LiveLike CEO and co-founder Miheer Walavalkar on the power of communities
LiveLike CEO and co-founder Miheer Walavalkar is partnering with the top sports and media companies worldwide: the goal? Transforming passive audiences into engaged communities with their modular platform.
From mobilizing NFT enthusiasts to being part of the Technology Pioneers of the World Economic Forum, Miheer takes network building very seriously and he shared his take with us and the Headroom community.
How important are communities for your company?
The idea of building communities is really core to what LiveLike does.
We want to help our partners build communities, we are giving them the tools to build communities, build niche communities, fitness enthusiast communities: a community of brand enthusiasts, a community of NFT enthusiasts, whatever the core topic might be.
And similarly for me, being part of a network of founders or network of other CEOs in the industry is an important topic.
That’s one of the main reasons why we attend all of these events and conferences and leadership summits, it’s about being part of a group and exchanging ideas. LiveLike, for example, is part of the technology pioneers with the World Economic Forum, where we are able to exchange ideas with other founders and companies around the world, rising startups from around the world. Our CFO is part of the CFO network, and they are exchanging ideas on best practices.
Today, because of the internet and the ability for anyone to connect with anyone, anywhere, I think community is probably the most important topic going forward.
And where does the power of founder communities lay, in your opinion? Is it something that you seek in order to grow as a founder?
I don’t think I’m necessarily looking at founder communities as a way to benchmark myself against others, I think it’s more that there are other people in the role who can relate to the kinds of pressures you face.
A lot of the conversation the last two years has been around questions like:
- How have you been dealing with COVID policies or remote work versus in home or hybrid? Or at work or hybrid?
- What’s the right balance?
- Tips and tricks on recruiting?
- What are the things that have worked for you?
- What are some areas [to focus on]?
- Have you worked with some agencies that benefit you?
I think it’s just a matter of sharing ideas, and less about benchmarking myself against others, but others might be using communities and networks for that reason.
But in general, being part of a group is really important for anyone’s own development. For example, with LiveLike we went through TechStars, and there were other startups that were coming through the program at the same time. And I know YC founders love the idea of community, but this is anywhere! I mean, that’s why most people go to business school: to build a network and to have a long lasting network for the future. It’s not just about here and now it’s but going forward as well.
What are the coolest communities/people in your sector that you follow?
I’m personally not part of many groups or forums. However we’re part of the sports innovation labs, which is a curated group of executives from the world of sports and entertainment. They’re brought together and have quarterly meetups to exchange ideas on what’s going on.
I don’t think there’s any specific founders that I follow, I usually read a lot of Ben Thompson and Stratechery, which is a newsletter. It’s not because he’s a founder or he’s a CEO or anything like that. I just appreciate the way he analyzes companies strategies and crystallizes big topics into simple narratives.
I appreciate learning about different strategies through that. But also the importance of culture: how a product led company cannot necessarily jump into being a services led organization and vice versa. These are things that you usually end up learning through trial and error and through some mistakes that you make. But there’s a lot of that in his writing that I appreciate as well.
We’ve also launched our own podcast! It’s about how you can create the Future of Fandom. We’re essentially bringing in C-level executives from different organizations. Whether it’s a brand or a B2C company, or a FinTech company, or a sports organization, we ask them how they are creating their future fans. How are they cultivating those fans and curating content for them. The goal is to educate others and learning from best practices.
How is having a Headroom EA helping you refocus on relationship building and unlock your own potential?
Just not having to deal with the headache of a lot of chores and personal tasks and just remembering things, or remembering to do things. I ended up using Headroom a lot for:
- Taking care of personal finances
- Taking care of my daughter’s lessons
- Changing flight tickets
- Doing research on the best birthday party venues in the city of New York.
Those are things that usually would have taken a lot of my time and been a stress area as a to do list.
So not having to worry about that really helps.
I’ve never really worked with Executive Assistants in the past. So this is definitely a new experience. It’s been about a year now [that I’m with Headroom]. And not having to deal with the stuff of more personal nature is a real stress relief for me.
This helps me then, if nothing else, take time for myself and unwind without having to worry about these things during the downtime, or focus more on work related stuff that actually drives the
business and LiveLike forward.