Community is Eating the World | Kobie Fuller & Derek Andersen
July 2, 2021
Head of Community at Bevy and CMX
In this fireside chat from CMX Summit, a seasoned venture capitalist discussed the increasing trend of new companies focusing on a community to win hearts, minds, and markets. This fireside chat highlighted different perspectives on community trends and the effect the community industry will have on core business products.
Kobie Fuller is a partner at Upfront Ventures, the largest and longest-running venture firm in Southern California. He joined the firm in 2016 and has led investments in companies including TheWaveVR, Cordial, Bevy, The Mighty and MetaCX. Kobie is also the founder/creator of Valence, a networking platform aimed to unite the combined global power of black professionals.
Derek Andersen is the co-founder and CEO of Bevy. Bevy powers customer-to-customer events communities for Atlassian, Twitch, Slack, Atlassian, Duolingo, and others. Derek also co-founded Startup Grind, a community of 650 chapters in 120 countries designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs. He previously worked at Electronic Arts.
Quotes and Notes from Kobie Fuller
At the best companies, community is the lifeblood.
When we invest, we’re looking for you to have the ability to leverage high growth or community.
For any company that is creating a movement (like Peloton), it’s hard to attribute a specific revenue amount to community. But really, it’s the core to success.
At Revolve, other marketing efforts stopped working. So, we started trying to create a community of Influencers, and brought them together in social events. We found they connected to each-other and our brand in authentic ways.
As VCs, we look for authentic, amazing founders. The founder of The Mighty has a real passion and authenticity to around: “Why should this community exist?”
It’s rare to find companies with meaningful economic returns that could actually change the world. When we do, it’s a no-brainer.
Unfortunately, we’re not seeing enough pitches coming in that have community at their core. Bird, Goat, The Wing, The Mighty: These all have explosive growth because they’re using community.
People are finally starting to wake up to the fact that community isn’t a final step. It should be layered into the plan from the start.
While VCs represent hundreds of millions of dollars, community builders represent hundreds of millions of people. Let’s use that in a big way and take it seriously.
*This post was authored by the CMX Community in the CMX Summit 2019 Collaborative Notes
Beth is the Head of Community at Bevy and CMX. She oversees the engagement, strategy, and structure of all our CMX Community Programs, as well as the CMX Connect program – an in-person distributed events program turned virtual in 2020. Beth lives in the incomparable Rocky Mountains in Jasper, Canada and spends most of her free time in total awe of their majesty.