Listening Mode

Sarah Friar, Nextdoor
With Tom Byers, Stanford University

One of Sarah Friar’s first projects after becoming CEO of Nextdoor was to go on a world tour, visiting ten of the 11 countries where Nextdoor operated. That time spent in “listening mode” helped her understand both the different needs of different countries, and also a common theme: Nextdoor was facilitating powerful community groups and in-person engagement between neighbors, but there was also an epidemic of loneliness in our hyper-connected world. That realization inspired her to focus on infusing “soul” into the Nextdoor platform, and helping users turn online connections into resilient offline support structures.