Meetup CEO on the Future of Community

May 8, 2015

2:00 pm

This morning at NYC Uncubed, Meetup cofounder and CEO Scott Heiferman talked about the the importance of making connections and the role of Meetup in helping build the communities in the future.

We’re all making new connections in our everyday lives through very many different ways. According to Heiferman, we can either interpret these connections as random, serendipitous events that fall into our laps, or we can interpret them as the results of intentional actions and decisions made on our part. For him, the future of community – the future of connections – is dependent on technologies and pathways provided by the likes of Meetup to help promote and create these connections.

“[At Meetup], we’re in the business of engineering more connections – for connections to happen that wouldn’t happen otherwise, ” said Heiferman. “And that is the essence of community.”

Heiferman, who met his cofounder and Meetup CFO Brendan McGovern twenty years ago at a job orientation for his first career out of college, emphasized the effects of making random connections with the people around you. Since meeting for the first time at that orientation, the two have cofounded a couple of companies and have worked alongside each other on Meetup since 2002.

During his talk at Uncubed NYC, Heiferman talked about the various ways groups of people have been able to galvanize behind different causes and purposes – from Girl Develop It to Jersey City Moms. Within the tech community itself, members have utilized Meetup as a primary method through which to connect members of the startup community.

The biggest lesson from Heiferman’s talk? Be open and willing to reach out to people around you:

“You never know who you’re going to be sitting next to, and you never know who’s going to be important to your life…your life is defined by the people around you, in ways that you probably would [never] realize.”

 

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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