This article was translated from our English edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process. The opinions expressed by the collaborators of Entrepreneur they are personal.
I have always been an early adopter of technology. I remember what I felt the first time I used my walkman to listen to music on the go. with the album Bad of Michael Jackson in my ears, he was on top of the world, if not unstoppable.
Technology allows us to access more information and learn from voices around the world. It is an amazing tool to empower people from all walks of life. So when my then 16 year old nephew told me about Discord a few years ago, I decided to give it a try.
Originally intended as a group chat platform for gamers , Discord has since become a hub for different communities. More than 150 million monthly active users brands like Open Sea Y gucci are flocking to its members-only environment.
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But what I like about Discord is that it taps into the wisdom of the crowd, which in my opinion is always smarter than anyone else. Our startup has 35 employees, but since we adopted Discord, it often feels like we have 5,000. The community you’ve helped us foster has blurred the line between customers, investors, and employees. Here’s why that’s a good thing:
Building a community as engaged as its employees
We run a subscription based business where clients pay a membership fee to access crowdfunded real estate. So, you could say that collaboration and inclusion are in the DNA of our company. Our Discord server has been instrumental in building a community of members as engaged as our team.
Discord is like a jovial version of Reddit . It has opened up new possibilities for our business. Being able to zero in on specific users has been an amazing way to reduce noise and get feedback from stakeholders, something we can’t do through other social media channels.
It also connected our employees with our members, creating a positive feedback loop where they can collaborate on ideas, check in to see how a project is going, or offer kudos. It has also worked as a democratizer: breaking down employee hierarchies and building connections between otherwise isolated stakeholders.
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Everyone is invited into the conversation, whether they feel more comfortable starting a new topic, weighing in on others’ thoughts, or just lurking and watching in the background. That egalitarian approach means everyone feels their ideas are valued.
Create the product your customers want
Members don’t just ask and answer questions, they share ideas on how we can improve our product and insights on how others can use it more effectively. In fact, Some of the most exciting initiatives in our company come from our Discord community. With crowdsourced customer feedback, we’ve been able to discover what’s meaningful to them and map our product to what they want, and don’t want, in real time.
For example, one of our current projects is to build a financial education academy to help educate our members. The product hasn’t been released yet, but we already have plenty of ideas on what to name it and what features we want, thanks to Discord.
We are no longer building for our community, we are building with our community. We’ve come up with a way to test the beta in real time, and feedback from our members has helped improve our business. For example, when we launched our next product “adverse” (aptly named by our community), a member mentioned that he would like to have an avatar for himself as mayor of the properties he has fractionally invested in.
That spawned a lot of funny memes and a hilarious thread, but it also told us how our members want to use the product. Our clients are adopting an ownership mindset towards our business and helping us improve every aspect of it in the process.
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Brand advocates can become your best recruits
We haven’t hired anyone from our Discord community yet, but in many ways, that would be ideal. Just take some time to review the conversations on our server and you’ll see exactly how we run our business, in full transparency. It has become a great lead generator for potential talent where our built-in Brand Advocates can share job openings with their respective networks or apply themselves.
When we hired members of our Discord community, we suspected that the onboarding process would be streamlined. The people on our servers already believe in our mission, understand our product, and are passionate about our purpose. Even now, we have volunteers on the platform who moderate conversations and make sure interactions are respectful and follow community guidelines.
The commitment I have seen from these members is what any employer would expect to see from their employees. In fact, if any of them applied, they would be receptive. What boss doesn’t want a team that’s passionate about their company’s mission and taking advantage of their customers?
We never intended to use our Discord server in this way, but the great thing about experimenting with new technology is that you never know which platforms will move the needle.
The bottom line is that our business was founded on a crowdsourcing model, so it’s not a stretch for us to rely on that same technology to build our business. Now, with access to the insights of thousands of valuable minds, why would your business success depend on the insight of one person?
I see it this way: when a Nobel laureate is asked about his great achievement, he never claims to be the smartest person. Rather, they recognize that they are good at surrounding themselves with a wide range of thinkers and tapping into the collective wisdom of the group.
And that’s exactly what tech-resistant leaders stand to lose. There is incredible innovation and kismet to be discovered by learning from the quieter voices. It’s up to us as leaders to show up to listen, even if it’s in a college chat room.
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Discord is a social media platform built for gamers. And it is my favorite tool as a leader.