I had a really interesting conversation recently about the dynamics of investor communities. This specifically was about individual investors vs. venture or other institutions, but some principles apply in both.

So the first question was - who are the participants? You would likely have a spectrum of people, ranging from bystanders (not investing, just here to listen) to investors of different types, to the communicators (ones sharing strategy). This isn’t dissimilar to content communities where you have consumers, participators and creators.

The second question is - what are the needs of each participant? For a bystander, a steady stream of content - information / conversation / editorial. For someone that’s investing - there are some utilitarian needs - the ability to manage and grow their portfolios. For those in a community sharing strategies, perhaps its the ability to participate in conversation.

Another major consideration is the privacy and security norms for an investment centric community. Investment and social proof go hand-in-hand, but people still need full agency over information sharing.

Robinhood, StockTwits, SeekingAlpha are all good examples of these types of communities - each catering to a different participant and need.