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Mar 17, 2023

In this week’s episode, Dan reunites with an old friend to talk about online and hybrid social media community building and its challenges of the past, present and future. Joining him today is fellow Japan aficionado, super connector, brand expert, event master, and his friend of more than 20 years, Andrew Shuttleworth. He's currently the Head of Business Development, Japan and Asia Pacific for the Singapore-based innovation platform Agorize. Prior to that, Andrew held leadership roles at tech companies in Japan and Singapore and had his own consulting business in Japan focused on connecting customers, vendors, and people (called Customers Vendors People, naturally). He runs a community called Innovators United and chairs the Sales Leaders Peer Group for EGN in Singapore.

Andrew talks in depth about creating, promoting, and regulating online and hybrid social platforms and networks. He reflects on the challenges faced by Net Tokyo, an organization he co-founded with Dan and other super connectors in Tokyo before social media became so ubiquitous. Prepare to be taken on a guided tour of how people connected at a time when social networking was unheard all the way through to when it finally caught on and changed everything. 

This is one episode you don’t want to miss.


In This Episode

  • (03:32) Welcoming Andrew Shuttleworth to the Dan Nestle Show.

  • (03:49) Talking about Net Tokyo, a community of communities he and Dan started before “The Facebook”.

  • (10:51) How the idea of networking was ahead of its time back then.

  • (13:49) Andrew’s journey from a lad from Northern England to becoming the accidental business nomad.

  • (19:44) Talking about the idea behind connecting people: to create value.

  • (25:02) On the move to Singapore and still maintaining ties with Japan.

  • (27:18) Andrew's role at Apple and how it aided his goal to connect people.

  • (30:50) Being mindful of creating communities without over-commercializing them.

  • (36:01) Indicators that show that the community is growing and interacting.

  • (38:33) Andrew’s take on current platforms when it comes to community creation.

  • (42:51) Different tools for different generations such as Discord and Slack.

  • (47:18) How size matters when it comes to building trustful communities. 

  • (50:59) Regulate, populate, and evaluate contributions from communities.

  • (56:03) On Innovators United being a hybrid community with in-person events.

  • (1:03:52) Andrew’s advice to marketers today.

  • (1:03:45) Final remarks from Andrew.


Notable Quotes

  • “I always had Southeast Asia on my map as kind of a natural next step from Japan, knowing that the economy here is just going to keep growing and growing for decades. There's a lot of similarities to Japan, but there's also a lot to learn and a lot to experience. I mean, one of the reasons I went to Japan was just to have this information in your face every day while you're walking around reading kanji. And the level of challenge in your life is kind of doubled just by being there, especially when you're new and young. And so, I wanted to experience that daily challenge of life again by going to a completely new place.” - Andrew (25:56)

  • “When other people start introducing other relevant people to the community and talking about it, that's when you know it's really working. And actually, from the business perspective, the awareness when people come to you and say, ‘Hey, actually I want to hear about your product and service,’ that is really nice because like you say, you're not doing it for business purposes, but there has to be some sort of win-win there.” – Andrew (36:01)

  • “We can just continue to build and build communities and participate in communities. And you know, I think that by being community oriented, you've got. Already a kind of an advantage over a lot of other salespeople, marketers, whatever you want to call yourself at any given time. Look, we aren’t old, but we aren’t getting any younger. So, you know, to prepare ourselves for the future as we live longer and longer and longer, understanding community and the effects that has on people's behavior and just the idea of making relationships and connections and understanding that I think is going to be a massive advantage for you.” Dan (1:02:21)

  • “My sales team, even though they're in Singapore, are maybe 30 minutes away. But what I've realized is and I think pretty much most people would agree with this, is that there's something totally different about getting together with people in person. I've built relationships, I've hired people. I've mentored people online. But when you get together and you have an in-person conversation, either 1 to 1 or especially in a group, the dynamics and the information exchange transforms. And it's as much as I love technology, you can't replace it, at least not at the moment.” Andrew (57:17)

  • “I'm sure marketers are looking at this saying, okay, how do I, how do I work with community? My advice would be, assign a little bit of your budget to communities. Communities don't take a lot to fund. Um, but they do require money, right? You require money for a venue requirement, for some refreshments. And I think businesses can play a good part in enabling communities. But you aren't going to get your ROI next month or you're not going to get your ROI this quarter. So, it's up to the marketers to kind of learn how to justify this investment in communities.” Andrew (1:03:52)


About Andrew Shuttleworth

Andrew Shuttleworth is an expert in building communities. For over two decades, Andrew has been in sales, marketing, project management, and event production, overseeing all aspects of creating, populating, regulating, and promoting a community, whether online, in person, or hybrid. He's currently the head of business development, Japan and Asia Pacific for the innovation platform Agorize, based in Singapore. Prior to that, Andrew has been in leadership roles at tech companies in Asia, did a considerable stint at Apple, and had his own consulting business in Japan focused on connecting customers, vendors, and people. He set up and runs a community called Innovators United and chairs the Sales Leaders Peer Group for EGN in Singapore.


Resources & Links

Dan Nestle

Andrew Shuttleworth