The Business of Community

12/7/2022 10:53

More companies are catching on to how indispensable a community can be. With the right community support, the possibilities are endless. Not only will you be able to grow your brand, but at the same time, you can build a loyal following by nurturing the community you incorporate into your brand.

But what is community? Why does it make or break a business? What makes having a community so special? Is community building the same for Web3 companies? These are just some of the questions that we’ll explore in this article. So, if you’re curious about the business of community, especially in the Web3 space, read on to know more!  

The Basics of Community

When you hear the term “community,” what comes first to mind? For me, it's a sense of belongingness. However, to belong, you need some degree of commonality. Thus, a community can be better understood as a social unit sharing a common ground. It can be a place, a religion, an identity, norms, values, customs, or virtually anything you can share with a group of people.

From this, we can presume that a community does not form around a specific product, service, or company. Rather, a community builds from the ideas, methodologies, and processes that allow certain individuals to have something in common with others. This definition of a community is applicable under any setting — even in Web3.

The Concept of Community in Web3

In Web3, a community is even more crucial. It is the lifeblood of Web3. And without it, your project or startup can easily fade away into oblivion.

You might be wondering why. So, let’s go back to the core of Web3, which calls for a more open and democratic Internet — one where we can claim ownership, portability, and transparency.

The problem with Web2 is that it is ethically and structurally flawed due to its top-down governance model. The majority of companies push for features that users don't need, like, or want. That’s because it prioritizes political and shareholder incentives, rather than what its community of users wants.

As Web3 brings ownership to the people, it calls for bringing people together and creating a collective around projects based on a set of common goals and values. This is how a community is born in Web3. However, in a world where decentralization rules, success is not defined simply by having a great product or service that can convince investors. For a project or a startup to be successful, it needs a strong tight-knit community that will tirelessly stand with the company through thick and thin.

If you’ve noticed, many of the most successful applications in the Web3 space are DAOs, which operate on NFT or token-based decentralized governance. Such organizational structure and model derive strength from its community through governance participation that is equally distributed within the community. Instead of a central authority, like a CEO or a board of directors, deciding on the future of a project, each community member in a DAO has a fair share of the project — allowing every member to participate and vote on key decisions with equal power.

This means that each member of the DAO oversees the protocol laid out for the project. And, because incentives are aligned with the success of the project, it is also in the best interests of the members to vote for plans that serve the best interests of the project itself.

Even though a startup is not necessarily a DAO, its community still plays a significant role in its success due to the financially incentivized structure associated with many Web3 startups. Always remember that your community members are your most loyal users and supporters. And whether you like it or not, they will remain to be your source of strength and resilience.

Challenges of Community Building

As much as we hope for eternal sunshine in Web3, darkness creeps into some corners of the space. Here are some of the common challenges of community building:


The proliferation of spam accounts in your community can be detrimental to the success of your project. The presence of spam posts and messages in your community can delegitimize your project, reinforce inappropriate behavior within your community, and increase your risks of failure. While identifying which members and posts are valid and authentic can sometimes be difficult, it is a necessary task. If not addressed correctly, it can drive other community members to leave to escape the spammy environment.


A normal day in a Web3 community can consist of more than 100,000 activities. If this is your community, it can be difficult to tune out the noise and stay on top of what’s really important. So, leverage a single source of truth for your community to weed out the noise and unlock intelligent insights.


The health of your community can be measured by the overall sentiment of the community members. Negative sentiments are often in the form of fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD). To manage negative sentiments, being transparent, reaffirming the company’s core values, and over-communicating can go a long way. A hint of humility from the co-founders would not hurt as well, as it shows character, building trust among community members.  

Key Takeaway

Community is a central aspect of the Web3 business model. But, understanding how to incorporate a community into your brand and manage it well can be complex. It’s a constant struggle of balancing authenticity and transparency all while creating a strong reputation. But when done right, you’ll reap the benefits. Just look at the Bored Ape Yacht Club and other successful NFT projects. The majority of its success can be attributed to effective community management. So, invest in your community and they will give back more than you expect.

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