve-tingling milestone of registering 10 billion kills against their virtual enemy, the Covenant, in the game - Halo 3.
But that's not all Hila does to motivate her community:
She organizes events to allow them to meet Waze staff - product managers, engineers etc - and get a first hand account of what's happening with the product.
This lets them know that they're a part of the company.
Besides these, Hila also uses some motivators that cost money 💸:
She invites top volunteers for in-person events, paying for their travel and hotel ✈️ 🏨
She sends Waze swag to their homes - this was especially helpful during the lockdowns
One of my fellows, shared a succinct one-liner for this is a new kind of product development -
Build with people, not for people.
Follow me on Twitter. I'm sharing what I learn about community building from:
- being a part of the prestigious On Deck fellowship for the next 8 weeks
- building the Dataquest Community as their Community Manager