What Can a Super Bowl Flash Mob Ad Teach Us About Community Building?
When it matters. When more is on the line, performance and therefore innovation accelerates. Sometimes the motivational factors are intrinsic. A self-want to emerge as exceptional, pride in one’s craft, the good feeling the brain relays upon finishing a hard task. Other times, motivation can be heavily extrinsic or relational to the setting. The value is assigned or at least partially defined by external forces and factors. When you seek to grow your community, it is imperative to find the proper balance. How does TopCoder strike this balance to foster a competitive community? Read on and enjoy this incredibly fun flash mob video for an ultimate example of extrinsic value creation.
There are at least 5 intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors that drive individuals within the TopCoder Community. When you are crafting your community or attempting to build a movement, keep your focus where it belongs, on the value you create for the individual who decides to join you. If a process or philosophy adds value, instrument it. If an action or decision adds no value, or worse yet, extracts value, repeal it and possibly replace it.
How TopCoder Creates Individual Value
Pride – the act of doing, failing, doing again and accomplishing creates overwhelming pride for many of our competitors.
Confidence – Once you do something, the ability to do it again seems easier. This goes for learning a brand new discipline as well as mastering specific ones. Our community members gain confidence through participation.
Relationships – We are first and foremost a community. Members have fun, socialize, share and create new relationships that matter to them.
Resilience – Not fearing failure and understanding that you compete, get judged on your outputs and often are not the winner makes our members stronger, period.
Knowledge – Our members gain significant and specific knowledge through competition and collaboration. This in it of itself creates opportunity for future success.
Rating – A TopCoder rating is the most outwardly shared symbol of one’s ability. Through expansive metrics, our members gain a rating that has real world implications. That rating shows up on resumes and CVs across the globe and can help determine if a member is elevated to an advanced community opportunity.
Skill – If knowledge is intrinsic, skill is knowledge applied extrinsically. Members compete to gain very specific skill-sets and emerge as hyperspecialists and accomplished generalists.
Status – Within the community, beyond a member rating, there are specific levels and accomplishments one can achieve. Peer-Reviewers, Copilots and TopCoder Open Finalists – where we gather our best coders, algorithmists and designers from around the world to face off in live competitions - are a few examples of how status works within the TopCoder Community.
Money – This one is simple. Many competitors compete as their full-time work while others compete in their spare time, allowing them to supplement their income. Knowledge to specific skill, specific skill to monetization.
Opportunity – This ranges from working on projects that matter, to getting their work in front of Fortune 100 clients and TopCoder Open sponsors such as Google. This is of course valuable to many of our members.
Community building starts, reaches critical mass and grows beyond because of value delivery. Keep your focus there and continually create new ways to deliver value to your individuals. The reward is simple, a highly engaged and motivated community.
So, what can a flash-mob teach us about community building? Enjoy this amazingly fun video to see extrinsic value creation, feeding intrinsic emotions and leading to a more impassioned effort.