Accessibility and Exclusivity in Communities

Hey friends - It's been a few weeks since I've written this newsletter. Over the past 6-months of writing  "The HACK Digest" I have come to realize some of the content was restrictive for me, and value-additive to the community... I felt like I was just rehashing what many have already read in their twitter feeds or other newsletters (or falling back in to my Zero Daily habits of curating security news).

So I have decided to shift this newsletter a bit. I'm going to experiment with a few different formats: starting with writing about 1 idea per newsletter: less hot takes on security news and more ideas for building, leading, marketing, community, startups, personal growth, etc.

One idea to share this week: Accessibility and Exclusivity in Communities

Community by definition is exclusionary: from Church or religious affiliation clubs to sports clubs, to gaming, to crypto enthusiasts etc. I like Coin Artist's sentiment and I think she's referencing a very specific phenomena she's witnessing as an OG crypto and NFT innovator. But I do think on the surface it's incomplete: you need both exclusivity and accessibility.

For crypto tokens where economic incentive is the primary incentive for belonging, people abandon in droves when crisis hits, which it is definitely hitting now. When the tide recedes, it will show which projects have staying power and have actually been pushing product and investing in true community. In a way the bear cycles are good: they separate the wheat from the chaff. The tourists from the true believers. They make beginning and building more affordable.

Mar Hershenson recently presented at the All In Summit about her passion for creating entrepreneurs, in particular women entrepreneurs. She's had amazing success in creating cohort-driven experiences and female founder circles that emphasize peer interaction and networking to create authentic connection and accountability. I doubt the latter would be as successful without the exclusivity of those who identify as women. But if she wanted to scale this, accessibility will need to be an ingredient no doubt.

One of my favorite examples of accessibility and success is the OpenToAll CTF team. Their onboarding guide is a thing of beauty and worth emulating.

OpenToAll's CTF team has a fantastic self-service onboarding guide

To build a healthy community you need both accessibility and exclusivity.

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