Fabian Pfortmüller on How Curation Improves Recruiting and Building Community

In Chapter 18 of 19 in his 2011 Capture Your Flag interview, Sandbox Network co-founder and entrepreneur Fabian Pfortmüller shares why curation matters when building great community.  Curation is about making a choice.  He believes access to people or things is not the issue today; rather it is about the right chemistry that is a result of choosing a team.  In short, it is not quality, but diversity that generates effective communities.  Ultimately, like a mother planning a large birthday party, it is about putting the right setting in place to generate experience based on group goals.  Pfortmüller is co-founder of Sandbox Network (www.sandbox-network.com).  He also co-founded an innovation think tank, Incubaker (www.incubaker.com), and is part of the group's first spin-off, Holstee (www.holstee.com), an apparel brand for people who would like to wear their passion.  Pfortmüller graduated from Columbia University and its School of General Studies. 


Erik Michielsen: Why do you feel curation is essential for building a great community?

Fabian Pfortmüller: Curation is about making a choice and I believe nowadays we live in the age when access to things, access to people is not the issue anymore, it’s about picking the right choices and that goes for products, that goes for people, that goes for communities, that goes for schools, that goes for anything.

I would say one of the most important parts is making the right choice in picking together that group of people that come together in a community and really understanding it as curation it means also it’s not just about picking the best, it’s not just quality, it’s also diversity. Making sure you pick a diverse group of people, it’s like from different backgrounds, different genders, different language levels. At the same time also curated in such a way that they feel it’s meaningful and I believe that curation is really, when it comes to community, is the most important aspect and what really makes the base of everything you do afterwards.

It’s like a mom, it’s like a family and a mom you know? I compare diversity with in a family maybe just having ten kids with ten different people and curation is the mom that cares and that really wants to make sure that all the people in the room at her son’s birthday party actually fit together and that has many more levels and dimensions than just having different people there or having different birthday cakes, it’s really making sure the setting is right and that all the different elements fit together.