A Social Network Dedicated to Connecting Neighbors [Q&A]

When CEO and Co-Founder of Nextdoor, Nirav Tolia, noticed there was no way for neighbors to connect online - he created a way.

Nov 5, 2015
Nirav Tolia is the CEO and Co-Founder of Nextdoor

Nirav Tolia is the CEO and Co-Founder of Nextdoor

In this day and age, you can find a social network to connect people who share just about any passion, hobby, and occupation. Looking to meet people who share a common interest? There’s Meetup. Hoping to network with those who share the same profession? Hello, Linkedin. Want to befriend others who share a love for horses? Horsering has you covered. But what about connecting with the people with whom you share the same neighborhood? Nirav Tolia asked the same question and, after realizing there was not yet an answer, he began Nextdoor. A private social network for your neighborhood, Nextdoor uses technology to build stronger and safer neighborhoods. From tracking down a trustworthy babysitter, to organizing a Neighborhood Watch Group, Nextdoor has connected over 80,000 neighborhoods across the US since its inception in 2010.

In this week’s 10 Good Questions, we hear from Co-Founder and CEO, Nirav Tolia, about how Nextdoor is changing the way neighbors interact on and offline – and how borrowing a cup of sugar is now easier than ever.

1. What is your organization’s mission?

Nextdoor’s mission is to use the power of technology to build stronger and safer neighborhoods everywhere. This inspires us and guides our thinking every day.

2. What makes you guys different from the rest?

There are already social networks for your friends (Facebook), your interests (Twitter), and your colleagues (LinkedIn), but there hasn’t been a social network that helps connect us to one of the most important communities of them all - the community right outside our front doors. That’s what makes Nextdoor unique. It’s a social network that helps us connect with neighbors for things that are useful, where we can come together and make the neighborhood better for everyone.

3. What three words describe your company?

Passion, utility, community.

Screenshot of Nextdoor platform

Whether it's a yard sale, block party, or a lost dog, Nextdoor provides the platform for neighbors to communicate and connect (AllThingsD)

4. What inspires you?

Creating something that makes the world better for millions of people. As we have seen, Nextdoor drives this kind of positive impact, and it has only reinforced my deep sense of responsibility for bringing the product to neighborhoods across the world.

5. Who's your favorite good doer figure?

Marc Benioff - author, philanthropist, and the founder and CEO of salesforce.com. Though credited as being one of the smartest people in tech and top people in business, Benioff continues to infuse the idea of philanthropy in all of his personal and business endeavors. He inspires with his business success, but even more so with his focus on giving back and improving our local communities.

6. What is the best part about your job?

I believe deeply in the value of team, which is why there is nothing better than rolling up my sleeves and coming to work with people I like, respect, and trust. It’s extremely gratifying to work with these people to create a product that has a positive impact on millions of lives every day.

7. How do you measure success within your organization?

Our goal is to have every neighbor, in every neighborhood, use Nextdoor every day. We won’t rest until that happens.

Tree planting activity with Nextdoor members

Nextdoor connects people both online as well as offline with tree-planting initiatives, clean up events and more 

8. Facebook or Twitter?

Both! Facebook to communicate with friends and family; Twitter to tune-in to the world at-large.

9. What do you want Goodnet users to know about your organization?

A few years ago when we started Nextdoor, almost 30 percent of Americans couldn’t name a single neighbor by name. I remember growing up in thriving communities where we knew the people around us, where we could rely on our neighbors and they could rely on us. Nextdoor can help you bring back this sense of community to your neighborhood. Give it a try, and before you know it, you will be helping to build a safer and happier place to call home.

10. How can people get involved?

Simply go to Nextdoor.com and enter your email and home address. If a Nextdoor website has been started for your neighborhood, you can verify your address and join immediately. If there isn’t a Nextdoor website yet, you can start it yourself and invite your neighbors.