Maly Ly| May 10, 2021| 7 min read
Introducing Adam Wozney, Akash Senior Global Community Manager
A marketplace for cloud compute is interesting by itself, but with crypto economic incentives, you have unique and powerful motivation for leaving traditional cloud providers. I feel like I’m joining a rocketship that’s about to lift off.
A healthy, passionate, and self-sustaining global community is critical to materializing the vision of the world’s first open-source cloud.
You may not know this, but Akash’s current global community is only over a year and a half old. Over the past year, Michael Gushansky, Akash’s marketing and community Jack-of-all-trades, has built and scaled The Unstoppable Cloud community into one of the fastest growing and largest communities in the Cosmos ecosystem, while also earning a devoted following of his own for his “Unstoppable” hair.
Quick Akash Community Stats over 1 year:
30,700+ Twitter followers and counting
13,500+ Telegram members--one of the largest in the Cosmos ecosystem
3 Chinese Community Summits with 4,000+ attendees each
Established Akash Russian Telegram as the largest in the Cosmos Ecosystem
70+ global AMAs
We expanded our global community to China with the help of our Chinese Community Manager and Ourea Group (OG) co-founder Alex Wang, to Russia through the diligent efforts of our Russian Community Manager Andrew Hnatiuk, and we’re making in-roads into Korea, and have plans underway to support additional Akash communities around the world.
As we accelerate Akash’s next stage of growth, Michael Gushansky is transitioning fully into his global marketing role to drive campaign management and demand generation, helping expand product awareness and adoption.
To continue scaling our global community, while building an exceptional member experience, we needed to find the right community lead, and we searched for a long time (over 6 months!) to find the right person.
Today, we’re excited to introduce you to Adam Wozney, our new Senior Global Community and Social Media Manager. Adam will be leading online and offline community programs that drive engagement with Akash and Akash’s decentralized cloud (DeCloud), and help enable, educate, and inspire our global crypto and developer communities.
(Adam will also continue our tradition of Community leads with good hair.)
From Google to ConsenSys, Ten Years of Community Building
Curious and customer-centric, Adam brings a decade of community building and management experience at leading technology companies.
Before Akash, Adam developed and launched community initiatives at IEX Cloud, a fintech startup. Prior to that, he served as Director of Community during a pivotal period of growth for ConsenSys, where he quickly scaled community programs and built a passionate community for the Ethereum ecosystem, supporting Ethereum’s wider adoption, and grew the developer community to 60,000 members.
Prior to ConsenSys, Adam managed content, events, and community at Wix, and drove field marketing programs at Google.
What struck me most about Adam, a self-professed “sociologist at heart”, was his curiosity, his willingness to listen, and his inclusive customer-centricity--the combination of attributes we were looking for in our Global Community leader.
The more you walk in other people’s shoes, the better community builder you can become. To build an inclusive, pluralistic community, you have to understand that everyone is different and one of the best ways to see that is by exploring the world around you.
My previous roles before joining Akash have also helped me develop my understanding of people. I’ve sponsored events in Shanghai. I’ve hosted meetups in Tel Aviv, and I’ve managed community ambassadors from Guatemala, Canada, and Australia to name a few. The more I connected with people, the more I learned how to become a better community manager.
Community as a Strategic Advantage
Building and growing the passionate and devoted Ethereum community has taught Adam that Community is a strategic advantage.
Why is that?
A million users pay for your product because you’re solving a problem for them. But let’s say a better product comes along at a lower cost. Those million users will happily jump ship. Whereas, 1,000 community members who not only get their problem solved by your product, but also receive intrinsic value from being a member of a community will stay, and defend you.
Passionate and engaged community members will not leave your product for just any other product that crosses their path.
You can see this inside of the Ethereum community. Ethereum has some scaling issues that have been well documented. Many of those issues are being resolved in L2 and ETH2 solutions--think EIP 1559.
When newer blockchains have come along, why didn’t the ETH community jump ship? Sure, partially it’s because they believe in the future of ETH, but I’d argue that the community built around ETH has given them something more, something besides the tech--a sense or purpose and belonging that other chains haven’t.
TLDR; The more you as a company or project involve yourself in your community, the more ownership community members feel about your products.
On Joining The Unstoppable Cloud
Having joined ConsenSys in late 2017, Adam witnessed the incredible developments, as well as the hype, excitement, and cash grabs of that period in crypto.
I witnessed projects that were straight up cash grabs. Hey Bitconnect, not cool bro!
I bring this up because when I was first approached by Akash, without first reading the whitepaper, my mind went immediately to, “here we go, another pie in the sky project!
So how did we convince Adam to join?
Once I dug deeper, I found a project that is very real, and a team that is even more real! A marketplace for cloud compute is interesting by itself, but with crypto economic incentives, you have unique and powerful motivation for leaving traditional cloud providers. I feel like I’m joining a rocketship that’s about to lift off.
Presence as a Driver of Community Building
There’s no magic bullet for building a great community, but over ten years of learning, Adam has found that all successful community professionals are present.
Being present means multiple things—it means:
• following through on your promises
• supporting the community through difficult times
• listening to the needs of members
• providing experiences that are memorable
The more involved and the more present you are in a community, the more present other community members will choose to be.
When I look at great community teams, the ones that stand out are the ones that treat themselves as just another member of the community. They get just as excited about a new product launch or a product feature as the rest of the community does.
When community teams treat their community members as friends and not just users, that’s when magic can happen.
Scaling The Unstoppable Cloud Global Community
A big function of Adam’s role will be to listen and to get community feedback. Gregarious and a born connector, Adam is most excited about the opportunity to do this by traveling to engage community members in person, and not just virtually.
He’s also excited about enabling developers more freedom and flexibility to build. How will he know that we’re successful?
There are two things that feed off of each other in a company's growth--community health metrics and company health metrics. Community health metrics are number of active community members, number of RSVPs to an event, or community engagement numbers like message volume, for example.
Company health metrics are numbers of active users, number of new users or number of retained users. My aim is to provide SMART community goals that ladder up to business goals. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.
Staying Unstoppable Outside of Work
Healthy body, healthy mind. Adam definitely espouses this ethos, biking around New York City at least four times a week and indoor climbing three to four times a week.
Climbing is great. It’s a sport that not only supports a healthy body, but it’s very mental. Flexing those mental muscles are just as important as flexing your biceps.
I also try to get through at least one book a month, though some books take a little longer. I just finished a great book called, “Think Again.” It’s all about letting go of what you think you know, and approaching things as a scientist would approach an experiment.
That’s pretty aligned with Adam’s listen-first approach.
Say ‘hi’ to Adam today in our community!