This book is an experiment I’ve wanted to do for a long time now. It’s written entirely in a Q&A format.
Here's a sample chapter:
The first users were all friends of mine. A lot of them were people who worked out of the office I was sharing at the time. The next batch were friends of theirs; my gut instinct was that they’d also be high quality folks. The first big batch of “strangers”, so to speak, was an influx of users from the Hacker News community, then from some early press we got; in total, I’d say the first 3,000 or so users came from one of these batches, and this all transpired within the first four months or so.
The funny part is, I really didn’t set out to build a community; that’s something that I don’t think can be forced. To me, the magic formula is really just providing a better place to share, discuss, or create things that matter to a group of like-minded people, and let things evolve organically. In Forrst’s case, the original product (which was most decidedly not a community product) had a lot of utility, and had like-minded people using it, and from there the community grew and blossomed. Knowing what I know now, it’s very much a combination of things you can control — a great product, bringing people together — and things you simply can’t, like human nature, and that magical spark that tends to happen when all of those pieces are in place.
(FAQ here: https://medium.com/look-what-i-made/3eeb434fcf84)