Image alt

In our second issue of Scaling Communities we interview Dru Riley; the founder of


What was the origin story behind Trends? started as a newsletter. The community came several months later.

How would you describe Trends to folks who've not heard of it before?

A global community of 1,000+ high-agency, high-signal internet entrepreneurs.

When did you realise it was time to start thinking more intentionally about scale?

Communities should optimize for value. Social networks should optimize for scale. The former has a distinct culture. The latter is a collection of cultures. Scale and value aren't mutually exclusive. But there are no equal priorities. We must decide which matters more. I still haven't thought about scale. I think about value and sustainability. Which comes down to focus and understanding second-order effects.



How are you approaching the process of making Trends more valuable?

I keep a list of member problems and ideas to solve them. This list is reprioritized on a regular basis by most impactful to least. I put effort towards these items each day.

What are the most important initiatives you have implemented to add more value to Trends so far?

Both lead to compounding relationships...

  • Daily Standups - on our Circle community, members share updates about what they intend to do each day and any help they need.
  • Weekly Trend Tribe calls - these involve 3 rounds of random 1:1 chats.

How do you intend to maintain Trends' secret sauce?

I think the key is focus and understanding second-order effects. 

What tools have helped add the most value?

What unscalable things do you still do?

Almost everything we do is unscalable. 


Key takeaway you'd want other community builders to take from this interview?

Know your priorities. Your North Star determines your destination.

Social networks (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube) are multi-cultures.

Communities (Trends Pro, Dynamite Circle, 100DaysOfNoCode) are mono-cultures.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources around scaling that you'd recommend?

The most valuable book I've read around community is Get Together.

I've also written two reports on communities. Here is my first and latest one.

What would happen to Trends if you won the lottery? (in this hypothetical scenario, rightly or wrongly, we're assuming that you'd stop working on Trends)

We shouldn't build realities that we need to escape. But going with the premise, "We're assuming that you'd stop working on Trends."

We have not decentralized enough to survive this. We're working on it now.

How can people reach you on the Internet?

Follow me on Twitter and subscribe to and reply to reports.

Don't miss future interviews

We'll deliver new interviews right to your inbox


Thank you for subscribing!