For those of us in the top 100 on the leaderboard, Pioneer has had weekly video calls available to meet other founders in that state. That's not the Pioneers who presumably have their own stuff happening.
After a year of this, Pioneer have decided to suspend the calls whilst they work out how to deliver more value. I suspect the number of participants was dropping a bit too.
I've made some good friends and got great feedback through the calls and we're definitely staying in touch.
However, frankly and not trying to give offense, sometimes the calls haven't felt like they deliver much value. A few have even been a tiring waste of time (they are at 2am for me, so it's tiring to start).
As a solo founder, I greatly value getting feedback. Often, giving other people feedback is a useful mirror on my own thinking. I've certainly felt that with the weekly reviews, even if I don't have the time to deal with all of my bright ideas I should be applying at home.
At the same time as being in Pioneer, I've also had a few calls on Lunchclub. Those are 1-1 calls often 30-45 minutes. The difference with those calls is that I am able to pick in advance the kind of concern I have, do I want to meet someone to talk about marketing, or design, or art...
So, I'm throwing this open for others to contribute some ideas on how Pioneer might meld the two models. I don't necessarily have answers, but I think I've worked out a few questions.
Stuff that worked well in the Pioneer Founder calls:
1. having a consistent community that felt like a safe space in which to discuss issues, something built up by seeing the same people over time
2. The regularity of having a call coming up and thinking about my biggest problem this week to discuss.
What did not always work well was lack of control over who I got bundled with. The official intent was to try to keep the same people together week-week but that varied. Sometimes the founders I met were in such wildly-different areas that I couldn't offer much help and they certainly had few ideas relevant to Touchgram.
One way to expand the experience and maybe counter the last point is to have a wider pool of people with more targeted interests, like Lunchclub.
I feel like there's almost a two-step model, like real-life:
1. get to meet people
2. invite them to be part of a curated group