There's a big difference between a product that has users and a product that has a community.
A community implies social link, emotional engagement, and above all, a degree of ownership. A community member is an owner & a contributor, and the product is part of their identity.
It's the difference between using and being.
This is why community members will go to great lengths to evangelize your product -- allowing you to grow faster on a $0 marketing budget than your big corp competitors that spend millions.
This is why your community members won't just switch if a better product becomes available elsewhere. Instead, they will fight to make their product catch up & win. Think Linux vs. Windows.
A community is an incredible growth vector and an incredible moat.
But that's not even the point. The point is the community itself.
The community isn't a tool that you use to build a product or company. The product or company is a tool that you use to build and sustain your community.
You can follow @fchollet.
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