The FounderGroups platform is pretty simple. You create a group, other founders can request to join your group, and you can either deny or accept them into your group. As you start getting these join requests for your group, you’ll need to ask yourself, “who do I want as part of my founder tribe?”
In making this decision, there are several factors you might want to consider: the requestor’s industry, company stage, and location.
One of the main things you may want in your group are founders who are in the same or similar industry as yours. Now, “industry” can mean various things. Let’s say you own a fashion brand, selling women’s apparel mainly online. On one level, “industry” can mean apparel, or even more specifically, women’s apparel. On another level, you may self-identify your industry as being a “retailer”. On yet another level, you may also consider your industry as general “e-commerce”.
It’s good to know the specific industry you’re in, and also any adjacent industries you might touch. There are obviously many benefits to having other founders who are in your exact industry. But we suggest you also be open to founders who are in adjacent industries…as there are likely many learnings that can be had from understanding how those industries work. For example, when you examine the proliferation of all these subscription box businesses. It was probably an amalgamation of a retail company, who learned best practices from the e-commerce industry and the SaaS industry.
So we encourage to be somewhat open-minded towards engaging with founders of differenct industries. You may find that the cross-pollination of ideas might be critical to some breakthroughs within your own growth.
Sometimes, we see founders who solely filter for members in their FounderGroup who are much more successful and way further along in their companies, so that they can learn from these ultra-successful people…and perhaps soak up their success through osmosis. We think this is the wrong attitude. Often, there’s actually very little we can practically learn from people who are 3 to 4 steps ahead of us. So who do you choose to surround yourself with?
We borrow our group selection philosophy from an unlikely source…UFC fighter, Ken Shamrock. He has this beautifully simple approach called, “Find your Plus, Minus, Equals”…and there’s a lot we can learn here.
In a nutshell, “Plus” refers to a person who is better than you or one step ahead of you. This gives you a person to learn from and aspire towards. “Minus” refers to a person who is a bit behind you that you can teach. This not only gives you an opportunity to give back…but when you teach, it forces you to hone in on being a master of your own skills. Finally, “Equals” refers to a peer that is at the same level as you. This person gives you someone to compare and compete with.
Although he was talking about fighting, it’s a very relatable philosophy on the archetypes of people you should surround yourself with in your path to success.
Finally, this may seem like a very superficial filter, but the founder’s location can play a big role in how effective your FounderGroup is. The only caveat is if the group is intentionally created to meet online over video chat…then this factor is less relevant. But if the intention of the group is to meet locally in person, we recommend putting a bit of consideration where the group members are located relative to the typical meeting point.
Once again, the success of these founder accountability groups depends on consistency. If group members don’t show up to group meetings due to distance and commute time, it can really jeopardize the group dynamics. Attendance is so important to group success, that most of the other elite entrepreneur organizations enforce a very strict attendance rule…where 2 absences from meetings in 1 year result in your membership getting revoked.
Now, this isn’t the most important filter, but if given 2 equal group join requests, we’d recommend going with the closer of the two.