When did you first realize that community management was an actual job? Many of the guests on Community Signal, including Patrick and this week’s guest, Shreyas Narayanan Kutty, got their start in community management by volunteering for causes or topics that they were passionate about. After building communities as a volunteer for the Mozilla Foundation, Shreyas found himself surrounded by community professionals and realized that he wanted to take his work full-time.
Shreyas now manages the developer relations community for CoinList, and with seven years of experience managing communities, he has observed a lot of positive change in how the community profession is perceived in India.
Patrick and Shreyas discuss:
- How they each came to the realization that community management can be a viable job
- Opportunities for growth and specialization in the community management profession
- The practices and guidelines that lay the foundation for successful developer communities
Community management as a career in India: “[In India] the job seeker layer understands communities now … but I think change really comes when the top layer, or the hiring layer, really understands communities. When they say, ‘We know that this is how our business can benefit [from community]; this is the ROI of communities.’ They’ve taken that decision to invest in it. That’s when you understand that this [career] is successful.” –@dun3buggi3
On searching for community management jobs: “When I was looking for the job in community … a lot of these companies were really looking for business development or sales or growth hacking. They were just sugar coating it with the title ‘community manager,’ which was really interesting to me because I know that for them it sounded appealing but they really didn’t want to invest in communities. I’ve actually had that conversation with founders where I’m telling them that, ‘This is a wrong understanding of community, this is not what community management is. If you really want to invest in communities, you probably should think about it this way and not what you’re doing right now.'” –@dun3buggi3
Getting started in community management: “When we go to events, when people just come up to me and say, ‘How do I get a role? How do I get started in this industry?,’ I tell them that if you’re really passionate about it, there’s nothing that can stop you. I know it sounds like a cliché, but there’s nothing that can stop you from achieving that. My first go-to tips are try to volunteer for an organization that you really care about. Then eventually that might get converted to a paid position but don’t do it because you’re motivated by that, do it because you genuinely care about the cause.” –@dun3buggi3
Setting a standard for how we communicate about our work: “We’ve talked about these exact things on the show, community management versus social media management and the confusion there. For me, it’s the difference between tools and strategy, that’s how I try to simplify for people. Social media is a toolset. It’s a toolset that’s used by marketing, by human resources, by customer service. Community is a strategy you apply to a toolset. It’s a different set of goals and beliefs.” –@patrickokeefe
About Shreyas Narayanan Kutty
Shreyas Narayanan Kutty is a community manager primarily based in Bangalore, India. A computer science engineer by education, he succumbed to the lure of building communities and took up community management as a full-time profession. He recently joined the CoinList team to work on their developer community. Shreyas is also a volunteer with the Mozilla Foundation.
Shreyas is passionate about digital inclusion and building an open and accessible web. He runs Community Managers India, a resource for professionals with questions about the industry.
- Shreyas Narayanan Kutty’s website
- Shreyas on Twitter
- CoinList, where Shreyas works on their developer community
- Shreyas’s contributions to Mozilla
- Community Managers India on Twitter
- Swarm Conference, Australia’s community management conference
- Vanessa Paech on Community Signal
- Telegram, a messaging app
- VK, also known as VKontakte
- Instagram to test hiding public likes count in Canada
[00:00] Announcer: You’re listening to Community Signal, the podcast for online community professionals. Tweet with @communitysignal as you listen. Here’s your host, Patrick O’Keefe.
[00:00:24] Patrick O’Keefe: Hello and thank you for spending some time with me here on Community Signal. On this episode, our guest is Shreyas Narayan Kutty and we’re talking about the community management space in India, community around hackathons, and the availability of mentors in the community profession.
If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting us on Patreon at communitysignal.com/innercircle. Thank you to all of our backers including Jules Standen, Marjorie Anderson and Serena Snoad. Shreyas Narayan Kutty is a community manager primarily based in Bangalore, India.
A computer science engineer by education, he succumbed to the lure of building communities and took up community management as a full-time profession. Shreyas recently joined the CoinList team to work on their developer community. He started his first online community while in high school a vBulletin powered forum for Nokia S40 and S60 software users. Over the years, Shreyas has built communities both online and offline, most of these around open source technology.
Shreyas volunteers with the Mozilla Foundation, the makers of the Firefox browser. A featured contributor on Mozilla’s website, he has worked extensively with educators and universities across the world. This led to him being invited to join the first Mozilla All Hands as part of their community building team, which is when he discovered that community management was a real job.
Apart from community, Shreyas gets excited about open source technology and the potential of the world wide web. He’s also passionate about digital inclusion and building an open and accessible web. Shreyas, welcome to the show.
[00:01:44] Shreyas Narayanan Kutty: Thanks, Patrick.
[00:01:45] Patrick O’Keefe: It’s good to have you on. I know we’ve followed each other on Twitter for a while. I’d love to talk about the community management space in India. What does it look like? What industry exists there? What opportunity exists there? Tell me about it.
[00:02:00] Shreyas Narayanan Kutty: I think I will be definitely biased in my view because I live in Bangalore which is like the San Francisco of India.
[00:02:07] Patrick O’Keefe: Got you.
[00:02:08] Shreyas Narayanan Kutty: It’s like the Silicon Valley. I think all of the tech startups are here. You have most of the tech companies having their headquarters, development centers in Bangalore. Most of the companies that are hiring community managers in this space are definitely tech companies. Then there’s also the huge segment of co-working spaces. WeWorks, CoWorks, there’s a bunch of them in India that set up their centers here. Now, they want to invest in communities, they want to try to see how they can, what is their USP (unique selling proposition) in terms of doing this because there’s a lot of them out here. Their selling point is now communities. They’re trying to say that apart from the space, apart from the facilities, apart from the great coffee we have, we also have a great community, that’s why you probably should join us over an XYZ competitor. They’re hugely investing on communities. I would say that the scene is still very early. Not a lot of companies understand community management or really don’t understand the reason to invest in communities. It’s really early, I would say, in that aspect.
[00:03:12] Patrick O’Keefe: People in our industry complain sometimes. One of the things that is a common complaint and I’m the one making complaints too quite often if you’ve read my writing or listen to this show, I have my own set of complaints. Over here in America, you’ll hear people– I don’t know. They complain about all sorts of things. It’s not unique to our industry.
People in other spaces complain about the same things, career path, people understanding your role, understanding what community work is, dedicating appropriate resources to it. Right, not just thinking it’s like you put up a Facebook page, and you call it a day. Do you look at people over here that complain and think about like, “Well, you guys have it so much better, so much easier over there, you don’t know what you’re complaining about.”
[00:03:56] Shreyas Narayanan Kutty: Yes, absolutely. Back when I started community management, I chose community management as a career, profession because I was invited to a Mozilla All Hands. I was sitting in a room full of community managers, I was just looking around, and I was just asking them, “What do you do?” Their job description sounded very similar to what I was doing as a volunteer, which I was already doing and not getting paid for it. I’m like, “Essentially, what’s the job title called?” Then they said, “community manager.” I came back and started looking for a job.
I was actually offered a job at a start-up based in Bangalore. The job title was community evangelist. Their whole business was around communities. It made sense in a way. Then after that job when I started looking around for another opportunity in the community industry, it was really difficult because nobody understood what community management was. At that point, I started looking at CMX, FeverBee, and Community Signal, of course. A lot of these resources that was available online to see how I can upscale myself.
Then fast forward to, I think, last year when I was invited to speak at the Swarm Conference in Australia, they made an announcement which was very interesting to me. They started a union for community managers. That’s when it struck to me how advanced they are or how advanced the US is, or for that matter, how advanced the rest of India is when it comes to investing in communities. We barely understand the difference between an audience and a community. People think that Facebook followers and Twitter followers is a community.
That’s something that I defend and try to say that this is just your followers, you’re not building a community out of it because they don’t get to interact with each other. I looked at Swarm in Australia and then all of these organizations in the US that’s investing in communities and like, “Wow.” The challenges are totally on a different scale.
[00:05:41] Patrick O’Keefe:And you you shared that story with me about going to the Mozilla All Hands and seeing these community managers and that was the moment you realize that it was a real job. It’s interesting to me because I was trying to think before the show like, “Goodness, when did I think of this as a real job,” because you mentioned to me that you started as a teenager running like a vBulletin forum. I had a similar experience. I started moderating communities as a teenager, the ones I moderated I want to say goodness, it might have been an EasyBoard back in ’98. I think that’s what it was and then I ran phpBB 1.2 back in early 2000. I definitely remember those days. I don’t know, to me, it was almost like, it was just something I did and then I had a choice at some point. I was homeschooled and I graduated high school early. I graduated high school a year early. I was thinking about going to college or not going to college and what I ended up deciding and realizing was that I really only wanted to go to college to play baseball.
I really liked baseball, I was good at baseball, I had that dream and I was thinking, “You know what? I want to play baseball maybe.” I never thought of it as needing to do it for community. Community work was just something that I did and then I just kept doing it because I had websites that I owned and operated and I had ads on them and I was generating some revenue. I just went into it and it just became the thing that I did.
It’s just interesting, I don’t know. If you’re listening to this, I wonder what the moment was for you. Feel free to tweet @communitysignal, you can cc Shreyas on the tweet. What was that moment that you realized community manager, the community profession was a job? That will be really interesting to hear. You mentioned as part of that story and you told the story a little bit here but you got that first job and that startup, that first company, you worked at ran out of funding and they went away, it shut down.
You had thought that it was really easy to get into this space because you had got that first job, but then you found that as you just said, there wasn’t a whole lot of understanding for the role and you had gone to interviews where community manager roles, and you were talking to the founder and you mentioned one that told you that they were basically looking for someone in sales and marketing. That was then, is it getting better, is there a slow crawl to improvement?
[00:07:51] Shreyas Narayanan Kutty: Yes, there is a lot of improvement from back then because now at least they’re vaguely familiar about communities, I want to say.
[00:07:58] Patrick O’Keefe: Yepp.
[00:07:59] Shreyas Narayanan Kutty: There are a lot of groups that are starting out. They’re doing events about community management, they are doing conferences, they’re doing small meet-ups and all of that. I think the bottom layer, I would say the job seeker layer, understands communities now. They follow all of the different resources that’s available right now, but I think change really comes when the top layer, or the hiring layer really understands communities.
That’s when they say that, “Okay, now that we know that this is how our business can benefit out of this, this is the ROI of communities,” if I may, They’ve taken that decision to invest in it. That’s when you understand that this is successful. You’ve reached that benchmark of saying that was successful.
When I was looking for the job in community, I thought, I had more than a year of community experience, which is not great, which is decent enough to move to a new role.
Sadly, that was not the case. A lot of these companies were really looking at business development or sales or growth hacking and what not. They were just sugar coating it with the title ‘community manager’, which was really interesting to me because I know that for them it sounded appealing but they really didn’t want to invest in communities. I’ve actually had that conversation with founders where I’m just sitting across the table and telling them that, “This is a wrong understanding of community, this is not what community management is. If you really want to invest in communities, you probably should think about it this way and not what you’re doing right now.”
[00:09:20] Patrick O’Keefe: How long have you been working in community now?
[00:09:23] Shreyas Narayanan Kutty: I’ve been volunteering with the Mozilla Foundation and building their communities for about seven years now, and as a full-time profession, I’ve been at it for about four and a half years now.
[00:09:32] Patrick O’Keefe: Okay. Sticking with this career subject, you had said something in our pre-show question here that I kind of picked up on, and from reading some of your thoughts I got the sense that you were concerned about your long-term prospects in this field. That you won’t have many options when you get to, say, 10 years or more of experience. Talk about that a little bit.
[00:09:54] Shreyas Narayanan Kutty: I think my whole concern started with the point of finding it difficult to get a job in the community industry in India. That’s when I thought, “This is interesting,” because if the country that I’m based in right now does not want to invest in communities then why not look at countries that’s already doing so? Then that’s how I started looking for a remote job and tried to work for companies outside of India that really wants to invest in building their community. That’s something that I always tell to people in this industry as well.
When we go to events when people just come up to me and say, “How do I get a role? how do I get started in this industry?” I tell them that if you’re really passionate about it, there’s nothing that can stop you. I know it sounds like a cliche but there’s nothing that can stop you from achieving that. My first go-to tips are try to volunteer for an organization that you really care about. Then eventually that might get converted to a paid position but don’t do it because you’re motivated by that, do it because you genuinely care about the cause.
To answer your question, in the long-term, I would really want to know where this is all headed. Community as a term is very broad and there are different aspects or I would say verticals to it. There’s marketing, their sales, there’s business development, there is moderation. There are different specializations that you can get into. Something that I’ve always been thinking about is what could be my specialization, or is that the direction which community management is headed right now? I don’t know what your thoughts are on that as well? I’d love to get to know that since you’ve already been in this industry for more than 10 years.
[00:11:28] Patrick O’Keefe: I appreciate that. It’s interesting because as you said in the pre-show, there are certainly a limited number of more senior roles in this space. For me, I do believe that there are senior roles that come open and there are senior roles that can be found and I really believe that those of us who have been in the space for a long time, myself included, or any number of other veterans that have been in the space for more than 10, 15 years, we sort of owe it to ourselves and we owe it to the space to push up as much as we can.
To push up higher, to ask questions that are uncomfortable sometimes, to ask for more responsibility, to ask for a higher salary, to ask for a better title. It’s a very cliche thing to say, but community managers and community professionals are often just very good selfless people. Part of the role is I always kind of not cringe, but I always sort of like, I don’t know what happens to my face, but when I hear people say community managers are rock stars, I always sort of be like, “Ah, ah, ah, ah.” I don’t know. I think we’re stage managers, and we take the spotlight and we point it at other people and there’s a certain selflessness that breeds in that role.
I have calls with community managers, or emails or texts somewhat regularly where my thing to them is like, “Believe in yourself. You’re doing this work, you know what your value is, you know your numbers, you’ve built this community, you’ve been there for two years, three years, four years, you have this great work to show, level up.” You need to go in and you need to say it’s not just enough to get a raise, ask for a better title. Ask to hire one person. You’ll get rejected. Absolutely you’ll get rejected sometimes, but if you don’t ask you never know, and if no one ever asks the space doesn’t advance.
Those of us who have been doing it for a while, we have to ask. We have to push up. We can’t just accept our reality or what it is. I do see an increase in roles in America. I can’t speak to anywhere else, but in America, I’ve seen the increase in senior roles and seniority, and I see a lot of good things. Part of when I took my job at The Community Company was that I wanted to build a team up from under me, that was part of attracting me to the company, that was part of what got me here, is this idea that I would be able to build out a team under me, and I’ve been able to do that with right now two community managers and a community specialist and a third community manager on the way.
I’ve been able to do that thing that I wanted to do, it was important to me. I was not going to be a single person. It was not going to be a team of one. It wasn’t practical, it made no sense. It’s tough sometimes but we have to have those conversations.
I think that community is broad. I try to in my language of it, in the way I talk about it. I try to be specific and consistent, and I try to be consistent in those definitions when I’m talking about it. I can’t control everyone else. A CMO although their marketing profession might be much better understood than community is. People talk about stuff in a lot of different ways, inbound, outbound. There’s all these different terms for marketing and specialization within marketing. I can only be consistent for myself, and consistency for myself means that to me pure community work is when you own an experience from end-to-end, you host the technology you’re responsible for, you’re responsible for onboarding, off-boarding, policy, moderation, bringing people into the community, measuring the success of the community, measuring the data behind the community, advocating for product enhancements.
That’s sort of the pure community role that a lot of people aspire to and want. It’s tough, social media, I saw you on the Community Management India page that you have you retweeted an article by Vanessa Paech, I know pretty well, and who’s been on the show before. We’ve talked about these exact things on the show, community management versus social media management and the confusion there. For me, it’s the difference between tools and strategy, that’s how I try to simplify for people. Social media is a toolset, it’s a toolset that’s used by marketing, by HR, by customer service. Community is a strategy you apply to a toolset. It’s a different set of goals and beliefs. That’s my long-winded answer. I don’t know if there’s anything in there you want to pick on or anything that might be worth talking about further.
[00:15:25] Shreyas Narayanan Kutty: Yes. It’s interesting that you mentioned that there’s onus on senior community professionals to bring out new community professionals, grow their team, and advocate for larger budget and more people on the team in itself. I’ve always been a fan of the job postings that you’ve put out for community managers. It shows a lot of empathy in terms of understanding that community managers are also humans. There is no expectation on being online 24/7 and really shows a great growth path, which is super important for a new community manager who is joining a new company.
[00:16:00] Patrick O’Keefe: I appreciate that. I want to switch gears and talk about something that I know nothing about but that you know a lot about. You do a lot of work with hackathons and I’m going to ask you a set of questions and then the real question. Here’s a setup.
Are all hackathons community?
[00:16:16] Shreyas Narayanan Kutty: I would say not all of them are a community but yes, some of them are. It really depends on the organization that’s doing it then. I’ve worked in the space quite a lot.
[00:16:27] Patrick O’Keefe: You’re not letting me set this up properly. That was a setup the answer was no, so here’s the setup. The setup is, what makes a hackathon a community? [laughs]
[00:16:36] Shreyas Narayanan Kutty: That’s an interesting question. I would say, it’s hiring interns versus hiring a full-time employee. Some of these companies try to do it the sneaky way of getting work done. They think, “Okay, let’s do a hackathon so that you don’t have to spend the budget and time to hire and onboard or full-time employee.” That’s a hacky way of getting work done. If you’re really interested in building a community around the company, around the technology that you’re developing, I think hackathons are a great way to do that. At CoinList, we found a lot of success in that these companies that are having their code in the open, they’re completely open source. They want to invest in building that community of developers who advocate and evangelize their product or build on top of their product. We found that these companies are extremely happy and satisfied with the response they get because developers are often finding bugs. They’re finding the limitations of the software or the technology that these people have built. They continue to stick to that technology even beyond the hackathon. If they’re doing a hackathon for this month and if the entire month the developers have spent building on top of it, they still continue to do that beyond the hackathon which I would say is them getting in for the code and then staying on for the community.
[00:17:49] Patrick O’Keefe: To me when you said that what I hear is really the community part is what happens after the hackathon.
[00:17:54] Shreyas Narayanan Kutty: Yes, absolutely. I think it’s setting up to build your community. When you do a hackathon what really matters is I’ve only worked with open source organizations until now. For their hackathons I would say, your code should be open. You have community guidelines in terms of no harassment, no abuse of language. The general community participation guidelines that we have for all communities.
Then seeing how much overhead does a developer have to build on top of your software or use your tools to build a software. If you have enough documentation or if you have enough support, I would say, then, the chances of them sticking on to be a part of that community is much higher.
[00:18:34] Patrick O’Keefe: You’ve done a fair amount of work in the cryptocurrency and blockchain verticals and a lot of these efforts use Telegram to power their “community efforts”. On earn.com, I used to receive a bunch of Coin Drop messages and they’d all want me to join a Telegram. I downloaded the app just because they wanted me to join it [laughs]. I joined this Telegram channel, their Telegram community and I wouldn’t look at it again. I would just join to meet the minimum requirement and not look at it again. You mentioned in the pre-show question here that Telegram, “isn’t designed to be a community tool.” Why does Telegram have a such a strong pull with those types of efforts?
[00:19:18] Shreyas Narayanan Kutty: I think it’s because the crypto community, there’s a lot of intersection between the privacy and open web crowd that attracts them to crypto. These are the people who don’t want to be tracked. They want to use a system that’s not backed by the government and cannot be controlled. The ideology is really off the blockchain crypto space really resonate with them and that’s why they get involved in the first place. One of the tools that’s come out that’s really focused on this narrative of privacy and focus on end to end encryption all of that has been Telegram.
When they launched globally, the team that’s behind Telegram, that’s Pavel Durov and his brother, I forget his name. Both of them were founders of VKontakte, the Russian Facebook. The government apparently had come to them and they said, “We can’t give you the data of our users,” and all that. Then they fled the country and started this peer-to-peer messaging app. The whole narrative has been that it’s much better than WhatsApp where WhatsApp is more of a friends and family thing, where you know phone numbers and all of that. Whereas in Telegram you don’t have that facility nor someone’s phone number unless they explicitly share that with you. It also overcame a lot of drawbacks of WhatsApp like the number of limitations on the people that can join in a group and all of that. I would say that’s probably the reason that Telegram has been hugely popular in this space. I agree that now a lot of these legitimate companies that’s investing in communities really understand that all of the numbers and Telegram is basically something that they shouldn’t keep track of. There are services that offer you bots to join your Telegram community.
It’s like saying that we have a big “community” and that you should probably invest in us when we do an IC or a token offering. We’ve been approached by companies in the past saying that, “Why don’t you build your community. This is how we help you.” Then we’ve been open to that conversation about how they intend to build the community, only to later realize that they’re just talking about bots joining in the group.
[00:21:29] Patrick: So that you have these coins and you want to drive interest and so if you’re one of these people you can go to a company, a person, who has these bots and essentially they’ll fill it with a higher member count and because you have a higher member count on Telegram some people will view your coin offering as having increased legitimacy.
[00:21:48] Shreyas Narayanan Kutty: Yes. It used to at least increase the credibility of the project in terms of people wanting to invest.
[00:21:53] Patrick O’Keefe: Goodness.
[00:21:57] Patrick O’Keefe: That’s interesting. Interesting and scary. I suppose they could do the same thing anywhere else though if you have your coin offering or whatever. The organization behind it has a Twitter account. Obviously, if you have 10,000 followers versus 10 you are perceived as having some increased gravitas or something, some more credibility to offer for people considering, “Where should I put my money to disappear?”
[00:22:21] Patrick O’Keefe: Goodness. It also makes me think of Instagram experimenting with hiding likes on photos and how that is going to be related to those efforts. I know Twitter has so many problems and they don’t need to be thinking about these things. I’ve heard, who was it? Kanye West said something about he wanted likes or retweets or followers to go away on Twitter. Then the CEO of Twitter was like, “Yes, we could think about that.” As if that’s the top priority.
[00:22:47] Shreyas Narayanan Kutty: I think with Instagram it’s also really interesting to see how the influencer market will now react to those given that they’ve already started rolling it out in Canada with hiding the likes.
[00:22:58] Patrick O’Keefe: We were talking about mentorship recently as you had put a call out on the @cmgrIN Twitter account asking if any experienced community pros would put their name forward to offer to mentor people, offer some advice to those interested in the space. I was, I told you that privately and you asked me to make a public tweet to say I would be interested in helping or happy to help. Why?
[00:23:23] Shreyas Narayanan Kutty: The main reason for that is because most of the people in this space are wanting to get into this space, and I think that’s not exclusively with this space. It’s just like the human tendency that most people have a hesitant in terms of approaching others to ask for help. Putting that out there and saying that, “Hey, I’m willing to help,” is just making an explicit statement saying that, “I’m willing to help offer my advice, offer my knowledge and feel free to reach out to me anytime.”
That’s just showing that we are approachable. People are approachable. People like yourself who’s been in this community industry for more than a decade now are approachable and that people can reach out to you. I think that’s super important in terms of giving back to the community.
[00:24:07] Patrick O’Keefe: For me, it was a really interesting and good reminder that if you really do want to help people it’s worthwhile to say that once in a while and put it out there and invite people to contact you. I don’t know that that’s something I’ve ever done. I’m sure I have put it out there publicly. Part of that might be just not wanting to sound like an egomaniac. Like, “You should seek me out,” so there’s a balance there. It’s something that I think I’m going to make an effort to do because of your message. Just to say that once in a while and maybe two, three times a year.
Just put a message out there and say, “Hey, if anyone wants any help or advice or anything please let me know.” Because we talked about the responsibility of people who have been in this space. I do like to help people navigate whatever challenge they’re thinking about. A lot of it tends to be career-wise as we’ve talked about on this show. People do reach out but a good reminder that maybe there’re people out there who are hesitant and will not reach out unless I specifically included a prompt.
[00:25:07] Shreyas Narayanan Kutty: It’s also about saying that, I as someone who’s been in this industry for XYZ amount of time, I’m willing to make that effort to include new people and to guide and mentor them. I agree that it’s a fine balance between showing that out publicly, but it also makes that paid forward initiative where other people who are following you also might take that as a word of encouragement and say that “You know what? I’m also willing to do that.” That’s a huge win for me in that sense.
[00:25:38] Patrick O’Keefe: I appreciate the reminder. You’ll be glad to know that after I tweeted, someone did send me a DM too close in timing to be a coincidence, so I think was directly relevant to that. They are making a decision about their community platform, feeling unsure, they’ve done this research. I actually got on the phone with that person today briefly and spoke to them and talked to them through the decision. That was definitely because of your message. It was funny because the main thing I just told them is, they really just needed confidence. They’ve done software demos and they had four software choices they were looking at, all things that cost money. We’re talking enterprise side of things, but it’s their choice to make and they’re new at the company. As we all know those enterprise software companies, it’s an investment. It’s a money investment to use them. I’ve heard of people, people get fired if that doesn’t work out because it’s enough of a financial investment where if it goes south, then they will blame the community pro rightly or wrongly, often wrongly, because they’re not the one making the choice. In this case, I suppose he’s making the choice. Basically, I told him, just talking to him, it was clear, “You have done your research. You have done the demos. You know these software applications.
I know all four companies he mentioned and I’ve worked with them in varying degrees, but I haven’t taken any demos with any of them in a long time. He knows it more and he knows his needs and he knows who he needs to serve on the stakeholder’s side. It’s like, “You’ve got to make the choice that’s going to allow you to check off as many of those objectives as you can, that you’re going to be able to live with because at the end of the day you’re the one that’s going to be judged on this.
You have the knowledge, you took the demos, you build the needs, you can make the choice. You have to have confidence in that.” He said it helped him. I said, ” I don’t know if I’ve helped you or not. The reality is you know what to do here.” It sounded like he was hinting at he knew the solution but he was unsure of himself. I was like, “You know the answer here. You just have to have confidence in yourself that you’ve put in the research and do it.” I feel like that’s probably the case with a fair number of people, isn’t it?
[00:27:36] Shreyas Narayanan Kutty: That’s true. Most people at most times just require a sounding board. They just want a word of reassurance from experienced community professional saying that they’ve done the research and this is probably the way to go.
[00:27:48] Patrick O’Keefe: If you’re listening to this show and this show is really for experienced pros, it’s how I pitch to people. When I talk to guests, it’s like, “This is a show for experienced pros.” This isn’t one-on-one. I make people enter details into the questionnaire and Shreyas did a great job. I take a lot of details into the questionnaire. This is a great reminder from Shreyas to me and now to you is, if you do want to help people in this space say so, put a message out there, invite people to contact you privately and make yourself available so that you can help up the next generation of community pros. Thank you for that Shreyas.
[00:28:19] Shreyas Narayanan Kutty: Yes, absolutely.
[00:28:21] Patrick O’Keefe: Thank you for being our guest on the show. I’ve really enjoyed talking to you, getting to know you a little better. Thank you for making some time for us.
[00:28:26] Shreyas Narayanan Kutty: Thank you so much, Patrick, for having me on the show. Really excited to be here and I’ve been following the show for a long time and so, very happy to be here as well.
[00:28:33] Patrick O’Keefe: We have been talking with Shreyas Narayan Kutty who works in community operations at CoinList. Find him at about.me/ShreyasKutty, that’s S-H-R-E-Y-A-S K-U-T-T-Y and on Twitter @dun3biggi3, that’s D-U-N 3 B-I-G-G-I 3.
For the transcript from this episode, plus highlights and links that we’ve mentioned, please visit communitysignal.com. Community Signal is produced by Karn Broad and Carol Benovic Bradley is our editorial lead. I’ll see you in the next episode.
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