I read all the copy, it is interesting. I went all the way filling the form, until the last question before the submit button. And there it was, the one question that made me (i) stop, (ii) wonder if this was for me and (iii) decide it wasn´t.
(i) What made me stop? The field was asking my Google+ account. They say the community will run on it, that is optional for now, but I will have to have one. As I don't have and don't one, I stopped right there to think if it would be worthy.
(ii) What made me wonder? Why impose such a burden to enter? I start wondering why they would to put barriers on who gets in, not only about Google+ by now, but submit an application that will be analyzed? They will have no idea who are the best people to get in through this questions. The whole thing started to look like a random selection disguised as an exclusive elite fancy club.
(iii) Why I decided not to apply? Because I came to the conclusion that such a community should be open to enter, and the mechanisms to decide how one fits the community or not should be actual contributions on it, not a random, snob bouncer. So for now, I hope someone improves the concept (that promises a lot of value to me), but implement it in a more open way.
Where I'm going with this is that the choice of login providers is the most inconsequential thing, and yet you allowed it to get in the way of meeting a potentially great company.
TL;DR: Google+ was not the reason I didn't apply.
If you've decided on Google+ as your login provider, your bounce-out rate is going to be particularly high, for several reasons including the parent poster's point.
That could still be the right decision for you, but it's worth worrying about.
So maybe we can start this open group.. with two? maybe add more people later? i dont know if i will help you out.. maybe i give you bad ideas.. rsrs.. who knows?! but at least we can try??!
In starting a few "exclusive elite fancy" internet clubs over the past decade, I've noticed that random selection is usually sufficient for an initial batch of members. The trick is to quickly grab a chunk of those first members and invite them to think on what membership criteria will best serve the community.
> What made me stop? The field was asking my Google+ account. They say the community will run on it, that is optional for now, but I will have to have one. As I don't have and don't one, I stopped right there to think if it would be worthy.
I agree that Google+ is an annoying barrier to entry. A private subreddit is my first choice for these sorts of things, but it would probably be a bit limiting in this scenario. Higher bandwidth communication between individuals with strict, human identities is clearly desired, and Google+ is designed specifically for this.
If I were looking to start a limited-entry online community today, I'd probably start with a Gazelle instance and build off of it as necessary.
On iii) we are working on improving this all the time
You're trying to go after a rather single-minded crowd (solo founders) and you may end up losing a fair amount of value from people that won't bend to your identity requirement.
Thanks, gregormck and crew! It's a great idea, I'm looking forward to seeing what comes of it. I'll be looking into it this evening.
Now we have OAuth available and it's convenient and awesome.
Let's not go back to those old days.
re (ii), I have a feeling this is a very initial implementation that will one day implement automatic matching, but for now, they're doing some "manual backend magic" to match people up with the right timezones, and say for me: I need help with finance, and can give help with ecommerce they can match this much better on their own.
re (iii) You are already speaking to the community you are talking about right now. We don't need another hacker news or #startups on freenode. What we do need is a small (4-5people small) tight knit group of individuals who we get along with and can discuss intricacies of our business plans without the whole world seeing. I imagine the matching process will get a bit more open down the line in regards to matching process.
What I would like to know is how we will deal with people who don't fit right with the group or go dark and what not.
Where is this geographically? Are there separate SF and NY groups? Additional ones? Do they meet in person? How often? Or is this all via webcam and e-mail? Is this more mentoring or support? More one-on-one or group? What kind of a time commitment are we talking about? Is the 150-member limit per geographic area, or global? Why 150, if it's all groups of 4-8 anyways?
I understand what you are, but I don't have the slightest idea what you do.
* It's a global group
* We have group owners (volunteers) who start groups and organise them to suit their goals and timezones
* It's mostly a tech / web audience
* It's more support and accountability than mentoring
* Mastermind groups are run bi-weekly (depends on the group owner). We're looking to introduce weekly mastermind groups on specific subjects i.e. PR, SEO, pricing, partnerships, etc.
* We also include a weekly summary / round up of discussions that have taken place in the group that week and on Mondays people post their goals for the week, which other people comment on / offer help / ask questions
To quote General Rumsfeld, a solo founder usually has a lot of "unknown unknowns" because a single human being is likely to have a lot of skill gaps that they themselves are not fully aware of.
Many solo founders could probably see an order of magnitude in the success of their products if a bunch of peers give suggestions like "Dude, this page needs a link for tweeting your completed images" or "You need a call for action on this page" or "This font makes your web page look like it was created in 1998"
The dynamic of a startup is very different when you have 2-3 founders, in that case it is probably better to work as a team to try and resolve these types of problems, but for a solo founder a semi-confidential outside opinion could be valuable.
Asking "real-world friends" about these types of things doesn't really work most of the time because they may not understand startup tech and because polite society usually follows the rule "If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all."
There are a number of us from HN there - the kind of people really interested in bootstrapped startups.
There's keeping a group small to ensure quality, but then there's the more critical issue of having quality people in that group, which this service does not ensure. Dunbar's number is not magic.
Well have I got the group for you!
Something new will emerge pretty soon to fill the void, and our demographic will slowly find their way there, sadly leaving this place to all those folks currently having so much fun arguing about the time-wastish stuff on the front page.
If this has a chance of being that place, sign me up.
Now I must go ignore myself
The group is full of founders who all have different experiences and knowledge to pass on. "Quality" can be subject for sure, but I believe founders can help other founders regardless of where they are in the process of starting / running a business.
The big thing is contribution. solo.im / mastermind groups is just one thing of many you can get involved in and get help from when you are a founder.
@dclara - yep
The fear is completely unfounded, but I guess that's how my mind works.
EDIT: Having said all that, I am still waiting for my confirmation email.
P.S. And I don't buy the idea of "idea harvesters" anyway. Ideas are easy; ask any founder. Execution is the hard bit...
Presumably over time you'd want new people/refresh the ranks.
How do people get evaluated and eventually (in cases that need it) forcibly dropped?
In terms of "forcibly dropped" - the group is run free of charge, so contribution is key. No contribution = "forcibly dropped". Contribution means taking part in a mastermind group, discussions or asking / giving help.
On evaluation, I'd like to move to a democratic way of evaluating it where the group or a group within the group decide. I believe that's what http://yec.co/ do.
Went to follow it on twitter and saw it wasn't registered. Held it for you & ready to transfer.
I am interested to hear more about what you have heard about. Doing what you're suggesting seems like a fool's errand.
I love the barebones landing page + signup form as the MVP.
Edit: received the confirmation email, just took a little longer
Mail is <HN username>@gmail