The Power of Tribes (And The Only Two Things We Need To Start One)

When marketing maestro Seth Godin wrote his book Tribes — We Need You To Lead Us, it brought an idea more commonly seen in Africa and Asia to the US. When we hear the word “tribe” images of Aboriginals in Australia, the Karen women with elongated necks in Thailand or the Huli Wigmen of Papa New Guinea pop into our heads. But as Seth simply puts it:

“A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.”

Suddenly, you realize that tribes are everywhere. We have tribes of people traveling around the world while working remotely (Digital Nomads), tribes of people trying to start businesses (Entrepreneurs), tribes of people decluttering their houses and consuming less (Minimalists) and tribes of people who are embracing the sharing economy and living with other people (we’ll go with “Co-Livers” for now!). These are just four examples in an infinite universe. Here’s Seth talking about Tribes:

Technology has allowed tribes to go from the physical to the virtual and then facilitate further physical interactions in new ways. I recently spoke with the Founder of DeskPass, Sam Rosen about how he had taken a shared interest (co-working) and given a way for the tribe of Co-Workers to communicate, be mobile and learn from each other. Another friend of mine Shar Behzadian is helping her tribe — digital nomads — find work as they travel around the world with her startup TravTribe. Other similar tribes include Threadless (t-shirts), Barista Exchange (coffee) and SK-Gaming.

This triggered the thought of how we can…


People are already traveling and living in shared spaces. But what is missing is a way to connect these two things and give more meaning and direction. Here is what I see happening right now:

Wants to do a remote year while growing their digital marketing company. Spends months researching hostels/hotels (gives up and says “I’ll find one when I get there”).
Sends hundreds of emails to potential employers saying they might be in Tokyo in 6 months and would love to do some social media consulting (no-one replies).
Spends weeks on forums trying to find travel buddies who are like minded people (finds a guy who loves ecstasy and clubbing, a girl who wants to do yoga with cats and a surf dude. No digital marketing people in sight!).
The year goes ahead and is as organized as a $5 bin at Walmart.

About to move to a new city.
Doesn’t know anyone.
Joins local Facebook group for “Startups”.
Gets a few bites.
Most people disappear when the entrepreneur arrives in the city.
That room mate falls through and they have nowhere to stay.
They network and go to multiple events but instead of meeting like minded people, their pocket is full of MLM business cards.
It takes years to build the network they want.
Their empire is still just one brick.

With my startup Qwerky, we are building a platform that focuses on the shared interest of coliving and traveling and creating a simple way for people to communicate. We will help people find their nearest coliving space and then allow them to book a stay there. By being a Qwerky member, you will have access to coliving spaces all around the world. Beyond this, you can find tribes or start your own. Once your tribe is complete, we can help you find the right place for your tribe to live. Pretty cool right?!

My dream is for people to be able to live in a meaningful way, live together and live with purpose. I hope you can be part of the reality.

Hit me up on Medium here — David Lowe — or here:

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