We Built Category Thinkers to Fight Category Isolation

Category Thinkers is the world's first and only community where category designers come together to swap ideas, support each other, and improve their craft.

Why Category Designers Need a Community

Category design is having an impact on strategy for companies around the world. And you want to put it into practice.

You believe it can help your company discover, define and dominate a market category.  But category design can seem like a mysterious art.

Businesses have been designing categories for decades…centuries. For a few, it came naturally, but for most, “being different” came with missteps and mistakes.

Then in 2016, the book Play Bigger introduced the discipline of category design – framing, naming, and claiming a business category.

Category design has built a momentum of new categories and a movement of category designers.

It’s not only inspired by other books, podcasts, newsletters and resources on the topic, it’s also moved thousands to become category curious.

Category design is here to stay.

Yet answers can be hard to find.

Sure, you can reach out to some of the experts, but their bandwidth is sometimes limited.

You may be leading the category charge within your company but have nowhere to ask questions or bounce ideas off others. It can be a lonely place to be.

If you aspire to design and capture your category, you might feel left out of the movement.

You’re going it alone – in category isolation.

Isolated CEOs and Founders know they need to apply their category strategy to fundraising, product development, messaging, hiring, and strategic decisions, yet without access to the right perspectives and experience, that’s unlikely to happen.

Isolated CMOs and marketers don’t have the resources to help mobilize and evangelize their category.

Isolated VCs understand the value of designing a new category, but struggle to help their portfolio understand and practice category design – perpetuating category isolation.

Category isolation persists because there’s been no good way for aspiring category designers to collaborate with others and mitigate the risk of going it alone.

There’s been no good way to share ideas, ask for assistance, or garner critique or to break away from the gravity of the isolation.

No good way for companies with a category strategy to find talent that understands category design.

No good way to exercise the discipline of category design with others and develop category thinking – the muscle memory that comes from regular practice.

Category design takes a village with mentors, elders, specialists and students. It takes a band of category designers thinking about and sharing category ideas to move the needle.

Until now.

Introducing: the category design community.

A category design community is a network where all category designers can share best practices, learn from each other and accelerate their category thinking.

A place for VCs, founders, executives, and individual contributors – experienced category designers and the “category curious.”

Engage with other category designers to eliminate isolation and connect with others.

Explore how others have identified problems businesses have that they didn’t know they had, or problems they didn’t even know there was a solution for.

Debate how to eliminate comparisons to competition and force a choice of your solution over the status quo.

Hear from others how they have articulated their unique point of view. How they described their “different.”

Inviting others into the ecosystem of category thinkers allows you to share the wealth and hone everyone’s category creation skills.

Category Thinkers is that community.

Category Thinkers brings category designers together through an open Slack community, a podcast, LinkedIn discussions and both local and virtual meetups.

It is a place where category designers can feature their work with the community while getting valuable critique and feedback.

Category Thinkers starts with an open Slack community that provides an interactive, immediate platform to connect with fellow category designers to share unique category thinking, feedback and collaborate on projects.

Category Thinkers’ podcast gives you an opportunity to learn from and interact with the likes of Play Bigger authors, industry leaders, VC’s and other category designers – as well as other Category Thinkers community members.

The Category Thinkers LinkedIn content gives you a way to discover and interact with category design discussions when you’re on social media.

Meetups will ultimately bring the community together – culminating with an annual  Category Thinkers Conference.

Category Thinkers will allow category designers to never feel isolated again.

Meet the Category Thinkers Team

John Rougeux
Flag & Frontier

John helps growing B2B companies design and execute narratives through his company, Flag & Frontier. He has led category design from inside multiple businesses and is author of The Newcomer's Guide to Category Design. John's a Virginia Tech grad who loves mountain biking, skiing, and bagging 14ers. He lives in Colorado with his wife and four daughters.

Mike Damphousse
Co-founder / Partner
Category Design Advisors

Mike is a pragmatic category designer, speaker, and board member with three decades of startup experience. Former founder/CEO/CMO at Green Leads, which introduced the pipeline generation category and was acquired by Next 15 (LON:NFC). Mike has three daughters, two granddaughters, and a grandson. His time is split between New Hampshire and Florida.

Pablo Gonzalez
Co-founder / CEO
Be The Stage

Pablo Gonzalez believes community is the ultimate flywheel and moat for the “small E entrepreneur.” His firm, Be The Stage, designs content co-creation strategies to evangelize POVs, build out category ecosystems, and acquire clients through digital word of mouth. Pablo and his wife live in Jacksonville, FL, where and surfing and cooking keep him happy.

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