Saturday, August 13, 2011

Regenerative Help Ecosystems

I just got an email from the CEO of Apigee, which provides what appears to be a high-volume alternative API to Twitter and about a dozen other web services. I signed up a few days ago while researching.

It was an autogen email with an offer of help getting started, with a community manager copied on it. When I first read it I thought it was authentic because of the casual writing and the CC to a real person, but the "Hi charlie.crystle" kind of gave it away.

Oh well.

Something about that triggered a thought, something about how founders view their lives. On a daily basis, we run into problems along the way of executing our vision.

We plan, we research, we try, test, fail, and try again.

We offer and accept help along the way. The exchange of help is phenomenal. Stack Overflow has built what appears to be an incredible, fast-growing business on this dynamic.

I appreciate it when I'm trying to solve a problem, try something, and someone offers help on how to do it better. That's one of the dynamics we're building into Jawaya, recognizing that it's our natural inclination to help.

I appreciate it when someone reaches out and helps, even if they don't know they've given the help. And I'm more likely to help others after receiving help. It's regenerative, ever-expanding, and self-reinforcing.

If I find a great blog post explaining sockets in Node.js, that's help provided before the fact, an expression of generosity. Blogging can really help people.

Now when I say 'our', I mean the human race, but I'm likely applying that too broadly. Not everyone likes to help. Or offers. Even when they can.

But business founders, programmers, knitters, food enthusiasts--they are naturally collaborative, and help each other when they can. There are thousands of helpful niche interest communities out there.

So thanks Chet from Apigee. Even if it was an auto-gen email.

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