Pack Technologies

Messaging apps for niche communities of interest

The experience

Pack's messaging apps connect you with your hobby-, interest-, and profession-based communities. You and your friends get all the news that's fit to talk about. You ask questions of world-renown experts, and you get reliable answers. You promote your ideas and projects, and you follow others. For a small monthly fee, you become a member of an exclusive community of people who are just as passionate as you.

The business model

The job to be done is connecting extremely passionate people to hobby- and profession-based communities. These communities are valuable fundamentally because they aggregate and generate expertise and trust. The best way to monetize expertise and trust is, primarily, via a subscription-based business model and, secondarily, via e-commerce, on-demand consulting, etc. But communities have a chicken-and-egg problem that is aggravated with a subscription model. Pack is solving this problem by locating extremely well-known, highly trusted, and usually widely loved subject-matter experts at the center of each community. They are media-, marketing-, and communications-savvy people, and because they take the majority of the customer subscription dollars, they are ideally positioned and incentivized to solve the chicken-and-egg problem and grow the community aggressively.

The competition

Today, people use blogs, subreddits, message boards, facebook groups, other communities. The problem is that these use either an advertising-based model, a volunteerism-based model, or both. The advertising-based model distorts the product and fails to drive meaningful revenue anyhow. (That's why traditional news organizations have a painful history in this space.) And the volunteerism-based model almost always leads to an enormous underinvestment in the public goods necessary to sustain and grow a community. (That's why almost all message boards and facebook groups are either very small, shallow, or generally terrible.) Meantime, conferences have the obvious problem of being very short and prohibitively expensive.


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