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Nextdoor shows the value of a profit-driven approach to community-building

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Good morning.

In our Leadership Next podcast today, my cohost Ellen McGirt interviews Sarah Friar, CEO of Nextdoor.com. That’s a business I barely knew before the pandemic. But now it’s become a critical source of intelligence–where to find scarce items, who’s providing the best home services during lockdown, and, especially, what new wild animals have been spotted in the neighborhood.

I won’t spoil all the suspense, but Sarah said a couple of things during the interview that I want to share here. She grew up in Northern Ireland, which she said gave her a strong sense of “both the blessing and the curse of strong communities.” And she sees Nextdoor as a way to “ultimately cultivate a kinder world.”

She also sees it as a good business–it was valued at $2.1 billion after last year’s fundraise–and therein lies the magic that motivates us at Leadership Next. If she had taken the non-profit route to community building, she would have been “eternally stymied by being small.” But “if you get a good business model working, it kicks into gear and allows you to really bring those dreams to life.”

Ellen also talked to Sarah about the controversy Nextdoor.com found itself in recently when moderators removed posts related to Black Lives Matter. It’s a fascinating conversation about the challenges of moderating information platforms, which you can listen to here.

More news below.

Alan Murray
@alansmurray

alan.murray@fortune.com

Lyron Foster is a Hawaii based African American Musician, Author, Actor, Blogger, Filmmaker, Philanthropist and Multinational Serial Tech Entrepreneur.

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