Knowledge Entrepreneurs Salon 11: Start With Community

Knowledge Entrepreneurs Salon 11. Start With Community.

I’ve found the best place in the world. It’s called The Internet.

Achim Rothe insisted and persisted in creating a growing community of interesting, diverse, committed people to explore the possibility of knowledge entrepreneurship.

And Salon 11 took place exactly there, online.

It’s incredible to believe the possibility of meeting like-minded people with similar aspirations while comfortably seated at home. And these kind of well-organized online events with clear goals and excellent facilitation are a joy and rare jewels in the overcrowded zoom-landscape.

Of course, I’ve found my way to contribute and propose even more interactive and connective way of being together. I’ve created and promoted an online collaborative document where all participants were invited to share their contact info and their bios.

I will copy here, the best of that document just to give you the essence of the richness of these online encounters.

Knowledge Entrepreneurs Salon 11 PUBLIC COLLABORATIVE NOTES

Everyone is qualified to start a community (your audience is part of your community)

4 Whys

  • Community is a recipient of your message (write as if to a friend)
  • Accountability
  • Rewards (compliments for example)
  • Feedback (with audience nodding, questions, etc)

Some assurance that what you create will get some attention and feedback

Writing is broadcast (newsletters/blogs). It isn’t necessarily the same thing as building/partaking in a community.



Start with the community you’re already are(such as NessLabs), then transmit your message, some people will follow you


Write content, listen to whom listens to what you have to say,  tell about that comment on other people communities/summits/courses

Trevor Lohrbeer:

Geoffrey Moore Crossing the Chasm: People who share the same problems, but also see the blindsights. — People who talk to one another is critical to the definition of a market (and also a community).

Community members add value by contributing.  

Talking (to your community)  clarifies your thinking

Don’t stop because the community needs you=)

Responsibility vs accountability. Paid service = more/stronger responsibility


Responsibility to put something every week: Quality vs Quantity – does quality suffer because you MUST put the product every week.


By being consistent with your accountability/responsibility you become a new person. The kind of person who always delivers.

Community can refine what you write about.

  1. Have no idea what to write about – find a community, fill the gap that is of your competence.
  2. Have a clear idea what to write about, keep writing, build community around it. 

Achim: even if you are 2, joining a community will help you refine.


Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. For ex, Ziga discovered his audience doesn’t need external links so he has been spending time on something most of his audience didn’t need. 

Deal with the feeling that what you write might not get the reach you want – at least with the start. Be ok with just writing. Play the long term game. 

Having marketing experience is a huge advantage.

Starting with a community can backfire. It highly depends what you want to do in the long vs. short term.

(Ziga’s comment: I noticed that it’s more important to write a simple newsletter each week consistently, then try to push a lot each week. Too much content/daily writing is excellent for building up the craft, but too much for most of your audience.) 

Narayan: (Twitter: @nkoachin; Newsletter:; website:

  • Community inspires you
  • Paid audience can make you feel even greater accountability
  • Don’t be afraid of joining communities created by people that you consider your competitors


Built Kurative Co. to help inspire and guide those who want to live based on their personal values, purpose, & mental health — an intentional life. 



Ask: Are you prioritizing your life? Are you doing work that you enjoy? How is your mental health? Direct message me where in your life are you struggling to take control of. 


You learn more about yourself.

If you don’t have a specific commercial product you can explore, take your time.

It takes time and patience. You’re not gonna become an expert/thought leader in a month.

Are you aligned with the value you provide to your community?


I didn’t feel like speaking much today – so I drew this instead. NEEDS POLISHING!

Having a community creates a sense of accountability

Human beings are fundamentally social animals. Behavioral economics and psychological research have taught us that we fundamentally crave a sense of connectedness, belonging, mission, and meaning, particularly when performing our work. […] Communities deliver these benefits, creating a sense of shared accountability and a set of values while preserving individual autonomy. 

Angela G:

Thinking out loud, how to describe a community?

  • Size:  2 people, small, medium, large
  • Purpose:  accountability, inspiration, sharing knowledge (can have more than 1)
  • Type:  top-down (I share stuff about what I do), lateral (Ness Labs, encourage collaboration and leadership in others)
  • Longevity:  one-time (like a march or a rally), time-bound (eg., 8 weeks or duration of course) or on-going (Ness Labs)
  • Engagement:  participate, or lurk


How do you start from scratch?

Don’t be afraid of joining the communities of your competitors.


Don’t create content to the void.. Start always from a community.

Find communities aligned with your interests.

Provide value there and create a following.

There is no competition in the digital world.

Start small. Grow sustainably.


Ness labs started by the content she created. And then she built a community.


  1. It’s a chicken and egg situation! Content builds community which in turn shapes the content (through feedback) AND A community creates a safe or motivating  place to create content, which strengthens and builds a community.
  2. Just start. Don’t try to reach an end goal in one step. Create the smallest possible step. Don’t imagine how other people will think – imagine how good you’ll feel by starting (preaching to myself here). I’m currently paralysed by the decision of which newsletter platform to use (MailChimp vs ConvertKit vs Substack vs others…) – I’ve used MailChimp in professional settings so it’s an easy option for me but I have major FOMO with ConvertKit because all the cool kids seem to be using it! (But I’ve also noticed it mirroring MailChimp more and more!)


  1. Do you develop yourself and then attract a community? Or do you attract a community and then you develop yourself?
  2. How do you start from scratch?

The authors

Being the Salon’s Participants.

  • Ziga
    • from Ljubljana, Slovenia. 
    • At the moment I’m doing a PhD in nuclear physics. 
    • When I’m not chasing new isotopes, I work on freedom business and write the Life experiment newsletter:
    •  Tweet at
  • Shay
  • Writer, performer, teacher
  • @AuthenticRisk
  • Join our playful gym/make it up on the spot corner of Ness Labs at #improv
  • Jen Vermet
  • Florian Fraas
    • Servus everybody. I am Florian from Munich / Germany. My background is in Sales of Media and Broadcast gear. I am currently kicking around some ideas I’d like to publish around and make community a corner stone for the outlets. At the moment my outlets in Instagram, Twitter and my website are stalling and I am trying to rebuild / restart them. Especially my website needs a big update. 
    • The ideas for now are based on photography, productivity and mindfullness / minimalism.
    • You can find me here:
  • Seyi Adeyinka
  • Angela Goodhart
  • Kathryn Ruge from New Zealand
    • Observer of human behaviour • Te Reo Māori learner and Treaty partner • Mum of 3 • Wife of 1 • Author of no books but much writing (for other organisations and people) – still working up the courage to publish for myself and my own entity.
    • Occasional Tweeter at
    • Baby (newborn) YouTuber at
  • Quinten Lockefeer from The Netherlands
  • Sourav from India
    • I am an entrepreneur building QAonCloud, which is a mission based startup for bringing high paid remote jobs to rural India. 
    • Before I started QAonCloud, I was a Software Developer and Engineering Manager  & Product Manager  in my past life. I am just starting out with my website and newsletter but they are nor published yet 🙂
    • You can reach me on Twitter at 
  • Josie from Leamington Sparkle, UK
  • Angelo Luciani from Toronto, Canada
  • Trevor Lohrbeer  – Asheville, North Carolina & Berlin, Germany

Isn’t that fantastic?

A bunch of strangers meet together and create knowledge in just one hour. And they plan to do even more and again. I am delighted.

Join a Knowledge Entrepreneur Braintrust

I will happily participate in the Braintrust that Achim Rothe is organizing for the next weekend.

Join us:

Introducing the Braintrust Workshop

Knowledge Entrepreneurs Salon 11. Start With Community.
Knowledge Entrepreneurs Salon 11. Start With Community.

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