In this blog post, we celebrate the passion, energy, innovation, grit, and remarkable achievements of successful community builders worldwide. Here is AtomChat’s own Hall of Fame, which profiles the world’s top 20 community builders (in no particular order).
These individuals are unique for their passion and zeal, which results in successful private online communities that bustle with activity—24x7! Their community members are known for the fresh perspectives and viewpoints they bring in.
For each of these 20 individuals, a small yet different idea became the starting point. Today, their scale-up of these unique ideas into global communities transforms the lives of members worldwide.
You can also draw inspiration from their attitude, passion, and work ethics. Leverage powerful, flexible, and cost-effective advanced technology tools like AtomChat to build your own private online community in no time. Who knows? Tomorrow, a prestigious list of famous community builders across the planet may feature you too.
1. Varun Mayya
Varun is the Co-founder and CEO of Scenes (formerly, Avalon Meta), a community with 50,000-plus members. He believes that your “passion and others’ belief” keep you going on the entrepreneurship journey.
Scenes is based on the principle that events are the lifeblood of a community. Instead of directing new community members to a chat or a tutorial, Scenes directs them to an event or a webinar where there is a human touch.
2. Andrew Gazdecki
Andrew is the CEO at MicroAcquire, a startup acquisition marketplace. It is a free and private 4400-plus member strong community with no middlemen.
MicroAcquire’s goal is to create the largest community of entrepreneurs looking to acquire SaaS startups. It is exceptional in the way it brings together the startup acquisition market, with trust, transparency, and ease of use. Andrew’s top tip for startups is that the earlier you invest in communities, the better.
3. Vaibhav Sisinty
Vaibhav is the Founder of Growth School, a 180,000-plus people strong community-led live learning platform. He says that his goal has been to create a loyal community that creates high-impact cohort-based courses.
Growth School comes across as impressive for “the gift that keeps on giving”. It is a place to brainstorm ideas, bridge your skill gaps, and meet like-minded peers. You’ll never feel alone again, wondering if you’re on the right track.
Tibo is the co-founder of Tweet Hunter, the first all-in-one, AI-powered Twitter growth tool, 'tweethunter.io'. Tweet Hunter’s goal is to help you create content with the use of tactics that net more engaged followers.
Tweet Hunter is notable in how it enables the use of ready tweets like a pro for inspiration and faster audience mindshare. According to Tibo, building an audience comes before everything. That is the true superpower.
5. Mario Gabriele
Mario is Founder of The Generalist, a community of 53,000-plus entrepreneurs. This community is claimed to be a high-caliber brain trust for tech’s deepest thinkers and most ambitious builders.
The Generalist is noteworthy for being based on Mario’s belief that “no one triumphs alone”. His community is where you find your next co-founder, friend, or investor in the curated, members-only forum. With The Generalist, members learn alongside CEOs, VC partners and fund managers.
6. Lolita Taub
For Lolita, it has always been about community. She’s a GP at Ganas Ventures, which invests in pre-seed and seed community-driven companies across the US and Latin America. She’s also a co-founder of Startup-Investor Matching Tool, the GP-LP Matching Tool and the LaaS community.
The LaaS community brings along over 4,000 members. It is phenomenal for promoting investment in underestimated founders, funders, and ecosystem friends.
7. Max Haining
Max is the founder of 100DaysOfNoCode---a no-code learning online community of 500-plus members, which is on a mission to democratize software creation. This is by helping people with non-technical backgrounds to create software, websites and apps using no-code tools. It enables members to build businesses, lifelong skills and friendships in the next 100 days.
100DaysOfNoCode is a striking example of what humans can achieve. With this community, Max has turned his individual technical barriers into a strength for people.
8. Sharath Kuruganty
Sharath builds Special Projects at On Deck. He believes in giving value first, building communities before products, and doing things to serve people. He has almost 20,000 followers on Twitter.
As community programs manager at Product Hunt, Sharath has built a 30,000-strong audience for himself. His community influence is based on his credence: “Your ambitions are worthless if you don't convert them into actions.”
9. Jason Jacobs
Jason is a podcast host, community manager, and investor-in-training at My Climate Journey (MCJ). This 1800+ strong community enables the flow of information, ideas, and capital necessary to speed up individual climate journeys and advance collaboration.
MCJ is unique for its curiosity and listening ability to free people from their silos. It makes them open up, even as it offers fresh takes on old problems.
10. Yancey Strickler
Yancey is the cofounder of Metalabel. He’s the former CEO and co-founder of Kickstarter, the world’s largest crowdfunding community for creators and their works.
Metalabel is a community of people who use a common identity for a common cause. It produces public releases that manifest members’ viewpoints. It is distinguished for the concept of creativity in multiplayer mode--a model for collaboration, collective world-building, and mutual support.
11. Erika Batista
Erika is VP - Expansion at On Deck. The 1,500-member strong On Deck Community Builders community is a space for confidential, meaningful conversations. For its members, it ensures invaluable support from a network of capable peers.
On Deck’s hallmark is its ability to bring together a highly-curated group of community builders to learn how to create a community. It sustains the magic as they scale using the frameworks, tactics, and best practices.
12. Greg Isenberg
Greg began building community-based products and niche social networks around his passions in the late 1990s. He is the co-founder and CEO of Late Checkout.
Late Checkout is a community-cum-web3 design firm that incubates and acquires community-based products. It also helps big brands create community-based products. The Late Checkout Discord community of 1,700-plus members has channels like "nft-chat" and "defi" to discuss more specific topics.
13. Mustafa Khundmiri
Copywriter and blogger Mustafa built three startups and a connected community on Twitter. His insights into entrepreneurship, web 3.0 communities, the evolution of the metaverse, and building a community are knowledge treasure troves.
Mustafa’s care for and consistent interactions with members as real human beings is notable. He thinks a startup founder should focus on building a community, not a following.
14. Chi Thukral
Digital marketer, content creator, and strategist, Chi has been featured in 'Forbes 30 Under 30'. She’s currently a member of Xos Trucks’s marketing team.
Chi has a huge following on all social media platforms. She attracts and engages them with reminders such as “progress is made in small increments.” Her tips include “train yourself to put equal effort every day instead of bigger, sporadic bursts.”
15. Amanda Natividad
The VP for Marketing at SparkToro (US), Amanda has a whopping 58,000 followers. She’s built a great community because she talks sense.
Amanda offers regular and consistent tips on diverse marketing categories, copywriting, and cooking (she’s a trained chef). She is a great example of how tapping into both your strengths and weaknesses can take you to a fulfilling space in your life.
16. Christina Garnett
Christina is a community builder advocacy and strategist at HubSpot. She helps brands connect with their audience and develop strategies to empower their fans. She has about 43,000 followers on Twitter alone.
Christina uses audience intelligence and social listening to learn more about them. She says this “gives you priceless knowledge and market research just for the cost of your time.”
17. Krystal Wu
Krystal Wu is the senior community manager at Shopify, with about a 10,000-strong social audience. She’s vastly skilled in community building/management and social media marketing.
Krystal’s tip on creating a loyal and delighted community: All your messaging and content should be prompt, and consistent with your passion/brand. As a community builder, her forte is her insight: "communities are not quick wins... Communities are the long game."
18. Danielle Maveal
Danielle is the chief community officer at Burb. She’s devoted 15 years to launching, growing, and supporting global brand and marketplace communities--especially at Etsy, Airbnb and Lyft.
Danielle, who has around 14,000 social followers, says that healthy community growth can be painfully slow. Start with a core group. Add members slowly for deeper bonds to form. “Engaged communities create sustainable growth” is her mantra.
19. Carrie Melissa Jones
Carrie is a community strategist, researcher, and award-winning author of ‘Building Brand Communities’. She helps create community strategies for leader campaigns, non-profits, small businesses, and the Fortune Global 50.
Carrie, who has around 11,000 social followers, is of the opinion that community isn’t scalable. Instead, community ‘creates’ scale. Her conviction that “community is the foundation of what makes us human” drives her to effortlessly create community strategies.
20. Jono Bacon
Jono is a community and collaboration strategy consultant, author, advisor, speaker, and Forbes columnist. The founder of Jono Bacon Consulting, he earlier served as director of community at GitHub, Canonical, XPRIZE, and OpenAdvantage.
Jono is a powerful community influencer with over 37,000 social media followers. He is all about his brilliant exploration of the psychology of human connection and the underlying behavioral drivers behind a community.
All top-notch community builders are accomplished offline organizers. They understand that platforms don’t build community -- people do. They care about people. Learn their behavioral and psychological patterns, problems and concerns, and wellbeing. These are the key to human connection and engagement.
Creativity and adaptability are the forte of great community managers. Effective community strategists talk about real people and real-life examples to validate their claims. They articulate and curate content across platforms to drive different types of engagement. Most of all, they don’t hesitate to get in the trenches to help the community.