"The Power of Community and Personalization in Building Successful Products"


Hatched by Glasp

Jul 19, 2023

3 min read


"The Power of Community and Personalization in Building Successful Products"


In a world dominated by legacy mapping companies and traditional note-taking methods, Waze and personalized note-taking approaches stand out as examples of how community engagement and individuality can lead to success. Both Waze and personal note-taking styles have harnessed the power of human connection and customization to create products that resonate with users on a deeper level.

Waze: Building a Community-Driven Navigation App

When Waze was founded in 2006, mobile navigation apps were virtually non-existent. With the aim of creating a mobile navigation app in Israel, the founders recognized the challenge of obtaining the expensive map licenses from existing providers. To overcome this hurdle, Waze relied on a community-driven approach, where volunteers would drive around with the app open, allowing the GPS data to be collected and used for mapping. These dedicated individuals manually labeled streets and contributed valuable meta data to create a comprehensive map. By gamifying the process and offering rewards, Waze was able to engage a larger percentage of users, leading to the growth of a tight-knit community. This community played a crucial role in paving the way for Waze's success.

Insight: Community Engagement Drives Success

Waze's success can be attributed to its ability to foster a sense of community among its users. By leveraging the intrinsic motivation of users and providing them with a platform to contribute to a common goal, Waze built a dedicated and engaged community. This community played a significant role in accumulating the necessary data and insights to improve the mapping experience. The lesson here is that involving users in the product-building process can lead to a deeper sense of ownership and loyalty.

Personal Note-Taking: Reflecting Individuality

The way in which we take notes reflects our unique personalities and learning styles. Each individual has their own approach to capturing and organizing information. While traditional note-taking methods may be effective for some, others find that a more personalized approach enhances their understanding and retention of knowledge. Personalized note-taking allows individuals to make connections and associations that are meaningful to them, resulting in a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

Insight: Embrace Your Uniqueness

When taking notes, it is important to embrace your unique perspective and creative mind. By incorporating your individuality into your note-taking process, you can create a deeper connection with the material and enhance your learning experience. Personalized notes not only reflect who you are but also make it easier to recall the information in the future. Embracing your uniqueness in note-taking allows you to make the learning process more enjoyable and effective.


The success of Waze and the power of personalized note-taking demonstrate the significance of community engagement and individuality in building successful products. By involving users in the product-building process and embracing our unique perspectives, we can create products and learning experiences that resonate on a deeper level. Three actionable pieces of advice for product builders and learners alike are:

  • 1. Build a community: Engage users and make them feel like they are part of a larger, meaningful endeavor. Offer rewards and incentives to encourage active participation.
  • 2. Personalize the experience: Allow individuals to tailor the product or learning process to their own unique needs and preferences. This can be achieved through customization options or personal note-taking styles.
  • 3. Foster an emotional connection: Create a sense of belonging and camaraderie among users. Highlight the shared experience and encourage users to support each other.

Incorporating these principles into product development and learning can lead to greater user satisfaction, loyalty, and success. Whether it's a navigation app or a note-taking method, the power of community and personalization should not be underestimated.

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