Awesome, what the hell does that mean?
Thanks you all for sticking with me over the years as I’ve tried to create a better 150. Looking back at it I’m realizing that I’ve been slowly iterating from an EO-like experience to something uniquely the 150. This pivot is going to emphasize what’s unique about the 150.
In chatting with Rob Krecak yesterday, he knew about the 150 number but didn’t realize that I plan on capping the group at that number. I have a philosophical and marketing reason for doing so but in order to reach 150 actively engaged members I need to have a much bigger pool of entrepreneurs engaging at a lower level.
Thus, this pivot is going to use Band App as a platform to facilitate a wider, more interactive version of the 150. I’m dropping the $19 Basic Membership in favor of a free membership, open to any members of the group that want to be more passive. In this lower engagement group, I’ll be adding prospects as well as young eager entrepreneurs, all of which will be screened, and if all goes well, we’ll have far more diversity in race, gender and age. This free group will have access to the chat, posts and other lower value engagements which I’ll get to below.
Cohorts, member presentations and most video chat elements as well as physical events will be limited to the highly-engaged paying members. But here is the twist, once we reach 150 active members, the cap is in place. At this point there are two ways a free member can become a paid member. They can wait till I kick out the 150th member for being at the bottom of the level of engagement list OR one of the paying members can sell their “seat” to the 150 at whatever price the market will bear.
It’s my way to thank you for building the community. If you make this a kick ass group, then you’ve earned the right to sell your “share” in the community. That said, every quarter I will eliminate the “bottom” member from the group. It’s my hope this will drive engagement, because if you are at the bottom of the 150, then you aren’t engaging enough. How we measure that is up for debate. I haven’t figured that out yet.
As for Content
A new Content Calendar is going to be created to keep new and interesting subjects in front of us with some repetition. Let’s break down the features here:
#Speakers & On-Going Growth
For instance, we’re going to have the following Tri-weekly themes.
Mental & Physical Health
Family & Friends
Fun & Adventure
Do these topics look familiar? Yup, they come from the “Wheel of Life” exercise. At the end of run of the 10 themes, we’ll do a circle of life exercise to share how we’ve grown. During the rotation between topic it will flow like this:
Week 1: Speaker (I’ll need LOT’S of help finding speakers). Think a 30 to 45 min session, 1/2 presentation, 1/2 Q&A)
Week 2: Implementation. A group share call where we’ll each share what we’ve learned, how we’ve integrated it (or not) and any hacks we’ve found along the way.
Week 3: Ad-Hoc Presentations. Unrelated to the theme, these presentations are for paying members to gain feedback and insights from other members. The member presenting will determine if the audience for the presentation from the 150 or from the wider community of free members + the 150 members.
Week 4: Next topic (repeat)
This isn’t going away. We’re keeping this on a bi-weekly meeting no more than 90 mins in length depending on group size. We’ll start incorporating content from speakers into the agenda.
This is replacing the Powwow, we’ll be more inclusive here to include free and prospective members giving us all a chance to meet awesome entrepreneurs. The format will be similar to what we’ve done with the Powwow. Three, 7-minute speed rounds where a question is dropped and all members have a chance to speak in small randomly assigned groups. This will be once per month.
Thanks to Rob Krecak for recommending the book Sapiens. In it, I really took away the fact that everything around us, society, our lives, our businesses… they are all just stories that we have agreed to believe in. In fact, we navigate the world with stories. This will be a monthly session to share life stories. Each campfire will include up to 3 members willing to share roughly a 10 minute story of something in their life, it literally could be anything, even song or something written.
We all want to do some kind of physical event, roughly on a quarterly basis. I’m not entirely sure how this will work so insights here are certainly welcome. Rather than increasing fees, my thought was to take a vote on locations / topics for events. I’ll (or my future team) will coordinate the planning and logistics for the event, as well as an estimate on the shared price for the event. We’ll collect an initial deposit from all who want to attend then move forward with planning. All this said, I just don’t want to be on the hook for an expensive getaway that very few attend.
Oh, and with the new calendar feature, members will have option of sharing our or creating events for the joint member calendar. I’m going to be very active with keeping this calendar updated. Please be sure to integrate it with whatever calendaring tool you love.
This is the win-win. I (or my future team) will be creating a series of marketing assets designed to promote members, the 150 and add value to the community. Thank you Eli and Kevin for planting these ideas. These things could include the following:
A “How I built this” vignette about your current or previous company. Think 5 to 10 minute video shared on Instagram / LinkedIN / via Podcast and YouTube. It will be a conversational interview, edited and turned into a shareable asset. The goal would be to create one of these per month.
Cohort teaser videos. Every quarter or so I will ask to record a portion of our cohort call to save and share for the outside world to get a taste of what is shared in cohort. I WILL NOT POST ANYTHING WITHOUT UNANIMOUS APPROVAL BY THE COHORT. My thought would be a 5 to 10 minute segment of something non-personal or non-confidential, like us riffing on future technologies or productivity hacks.
Young Entrepreneur Pitches. It’s going to take a while to get here, but once we have a good number of free members, we’ll allow one per month to “pitch” the entire 150 on an idea or request for mentorship. This pitch will be pushed live to the outside world with the hope of helping that young entrepreneur promote themselves and / or create an investment opportunity.
Please bare with me while I build these structures out. I’ve also learned to ask for help an the three things I need most help on are:
1. Finding speakers
2. Telling more people about the 150 and why they should be a part of it
3. Brainstorming and designing the first few events, topics, locations, costs etc.
For me, I’ll be updating the the150.com site in the next few days and spinning up some marketing programs around it. Once that is up, I’ll let you all know.
Thank you again for making this group awesome and I’m truly excited about these changes and where this is headed, I hope you are as well.
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