πŸ“» β€” Align Your Community & Product’s (Value) Promise with the Right Expectation & Experience

Reading Time: ~ 3 min.

Good morning yenizens!

I hope you had a full and productive week! We’re working on a major technical migration this coming week and so my focus has been almost exclusively that side of the project.

A few fun links for creators, business, and community builders:

  1. Twitter. App for creative writing. What’s in a name. Open Comp.
  2. SaaS board meetings. Emojuju. Crazy-rich. Square + Tital. G icons.
  3. Don’t call it community. Reid on SPACs. Email to the web. Inmotion.
  4. College career management. Better workplace. Customer feedback.
  5. Vidjet. Behaviors, incentives, product. Rosie is building community.
  6. Stream. Whatnot. WhatsApp. Hopin. Wow. Elenas. Plex. Hikikomori.
  7. Whatnot. Rolling Stone as an NFT. Invention. Workfrom looks cool.
  8. Live chat with Loom’s engineers. The early days of a startup.
  9. Learn React. Google FLoC is a terrible idea. Tips pitching investors.

Have a great weekend folks! To infinity & community,

β€” john


One of the more important exercises when you’re building a new project, company, or community is to establish, in very clear terms, what you’re delivering and how the customer will interpret and receive that value.

In short, it’s what is called a “Promise of Value” or a “Value Promise”. Recently, a friend passed me a screenshot that captured quite a bit of this in a very usable format (via Reforge):

This isn’t a unique breakdown and I’ve seen this chart repeated in a variety of different forms, but, it’s still very useful as a mental and tactical exercise as you align your communication about the value that you’re delivering and the customer’s expectation of what is being promised.

Give this a once-over (or a few) with your friends, community members, and partners; it might be paired well with yesterday’s issue about useful questions for your community to engage with.

Enjoy! Let me know if this is useful!


High-Level Value Promise Menu

Personal Category:

  • Entertainment: I get more fun and avoid boredom for doing this.
  • Communication: I can communicate with others (for a selfish reason) that couldn’t before.
  • Information: I gain knowledge or other valuable information by doing this.
  • Flexibility: I gain flexibility of something I value by doing this.
  • Time: I save time or get time back by doing this.

Financial Category:

  • More Transactions: Make more money by getting additional transactions from existing audience.
  • Save Money: Save money by lowering costs.
  • New Customers: Make more money by enabling access to a group I didn’t have access to before.
  • Loss Prevention: Prevention from losing the financial capital I already have (insurance).

Social Category:

  • Recognition: Do I gain additional recognition, respect, or reputation?
  • Connection: Do I feel more connected or a greater sense of belonging?
  • Competition: Do I get a feeling of winning or achievement?
  • Confidence: Do I feel more confident from this exchange?

As I personally navigate our small project and community forward I can’t help but remember one of the slides in one of the first pitch decks that I had created as I went out to raise venture capital:

My original belief was that a truly usable MVP is one that is interesting and useful and profitable for most types of folks and size of business.

This, of course, is naive because you simply cannot serve all types of folks in the first few iterations β€” you must intentionally choose the right customer / community member and then make sure you deliver the right product to them; quickly. I didn’t have as-good of a mental model as I do now, but, I would have loved to have the high-level value promises to review.

Knowing the problem that you’re actually solving is a #powermove. It’s about making sure that the entire customer experience, end-to-end, is simple, understandable, and motivating for the new community member.

Make it memorable. Make it valuable. Deliver on your promise. Win.


Completely and Utterly Random: I found the last in-person conference keynote talk presentation back from 2015:

I honestly can’t believe it’s been that long since I stood up on a physical stage and gave a talk; I’m not sure I necessarily miss it.

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