How to disband your community
It is always fun to start something new — full of potential and scope to etch out with your founding team. The ups and downs of running the show leave memories for you to cherish.
It is challenging yet rewarding to sustain your brain child for a couple of years — over time, expectations rise from the members and you are constantly on your toes to provide value at large.
However, at some point members part ways, society moves on and you need to bid goodbye to what you built from scratch. Very little is talked about this yet in my opinion, its necessary to consider. And that’s what we’ll do in this post since history teaches us that change is the only constant.
Why would you need to disband?
Hopefully not due to misconduct or reasons of that kind. Generally, legacy systems bring with it chains of hierarchy and thus at some point in the future, the core members may not feel the ownership of running the show. Either they are passively involved in your vision, or are actively looking to start their own community with full freedom of execution.
If you are the non-micromanaging type, then perhaps you have mentally disbanded it since the current activities of the club do not depend on your opinion. Regardless, chances are that over time, either the members don’t find the offering exciting, or the core members don’t really want to run the show. When it reaches a point where things happen out of obligation rather than genuine interest, one must seriously consider disbanding it.
Isn’t it a bad thing to let it go?
History has time and time taught us that nothing lasts forever. Maybe ideas will be immortalized in different forms, but the key players won’t serve more than just a fact on a wikipedia page 100 years later. And that is ok.
People despise repetitiveness and boredom. When your community gets to this point and if you are the only one feeling bad, perhaps its time for you to be grateful for what it served in its time and let it go. Those who were involved in its prime time benefited. As for the rest, they’ll find other avenues that attract them. You did well to let it go now.
As my good friend Akshay puts it, Phoenix Clubs may come to exist — each with a short yet bright lifetime during which value is provided. Sure, the history book writers may find it annoying to change the name of the technical club each year but in the end, everyone’s got an ego to meet and you did for yours in its good times.
Whats next then?
Take your learnings forward and offer it to any who may ask for it. Perhaps encourage them to start a community revolving around it. In the end, the measure of success should be for the benefactors, rather than the show runners.