Why We Start Small

You start small so you can be the most valuable, most relevant, and most useful to a small group.

You start small so you can give the most attention to each individual person.

You start small so you can wow a small group instead of bore a larger group.

You start small so no-one can compete with you, not even the big fish.

You start small to build powerful early sense of community.

You start small to establish social norms and setup the right traditions.

You start small to keep expectations reasonable.

You start small so future newcomers will see a friendly, thriving, group they join.

You start small so you can run tests, make mistakes, and find out what works for you.

You start small because it’s more reliable than starting big.

You start small because you grow faster.

You start small so you can get the concept right before wasting your first impression.

You start small so you can get some great stories to tell future members (and core stakeholders)

You start small to showcase results as quickly as possible.

If you’re in doubt, start small. If you’re not in doubt, start small anyway.


  1. Doug Agee says:

    Very timely @richard_millington. We are talking about our next step in our small community. Our focus has turned from adding more people from within the organization to growing our existing base of community members who have not logged in to see what our online community is all about. We talk about community best practices almost daily. Part of my mantra to the stakeholders has been one of your points - [quote=“richard_millington, post:1, topic:2493”]
    You start small so you can get the concept right before wasting your first impression.

    I would add that you start small to apply some of the many great tips you learn from the experts at FeverBee.

  2. Kath Reuben says:

    Very timely @richard_millington. As I am trying to formulate all the reasons we should start small and share them with our Board, who wants to go in with a bang - very ‘Go BIG or Go HOME’ mentality. Unfortunately, for us, we’ve previously made the error of wasting a first impression on a support portal, so trying hard to avoid the same pitfall again. Thanks for some great reminders!

  3. Carlos Castro says:

    Some years ago I tried to star a medium-size community for teachers in Mexico; It didn’t work. Then I started a small-size community for interns supporting teacher, and it worked really well. Our small community was able to create a sense of community that helped us to reach the community’s goals (train teachers). I learned the importance of smaiil communities the hard way,but I’ll never forget it.

  4. Sarah Hawk says:

    Thanks for sharing your learnings Carlos. :slight_smile:
    How much of that do you think was a result of the size, and how much had to do with the niche (less competitive) topic?

  5. Carlos Castro says:

    I think it was the size and my lack of ability to create a sense of community for the teachers because some teachers had their own “political” agenda inside the school. However, reflecting about what happened, I recongnize many opportunities that I miss trying to catch all the teachers inside my community instead of creating a small community for the more willing teacher.

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