Community in a Box with Mark Birch

Community in a Box with Mark Birch
Mark Birch, global startup advocate from Amazon Web Services, discuss his new book "Community in a Box"

Fresh out of the studio, Mark Birch, global startup advocate from Amazon Web Services (AWS) joined us in a conversation to discuss his new book "Community in a Box" and the key initiatives to engage startups and developer communities globally from New York to Asia Pacific through AWS. We start from Mark's background and discuss the inspiration, key themes and main takeaways on how to build event-driven professional communities. Last but not least, he discuss how to build the community flywheel and provided the aspiration to what a great community would look like in the future.

"The key theme is you can be incredibly successful with the community, but you have to be intentional. Oftentimes what happened in my experience of observing other communities is that people would get really excited at the beginning. They would do a whole lot of work. And then after hosting, maybe three events, the enthusiasm would die and they wouldn't do anything else. So it was actually easy for people to start. It's not very easy to grow and scale, and that's why I talk a lot about intentionality" - Mark Birch


  • Mark Birch, Global Startup Advocate, Amazon Web Services (AWS) (@marksbirch , Linkedin)
  • How did you start your career?
  • In your career journey, what are the key lessons that you can share with my audience?
  • What are you currently doing in Amazon Web Services?
  • As you are in Singapore, what are you currently doing here this week?

Community in a Box: How to Build Event-Driven Professional Communities (Main Site, Amazon) and Engaging Startup Communities with AWS

  • To start, what is the inspiration behind writing “Community in a Box”?
  • What are the main themes and key takeaways for the book?
  • Who is the intended audience for the book?
  • Let’s start from the why, why do companies need to build event driven professional communities?
  • Why do most companies fail to build communities? What are the red flags that community builders need to look out for?
  • What is the role and responsibility of a community organizer?
  • How does the community foster a set of values? Do the organizers need to start with a few and then evolve them as they grow?
  • What are the metrics that drive growth for a community? How do we measure if a community is successfully engaging the world out there?
  • From Web1 to Web3, what are the best practices that are consistent with the way how great communities are built and what are the major differences between these different waves of technology change?
  • One key challenge for communities is monetization. I am curious, how should community organizers think about this and what are the practical steps to take?
  • What are the key digital tools that community organizers need to have to build the community?
  • As a global startup advocate, how do you engage startups?
  • What are the programs which startups can tap on to work with AWS?
  • One interesting initiative when I was there, and we collaborated at least once on was the use of Clubhouse. Can you talk about the initiative and what have you learned as a tool to engage communities?
  • How does a community flywheel happen? How do organizers sustain that flywheel given that communities might stagnate at some point?
  • What does a great community look like for you?


  • Any recommendations which have inspired you recently?
  • How can my audience find you?

Podcast Information: The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin) and Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin, LinkedIn). Sound credits for the intro and end music: "Run it" by DJ Snake, Rick Ross and Rich Brian and the episode is mixed edited by Geoffrey Thomas Craig (LinkedIn).