#133 - A story about returning the internet to its original premise: A place of collective intelligence from experts

An interview with Charles Thiede, Co-founder and CEO Zapnito

This podcast interview focuses on product innovation to create expert networks which promote thought leadership, increase revenue, and build engagement and trust. My guest is Charles Thiede, Co-founder and CEO Zapnito

Charles who was born in the USA, studied at the San Francisco State University and achieved a Bachelor of Arts degree in Design and Industry. His previous roles have included the Interim Chief Product Officer and Digital Systems Director at Nature Publishing Group, Chief Technology Officer and Group Operations Director at Informa and Product Manager at Blue Shield of California. He has also acted as a Mentor for Women Who Tech.

Today he is the CEO and Co-Founder of London-based, Zapnito, a Software as a Service (SaaS) knowledge-sharing and expert community platform. Zapnito helps event organizers, expert networks, membership and subscription businesses to deliver expertise on‐demand and to build sustainable communities.

And this resonated with me, and hence I invited Charles to my podcast. We explore the growing challenge that the noise on the internet is just getting louder and louder. It’s harder to have a voice. It’s harder to create and share collective knowledge and intelligence. And it’s harder to create trusted places. We discuss why it’s so key to bring that original premise of the internet back in order to solve the new challenges ahead of us, deliver remarkable value, and create sustainable advantage on the back of that.

Here are some of his quotes:

I was very much impacted by a talk, I heard from a guy named Gerd Leonhard who’s futurist. And I was seeing social media creating a lot of noise out there. This is back in 2010/2011. And it was bothering me. The noise was getting heavier and heavier.

And so, one of the things that was bothering me in that model is this idea of trusted collective intelligence being lost in that noise.  And actually, at that time, I was working for a trusted business information company. And they were really struggling with this new paradigm. And I thought, well, in the heart of what they’re doing is about trust collective intelligence, but the way they’re delivering it is totally old school and archaic.

So, the big idea was to help return the internet back to its original premise, which was around collective intelligence from experts sharing with each other.

During this interview, you will learn four things:

  1. How the power of communities can help to push boundaries and avoid the risk of so-called echo chambers.
  2. Why trust, quality and diversity are essential ingredients for success in creating expert communities that have staying power
  3. How switching your approach from being a vitamin to being a painkiller can become the tipping point for your software business
  4. How  having a sense of humour and fun helps you get through tough times in a much easier way.


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About the author

Sales Pitch

Ton Dobbe is a former B2B software product marketer who's on a mission to save mission-driven SaaS CEOs from the stress of 'not enough' traction. He's the author of The Remarkable Effect, the host of the Tech-Entrepreneur on a Mission podcast, and writes a daily newsletter on the secrets to mastering predictable traction.