Get Together

Gavin Pretor-Pinney of The Cloud Appreciation Society: Bringing 40,000 cloud aficionados together

Episode Summary

Today we talk to Gavin Pretor-Pinney, founder of The Cloud Appreciation Society. Members pay $15 to join in exchange for a badge and certificate with their member number. Today, there are over 45,000 members around the world. How did Gavin build something so special? We called him at his home in Somerset, England, to find out.

Episode Notes

“I always felt that clouds are a beautiful part of nature that we can become blind to." - Gavin Pretor-Pinney

"The Get-Together" is a podcast about the nuts and bolts of community building. Hosts Bailey Richardson and Kevin Huynh of People & Company ask organizers who have built exceptional communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How did they grow to thousands more members?

Today we'll talk to Gavin Pretor-Pinney, founder of The Cloud Appreciation Society.

In 2004, a friend invited Gavin Pretor-Pinney, a graphic designer, to speak at a literary festival in Cornwall. In hopes of drawing a crowd, Gavin dreamt up an enticing title for his talk, “The Inaugural Lecture of the Cloud Appreciation Society.”

The title worked. Gavin’s talk was chock full of attendees. When he invited audience members to claim an official society pin, Gavin was bombarded. People asked him for more information about the Cloud Appreciation Society, and Gavin had to tell them the society didn’t exist… yet.

He went home and set up a simple website. After just a few months, 2,000 people had joined the society. Today, there are over 45,000 paying members around the world.

How did Gavin build something so special? We called him at his home in Somerset, England, to find out.

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