In response to the question “what is the ideal number of members in your founders’ group,” we love this response from Sky Blue with TheNextBigStep (published with permission):
I think 5 people is minimum. If you can’t reconcile your vision for a community with at least 4 other people, you might have hard time creating something that’s going to be appealing to more than that. I also think that in terms of both the social dynamics and simply the time and energy needed, 5 is the minimum to really get going.
But I think Yana is right too. Three could be a fine place to start for just the initial visioning stage. I think you pretty quickly want to get to a place where you’re clear enough about what you want that you can start inviting more people in. More than 5 can work too. I would agree that you probably don’t want to be more than 8 until you’ve got a lot of stuff worked out, unless the relationships are really solid and you’re doing a good job of working out early governance and project management stuff.
It all depends. There’s no magic formula. Every founding story of a successful community is going to be different. It’s related to what I like to caution around “best practices.” On some level ICs are all far more alike than they are different. And I think people would do well to recognize that more and reach out to each other for support more. But on another level, each is unique. And what might be a best practice for one community might not be for another, even if they are very similar in many respects.