The Art of Unbundling, with Greg Isenberg

The Consumer Social innovator on how audiences become communities — and how you should monetize them

Welcome to Means of Creation!

Every Friday, Li and Nathan interview a guest in the passion economy — founders, creators and operators who are carving their own paths. For the second installment, they spoke to 5by and Islands founder Greg Isenberg about the value of unbundling vertical communities. It’s one of many topics Greg is covering in his newsletter, Late Checkout, where he’s been passing out great advice to anyone interested in internet communities.

This is a write-up of the key parts of the conversation. If you want, you can listen to the full talk in your podcast app, or watch it on YouTube.

Enjoy!


Greg Isenberg has been building in the consumer social space since before that was even a term. He sold his previous company, video aggregator 5by to StumbleUpon in 2012. His recent venture, the college-based social network Islands, was acquired by WeWork. Today, Greg is the founder of a product studio called Late Checkout, which designs, creates and acquires internet communities. It’s no accident that Greg’s work tends to connect people to one another: community is core to who he is as an individual. And that, in turn, informs how he thinks about others. “When like-minded people come together,” he says, “it unlocks potential” — in person and online. “Community is in our DNA.”

Unbundling isn’t a question. It’s the destiny of every large social network.

Greg sees consumer social in 2020 as undergoing a shift “from me to we,” moving away from an emphasis on static individual profiles and towards community. If Facebook and Instagram were about curating an online identity and building out one’s profile, then the next generation of successful consumer social platforms will be the ones that bring people together, help them meet like-minded individuals, and support their engagement with each other. 

Learn more

This post is for
paying subscribers

Subscribe →

Or, login.

Read this next:

Means of Creation

Unpacking The David Dobrik Controversy

Also: OnlyFans is launching a creative fund for musicians, #BookTok is leading to a resurgence in book sales, and more

18 Mar 27, 2021 by Li Jin and Nathan Baschez

Means of Creation

The Man Who Taught a Robot to Paint

Can a piece of technology democratize the art world?

17 Oct 26, 2021 by Babe Howard

Means of Creation

Li Jin on the journey behind Variant’s new $110M fund to back the ownership economy

Variant and Atelier Ventures join forces as the passion economy and the ownership economy converge

22 Nov 30, 2021 by Li Jin and Nathan Baschez

Divinations

The implicit critique of disruption in 7 Powers

Can disruption be simplified?

1 Sep 1, 2020 by Nathan Baschez

Only the Innovative Survive

What science and Howard Schultz's tenure at Starbucks teach us about recession resilience

12 Nov 28, 2022 by Lewis Kallow

Thanks for reading Every!

Sign up for our daily email featuring the most interesting thinking (and thinkers) in tech.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Login