Online Community Leadership: The Founder’s Mentality

The Founder's Mentality

RumbleTalk customers are by and large online community leaders, and a lot of times the founders of those communities. When I heard that Chris Zook and James Allen were writing another book together titled The Founder’s Mentality, I was instantly intrigued. I was lucky enough to receive complementary advanced copy of the book and will use this blog to discuss the topic.

You can also read my review of the book on Goodreads here.

The first thing you should know is that this isn’t a peachy story about what a founder’s mentality should be in order to achieve success at the outset of an organization. Tellingly, the full title is The Founder’s Mentality: How to Overcome the Predictable Crises of Growth.

This book is about the mentality you should have if your business is stalling, sliding downward, or in a free fall to bankruptcy. The quick answer, as the title suggests, is to get back to what made the company a success in the first place. The characteristics that (successful) founders embody don’t have to and shouldn’t go away once the company has scaled. However, the process of growing and scaling a company all too often undermines these qualities that made it a success in the first place.

But not all hope is lost for large and struggling organizations

Zook and Allen’s research is used in the book to explain that when a company grows a number of factors remove the business from their best potential route

Some of these factors are:

  • Layers of complexity are added that slow down the decision making process
  • Territorial departments protect their budgets rather than moving resources where they are needed
  • A culture of “this is how we’ve always done it” prevents innovation

These become weights on a sinking ship when the market changes. A business needs to be adaptive, resourceful, and flexible in order to out-pace fast growing competitors.

Zook and Allen use many excellent examples of companies struggling with this situation and how they turned it around.

This is the reason you should read the book

Zook and Allen together have a great background to get information that otherwise isn’t accessible to the general public. It was fascinating to read about the internal workings and failures of some of the world’s largest companies and how each one turned around its situation to then lead the market.

There are also examples of companies that were not able to turn around their situation.

In either case their research shows that simplifying the business structure to be lean, efficient and focused was a necessary step to be on the right path.

Even though the book is about companies in crisis, it’s value can be gained as a cautionary tale and a reaffirmation for founders to stick to their guns.

I was reminded of a Ted Talk I watched a while back about the “Why” factor. Why do you make your product? Why do you perform your service? This is where the company and the company’s message should start.

Lessons for Online Community Leadership

RumbleTalk sees online communities in many different forms.

But at the core of what our customers use our product for, online community leaders offer group chat rooms for their members to tap into the collective emotional or informational knowledge of the community.

After reading The Founder’s Mentality, I hope that online community leadership feel empowered to strip away excess and focus the core of their mission: to bring like-minded individuals together online for a greater purpose.

Lacie Larschan

Why Forex Trading Is Better with the Right Friends

Indigenous or not, FX Renew is a tribe worth talking about.

Tribe? Yes, tribe.

Seth Godin, best-selling author, wrote in his book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us: “A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.”

In this case, the shared interest is Forex trading and the way to communicate is group chat. With Godin’s tribe criteria met, FX Renew has become one of the top resources for those interested in Forex trading.

Sam Eder, owner of FX Renew, honed in on the online tribe strategy by integrating RumbleTalk group chat into his Forex trading website. Since then he has seen an increase in customers, returning customers, and the value of his community.

More About FX Renew

I recently spoke with Sam to find out how exactly RumbleTalk group chat is used in his Forex trading and signal sharing company.

My first question was, what is FX Renew?

Sam explained it like this:

FX Renew operates in the on-line Forex trading industry. We provide foreign currency traders with access to education and trade ideas from ex-bank and industry professionals.

To achieve the tribal feel, Sam needed a way to connect with FX Renew members in an instantaneous and personal way. Engaging the Forex trading community, Sam can pool the collective knowledge and share time sensitive information to members actively engaged at that moment.

Group chat has elevated FX Renew from a talk-at-you educational site to an immersive educational experience.

To better understand how this happens, I asked Sam a few more questions.

How do you use RumbleTalk group chat and how does this benefit your customers?

Our RumbleTalk chat is used as a members’ only chat, available for access by paying customers. The key benefits of the chat are:

  • RumbleTalk has greatly enhanced our “trading tribe” by facilitating communication between our customers and our traders. This is great because it allows traders to get personalized help and support to improve their trading, and to deal with specific issues on their mind.
  • We use the chat-room to distribute bank reports. This allows traders to access information that is not generally available to the public in a timely manner.
  • We use RumbleTalk to hold events, so traders can learn how to trade step-by-step in real time.

forex trading

And on the other side, how does having the group chat feature benefit your Forex trading business?

The benefits to the business have been the ability to communicate directly with clients leading to significantly improved customer retention. We have improved the value of our client offering leading to increased customer satisfaction.

From your perspective working with the RumbleTalk software, what feature stands out?

One of my favorite things about RumbleTalk was the speed and ease of set-up, and it is great value for the money with a return of investment of several thousand percent. The mobile version is also excellent.

What I learned

By creating an open space for experts and members to communicate, customers can ask questions, get custom answers, and develop loyalty to the tribe and a personal stake in the community.

There are a lot of free tools out there to communicate with your tribe, so why group chat?

The traditional online communication tools have limitations when it comes to building an online community:

  • a static website talks at a customer and not with the customer;
  • email is to slow and easily becomes lost in a crowded or unchecked inbox; and
  • social media spreads customer conversations between platforms and removes the incentive pay for access.

By using group chat, FX Renew easily integrated the entire conversation into one window next to Sam’s Forex trading content.

Group chat users are focused on the information at hand and aren’t distracted by off-topic emails, tweets, or notifications.

And most importantly, the conversation becomes an active experience that brings customers back.

Does your business have multiple audiences?

Online businesses can improve community engagement by identifying and interacting with specific audiences visiting their website.

It’s not hard to understand that businesses have different types of customers, but far too often our online community is treated as one homogeneous group.


Think of who you expect to visit your website. Depending on the type of website you are managing, be it a promotional website for a product or service, a special interest blog, or a community center for dispersing updates and information, you are likely to have multiple audiences.

With few exceptions, your website will at least have new visitors and returning visitors. The wants and needs of these two groups can be drastically different. A new visitor is typically looking through a narrow lens to determine if the website is worth their time. They need obvious information quickly and efficiently. A returning visitor has already established trust with your brand and is likely to browse greater amounts of content.

And there can definitely be more audiences than that!

Many websites regarding professions will give general information about their subject for casual browsers and more technical information for those in that profession who use the site as a resource.

This model is also used for special interest sites are more.

dog website
Your website could be for dogs and for dog lovers. This is an example of multiple audiences.

Consider a website for dog lovers. There are people who want information on training their dog to sit, and people who want information on how to enter their dog for an agility show. Both love dogs and would enjoy pictures of cute dogs or dogs doing funny things.

However, without identifying the differences in the dog loving audience some visitors would be bored of rudimentary information and others would leave if the information was beyond the scope of their interest.


Engaging multiple audiences in one platform can be a challenge.

Ignoring these differences, even the best scenario only generates a fraction of the engagement the site could have if the two groups were able to engage in ways fit for them.

If you are trying to increase your website’s engagement, which I think we all are trying to do, consider categorizing your audience and communicating to specific groups as a top level priority.

Your online community is made up of real people, not just numbers. Ask yourself or your team who you are trying to reach.

  • What do your visitors want the first time they visit your site compared to the 100th?
  • What do field experts want compared to novices?
  • What does your website offer to engage other business owners to collaborate?
  • What “levels” of participation are recognized in the design of your website?

All of these are good places to start, but every website is different and so should be the categorization of your visitors.



multiple audiences
Some pegs are red, some pegs are yellow and some pegs are blue.

At RumbleTalk, we recognize our product is for business owners and online communities. However, not all visitors will fit this profile and we want to leave them with a good impression too.

For new visitors (including those that are unlikely customers) we focus on making our landing page easy to understand and memorable so that even if that one person doesn’t buy our service they are likely to recommend someone who may.

For our customers, we work hard to make our product user friendly and are constantly upgrading our technology to be more effective.

But wait, that’s not all! We’ve also designed our product to tackle this issue for our customers.

RumbleTalk chats have many great features, and among them is the ability to operate multiple chats on one website.

We understand that some websites face outward and seek open and public community building. Other websites face inward and offer community discussion as an exclusive benefit. Your website may be an umbrella for several topics, and need issue-specific communication.

RumbleTalk chats are capable of providing separate spaces for multiple audiences simultaneously.

Integrating one or multiple chats into your website may be the answer to meet the needs of your specific and separate audiences.

The first step is determining if you have multiple audiences. After that, we are here to help you create and engage with your customers.


Thank you for reading and if you have a moment, let us know what you think.