John Saddington

Staff Writer @ YEN.FM

Good morning!

This is the very first issue of YEN.FM and I couldn’t be more excited to get this newsletter started! Mondays will kick the week off right with interviews from folks “in the trenches” — I’ve got interviews lined up with not only community “veterans” but also from leaders who do not typically get a lot of press — anyone that we all can learn from!

For starters, I thought I’d start with me, myself, and I! This should also provide a loosely-defined template for others.

🛑 — Want to get featured? We’ve got a form for that!


Name: John Saddington
Twitter:@yenFTW
URL: I updated the YEN.FM “About” page recently.

What’s your one-liner?

I’m a startup founder, husband, indie hacker, dad, software engineer, writer, and amateur filmmaker.

The moment you realized community was your jam:

My first real, authentic moments of early, digital community started back in the mid-1990’s with bbs, AOL Instant Messenger, and ICQ handles; I loved them all!

But, I knew that “community” was going to be a big part of my future (and career) was when I found myself spending hours with other professionals on Macromedia’s community-moderated actionscript forums — it was there that I learned how to communicate with other software professionals and was able to share what I knew with others around the world.

The best part was that I was barely a teenager and yet, through the power of the internet, non-obvious / anonymous usernames, and very sparse age-requirements, I was able to not only assist working adults with their paid professions but I had joined what I felt was an avant-garde of technologists who were pushing the very boundaries of digital communication and interactivity on the web. It was really heady times!

It was that moment that I realized that the internet was designed, uniquely and magically, for community and I’ve been hooked ever since!

The best thing you’ve seen (or experienced) recently:

Honestly, my wife and I obsess over musicals and the recent “High School Musical” reboot via Julie and the Phantoms is phenomenal! My wife and I literally are humming it around the house!

They are too cute.

Peter Thiel Question: What is one thing you believe to be true about community that very few people agree with you on?

For the longest time I felt like I was the only one telling people things like “Community before product” or “Slack is a fiscally-irresponsible community tool” or “Facebook is terrible for community” but I’m thankful that I’m hearing more and more folks bang these proverbial drums!

Now, something that I’ve said more recently that have raised more than a few eyebrows is my belief that the most important team members in any business of any size are the folks specifically tasked (via role and/or responsibility) with building and leading community.

Consequently, they will (should) be the highest-paid employees on staff.

Who should we feature next?

I’ve already got a few folks lined up for the next few weeks, but, I’m looking for more folks to feature! If you know of anyone, please send them here!

You can, of course, submit one for yourself!