curativ | Growing the "Village"

Because it takes a village to raise a boss.

Many people are familiar with the African proverb: "It takes a village to raise a child." Similarly, curativ believes that a village is key in helping diverse professionals grow and shape their career paths. I'd like to create a mobile platform for diverse professionals that ­leverages their culture, knowledge and skills to build and empower a ­community of “bosses.”

1. Goals for building my team.

curativ is still very new, and I'm a solo founder. My top priority for early 2016 is to recruit for two positions: Researcher and Storyteller. I plan to improve my own coding skills so that I can build all or most of the new platform (e.g. a mobile and/or desktop app) and focus on nurturing those first hires.

In lieu of a salary, I'm exploring ways to support professional and personal growth (e.g. mentorship, course credit, remote work, recognition and paid subscriptions to work-related platforms).

2. Ideas for "making it rain."

I tested my first concept last year, but I didn't get the results and feedback that I had hoped for. It was not easy and safe; it did not really address the problem that I sought to solve, and it left out some important features that my target audience desired. It did help to steer the company in a clearer direction.

This time around, I want to focus on:

  • Providing an easy, safe step by testing custom content through monthly e-mails, blog posts and Facebook posts (before diving into another platform too quickly).
  • Get a better understanding of my key influencers. I've held a few focus groups with diverse professionals in my network, and they've been helpful in clarifying what the issues are. On the other hand, I think there are other influencers who can help identify what the solutions are and how to make them available to my target audience. I've spoken casually with diverse professionals in the past week, which has been insightful. I'd also like to meet with other potential influencers, whether through formal meetings or informally through organizations I'm already involved in.

3. One customer service strategy.

  • Putting the customer in charge. Everyone's path to making sure that their career is rewarding and empowering is different. People also know their own stories best. I think that providing users with tried-and-true options for making important career decisions will allow them the flexibility to tailor their career.

4. Landing positive PR.

  • Being a source. The other day, an acquaintance posted something career-related to Facebook, and I responded to him privately about someone he may be able to talk to about it. He responded that I was becoming his "go-to" person to help with some of his professional endeavors. That's the kind of response that I would like for future users to have when talking about curativ.
  • Make friends before I need them. I've always kept a small, tight circle, and I have a habit of doing as much as I can on my own until I get stuck. So this one is really tough for me, but I also think it's key for my company's growth. I've already committed to being more present in the community, attending Meetups and church events. There are also journalists whose work I admire, so I will do a better job of keeping up with them.

5. curativ's Ecosystem

Those who support curativ are mainly friends, family, acquaintances and a small list of e-mail subscribers. Recruiting help will make it easier for me to engage them regularly, develop more intimate relationships and produce steady content.

One suggestion that keeps coming out of this ecosystem is for curativ to facilitate conversations that are easy to access and feel natural.

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