What I Didn't Expect...
First, a bit of backstory.
When I conducted the pilot version of the Focus Course earlier this year, it was all via email. Each day I sent an email to the pilot members with the lesson and assignment for that day. I'd then get feedback from people about typos, thoughts that weren't conveyed very clearly, trouble with flow, etc. I took all that feedback and used it to finalize the course contents onto the final version of the website.
One thing that never occurred to me was that people would want a sense of community as they went through the Focus Course. I assumed that those who did the course would go through it on their own.
However, many times throughout the pilot of the course, people would mention to me that they wish they had a way to share with and hear from the other members.
The request for some sort of a Focus Course community was, by far and away, the most common "feature request".
I wasn't sure about it. Truthfully, I was fearful.
- I was afraid that if there was a forum, nobody would participate in it. That everyone doing the course would want to keep to themselves.
- Or I was afraid that not enough people would sign up for the course. You need a critical mass of members in order to build a healthy and vibrant community.
- Also, I was lazy. I didn't want to set up a forum.
These were all excuses. Cheap excuses for me to say that I knew better.
As I wrote last week, people are more important than ideas. It's important to trust the input of others. So I decided to listen to the feedback of that pilot group and set up a forum.
It has been 24 hours since the launch of the course, and I completely underestimated how powerful and amazing it would be to have a community forum connected to the Focus Course.
As I mentioned, I'd assumed most people would want to do the course on their own and keep their ideas and questions to themselves. But just 24 hours in, and I have been blown away by the activity, honesty, and just sheer awesomeness of the forums already.
There are people from all over the world, and all walks of life, who are taking part, introducing themselves, and already sharing their ideas and feedback about the first day's lesson.
For example, here's a screenshot straight from one of the threads in the community forums. Check out this awesome sketch note that Jeff Ramirez shared with everyone (shared here with Jeff's permission, of course):