How to start & run a collective?

Hi everyone, I’m in the early stages of putting together a collective. It will be to help entrepreneurs publish books.

(One example of a collective being Hoxby)

I’ve never put one of these together before. And so:

  • What should I be thinking about?

  • Do you know any examples of collectives run “well” (or badly)?

  • How do you identify the right people for a collective?

  • How many people should I start the collective with? How often should people be added to the collective?

  • Are there any best practices for running a collective?

I’m grateful for any contributions, however small, you might be able to share.

Thank you.


I’ve been thinking about this.

What makes a collective a collective and not a community?

What do collectives aim to solve? Mostly around finding opportunities and working together?

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Thanks Rosie. Yeah, these are interesting questions.

A couple of things I’m realising / thoughts that have emerged, are:

  • it seems difficult to organise any collective so thst it’s completely holarchic/self-managing
    (i.e. some form of leader/curator/charter of rules ie helpful)
  • it seems easier to start small, and slowly add members from there
  • I spoke to someone who has been in a 2-person collective, which has then utilised the skills of other freelancers
  • I’ve been recommended a book ‘Be More Pirate’, to take inspiration about how pirates used to work together, share their bounty, etc back in the day

I see a collective as having shared values, and skills around a central topic/theme, and tgst works together - with collaboration/exchange of opportunities that you mention

With something like a collective of freelancers, I suppose the incentive of earning a living/making money might add an element of “skin in the game”, so to speak. Though, in a healthy way, I’m hoping. I believe that’s possible.

I’m still exploring and pondering these things. Figuring it out as I go :slight_smile:


I ask, because I’m kind of doing and edging towards much of that in Rosieland. I don’t call it a collective, but it has similarities.

In my head, I see it as bringing opportunities that people need to people. An example of this is the Rosieland consultants list. People often have trouble finding opportunities, but I kind of see it as our role to support things like this to support our people.

I love the idea of a collective, such as I do about DAOs, but I think the realities of collaborating and coming to agreements is really tough.

I guess what this comes down to…is providing the seeds (opportunities) for people to explore how to succeed within their own capacities and goals.


Also, I randomly stumbled upon this. :sweat_smile:

Stories of more modern collectives would be interesting to gather.

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“I love the idea of a collective… but I think the realities of collaborating and coming to agreements is really tough.”

I agree! It’s tricky business. I also think that each community/collective is a sort of amorphous entity that takes on a life of its own. So there might be some foundational building blocks that helps, but there’s no one-size-fits-all, so to speak. I’m aware that each member of a collective has the potential to influence/shape it. I think especially at the beginning (eg. 2 members → 3 members → 5 members… and so forth).

Thank you for the Farm Collective share, really interesting to read about what doesn’t work and spot possible pitfalls and blinds pots.

Someone I spoke to recently about the collective I’m gently putting together recommended a book called Be More Pirate, to potentially shed light on what might work.


Check out the Yak Collective:


Thanks, Arpit. Right up my street (here in The Village :slightly_smiling_face:) - I’ve bookmarked this.

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