We met Gillian and Ashley from NextDoor App through Paul Smyth from Young Influencers who is soon to work with them. NextDoor is all about connecting communities on a more local level and they were exploring the connections to be made in Belfast's communities and neighbourhoods. Incredibly popular in the US, NextDoor is now in the Netherlands and is also quickly setting up to go in the UK. All the folks at the meetup has been involved in communities in some way - from Belfast Design Week to Young Influencers, To Be Beautiful & Bank of Invention.
Community has been key to the big shifts and changes in Belfast's urban landscape and transforming the city into a tourist destination. We spoke about everything from Beyonce to Black Lives Matter, the Obama Campaign and work culture in Silicon Valley.
Silicon Valley is of course known for being a hub of startup activity, but there are great people everywhere in the world and we talked about why startups are more abundant there. These were some of the tips that I took away from our evening!:
- People almost expect failures during the process and give many more chances, not just a second but an 8th or 9th
- They offer great spaces to work in which makes people want to work for even newer startup businesses
- They don't stop at one successful business. They are happy to sell on and start their next venture
- They are mavens - they set the trends and get in on them before
- The successful startups look at solving bigger problems
- Their teams consist of a wide range of skills, they are truly multidisciplinary. Gillian's background is in Political Science, but she has been a great fit for NextDoor because they saw her abilities in organising and campaigning
- They think globally. Once they did well on their homeground, NextDoor looked globally and not just to expected markets (Netherlands for example)
- There is a real shift in the market towards community and social driven apps, even for those that aren't directly about community
- They work hard, but also celebrate their victories
NextDoor will be launching in the UK later this year!