Community-as-a-Service: A Business Model for the 21st Century

How communities generate value and how content creators are profiting from it

Jovan Cicmil
The Startup


Image Courtesy of Author

It’s 2021 and it seems like every software developer in the world is building their own SaaS (software-as-a-service) products. There’s a revolution of bootstrapping your products and building in public. And that’s great.

But, in the background, there’s a different paradigm developing, one not so easily defined and understood.

What if, instead of paying for ongoing access to software, people wanted to pay for ongoing access to other people? Whoever manages to facilitate this sort of exchange can benefit greatly.


Our world is superbly interconnected and increasingly disillusioned with traditional career paths and traditional education. In such a world, is it any surprise that people put a premium on access to networking and learning experiences?

The question is: what is the best way to attain those experiences reliably and at low cost?

The answer is: CaaS — community-as-a-service. Community-as-a-service is the phenomenon where access to a group of people is valuable enough that it can be considered a marketable product.