Erik Martin: Building Meaningful Communities in an Increasingly Fragmented World


In this episode, Charlie has a happy reunion with Erik Martin (Chief Community Officer at Teal, a membership platform to help enable meaningful careers). Charlie last interviewed Erik 10 years ago for a viral media Meetup in NY. Clearly, a lot has changed since then!

Erik is a true innovator in community building in tech. He has spent the past decade building and cultivating some of the most successful communities in business. In addition to leading teams at Nike,  Depop, Airtime, & WeWork, Erik was General Manager at Reddit and the company’s fifth employee. 

Charlie and Erik shoot the breeze about the mindblowing changes in in tech over the past ten years and how we will build communities in the post-COVID era. Topics they discuss include:

  • how emerging technologies are changing how we define and cultivate communities;
  • how children are building communities today differently than prior generations (online, etc.);
  • the challenges of managing a community in a society that is becoming increasingly splintered;
  • how our assumptions and beliefs about who we are and what we are becoming are changing through new community models;
  • new models of community building and engagement;
  • the ethics of building communities on platforms owned by big companies;
  • how companies can build engaging communities responsibly;
  • why smaller communities are becoming the preferred model over larger, hard-to-manage communities.


Erik Martin is a community management expert who has led teams at Nike, reddit, Depop, Airtime, & WeWork. He’s currently the Chief Community Officer at Teal, a membership platform to help enable meaningful careers. Prior to Teal, he was a Lead Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Nike.

Erik was the longtime General Manager at reddit and the company’s 5th employee. As noted in the recent book about reddit, We Are The Nerds, “Martin was the company’s first nontechnical leader and managed to create a cohesive group and grow it into a strong if scrappy creative force…Martin quickly became an empowering boss. In the eyes of his employees, he was honest, compassionate, and creative. He encouraged employees to explore new concepts by giving them tools to learn, and then challenging them to produce something that would benefit the site or its community.”

He’s been named one of the world’s 100 most influential people by Time Magazine and a top 50 innovator by Adweek. In a profile, The Washington Post said this about Erik, “It can’t be understated how poorly Martin fits the start-up culture stereotypes: the extravagance, the arrogance. He’s not overtly extroverted or introverted; he’s a quietish, funny, normal dude.” Before his internet addiction fully took hold, he worked as an aspiring documentary filmmaker, and then transitioned to marketing documentary and independent films. Erik was born in Switzerland, grew up in Chapel Hill, NC, and lives in Portland, OR.



Twitter: @fastforward2025
Instagram: @fastforward2025
Charlie on Twitter:  @itscomplicated
Charlie on Instagram:  @charlieoliverbk
Charlie on LinkedIn:

Launched in 2017, Tech 2025 is the platform and community for professionals to learn about the most disruptive emerging technologies that will change our world in the next 5 years.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.