It’s easier to build businesses around successful communities than communities around successful businesses.
Most businesses weren’t created to foster communities. This means businesses have to change. That change is hard. Most businesses refuse to do it right, so the community fails.
Increasingly, however, we’re seeing businesses formed around communities. Look at Mashable, Techcrunch, Mumsnet, SK-Gaming and PoliceOne etc…All are building profitable business models from successful communities.
First comes the community, then comes the business.
You will also notice they’re not relying on advertising alone. Advertising is a lazy way to make money from communities. They’re creating increasingly diverse income streams which include affiliate sales, events, merchandise, products, market-research opportunities, sponsorships, training/coaching, recruitment etc…
This is such a staggering opportunity for anyone (including you) to become an entrepreneur with very little investment. Seize it.