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Jordan Miller
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Interview with the founders of Invision Community (VIDEO)


To celebrate Invision Community turning 20-years-old (an eternity in Internet years), I interviewed the company's founding fathers.

Ahh the good ol' days. Remember simpler times?

This new video interview touches on Invision Community's past, present and future thanks to the invaluable insight from  @Charles, @Matt and @Lindy
 

In our chat together, these gentlemen...
 

  • Take a nostalgic trip down memory lane and reflect on the company's origins
  • Explain the power of community amidst the social media boom
  • Offer advice for new community leaders on how to grow
  • Share some of the biggest changes to the platform
  • Recant fond memories from the earlier days
  • Reveal a teaser of what's next for Invision Community

 

Noteworthy quotes:

Charles:

Quote

"Don't be afraid to push the envelope forward more quickly. Sometimes we've held ourselves back in implementing new technologies because people don't like change... sometimes we have to push people out of their comfort zones and say, I know it's always been this way, but [the platform] needs to move forward, it needs to advance."

 

Lindy:

Quote

"[Looking back on advice I'd give to my younger self... it] starts as a confidence. If we get a lot of pushback on things that deep down we know we're right, but kind of succumb to the pressure... [That] holds yourself and everybody else back in the process. Be confident in what you're doing, push the envelope and move forward."

 

Matt:

Quote

"20 years ago we had no idea we'd still be here in 20 years time. When we started all those years ago, we didn't have a 20 year business plan, we had a 12 months business plan... It was like can we get through the month? Can we get to the end of the year? Be confident in your decisions and don't be scared of change. Change is critical to growth."

 

Thoughts on the interview? We'd love to hear from you in the comments! 🎂 

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Great video! One thing I find odd is how very little the blog software has "adapted" or "evolved" over the years. Are there any plans for it? Let's be honest the blog app is hot garbage that even IPS doesn't bother using. It would be nice to see that get some attention at some point.

Moreover, it kind of blows my mind that even after the major success blogs have gotten over the years, it was never a priority for IPS. Even now blogs are still popular yet we're left with a very interior and out of touch app. I'm very interested to know why?

Edited by Daddy
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A very interesting interview. It was nice to put a face to the name. Matt looks a bit like Patrick Dempsy to me. 

I wanted to congratulate all the Ips staff again on their 20 year anniversary and to many more years to come. You guys have done an amazing work. I know that I have said this before, but Ipb is amazing and it keeps getting better and better. It is truly the best and the leading software in the forum world. With the latest version, you took the game to a whole new level. My hat goes off to you.

If you guys were to do this over again, was there anything that you would do differently now? What was the greatest challenge that you had to overcome when you started out?

Any chance of posting a few photos of those hungover days in London and Virginia 😄

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2 hours ago, Daddy said:

Great video! One thing I find odd is how very little the blog software has "adapted" or "evolved" over the years. Are there any plans for it? Let's be honest the blog app is hot garbage that even IPS doesn't bother using. It would be nice to see that get some attention at some point.

Moreover, it kind of blows my mind that even after the major success blogs have gotten over the years, it was never a priority for IPS. Even now blogs are still popular yet we're left with a very interior and out of touch app. I'm very interested to know why?

"Hot garbage" is a vibe.

The blog application is designed for community blogging more than one source blogging as we do in our news blog. As you can see, Pages is more than capable of powering a block with a few custom templates. In terms of the community blog, what would you like to see added?

56 minutes ago, Miss_B said:

A very interesting interview. It was nice to put a face to the name. Matt looks a bit like Patrick Dempsy to me. 

I wanted to congratulate all the Ips staff again on their 20 year anniversary and to many more years to come. You guys have done an amazing work. I know that I have said this before, but Ipb is amazing and it keeps getting better and better. It is truly the best and the leading software in the forum world. With the latest version, you took the game to a whole new level. My hat goes off to you.

If you guys were to do this over again, was there anything that you would do differently now? What was the greatest challenge that you had to overcome when you started out?

Any chance of posting a few photos of those hungover days in London and Virginia 😄

Appreciate the kind words, thank you!

What would I do differently? I honestly don't know. I'm pretty happy where we ended up and making changes to decision making may have taken us elsewhere. There's some wasted time in pursuing a 'social' element to the software in response to the birth of Facebook that I'd not bother doing again. I'm pretty happy with all the big decisions we made.

In terms of challenges starting out; just keeping the lights on honestly. We barely covered costs and a small wage for ourselves for years. Turns out there's not a lot of money made when you give away software. 😀

As for the photos? Never say never but probably not. 😇

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What I see being challenging for community leaders is the fact our communities quite likely start out serving a narrow age group and a particular geographic location but over time we find more and more of our new members are of vastly different ages and live in geographically dispersed locations.

Some members live their lives one tweet at a time and live for the “moment” whereas others like to build meaningful relationships with other members and contribute great content.

Those that live for the “moment” aren’t tied too closely with any site and will hop to another site at a moment’s notice. These members like new bright and shiny features, until they don’t.

Whereas members that like to engage in meaningful conversations prefer a sense of constancy in how a site operates.

One wonders if the desire to focus on a constant unfocused member expansion can have a detrimental effect on a site if it ends up that many of its new members joining a site are prone to rapidly consume content and leave while providing little to no financial support to the site. The adage, “Quality, over Quantity” comes to mind.

Please don’t spend a moment chasing after your competition, instead offer up solutions that slowly but surely leave them in the dust.  They may be able to outspend you, but I have confidence that you can outsmart them in meaningful ways if you put your collective minds to it.  With that being said, be ever mindful that your customer base has vast amounts of knowledge and experience you could readily tap into. Something you may struggle over may be as easy as tying one’s shoes to someone else.

Congratulations on your first 20 years, now go forth and conquer.

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5 hours ago, Daddy said:

Great video! One thing I find odd is how very little the blog software has "adapted" or "evolved" over the years. Are there any plans for it? Let's be honest the blog app is hot garbage that even IPS doesn't bother using. It would be nice to see that get some attention at some point.

Moreover, it kind of blows my mind that even after the major success blogs have gotten over the years, it was never a priority for IPS. Even now blogs are still popular yet we're left with a very interior and out of touch app. I'm very interested to know why?

Appreciate you watching and weighing in! Great suggestion. 

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Great video, yes faces we know when we were all young, we all ageing now 🙂

Well done team.

I forgot to add, regarding blog, I wish we have a tools to convert our blog to page.

Edited by abobader
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