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Our Vision

A better social network.

by Christopher Lomax, founder



Real Life…

You know, the one that we truly can’t live without.

That’s the one that is baked into our DNA. It’s the relationships that don’t really exist online or in digital.

Your friends and connections aren’t really your “friends” or “connections” — they are acquaintances. They don’t want to help you or ever be nice to you. They just want your name in their “friends” tab.

You are just a number. That is all, really.

Sure, that’s a very harsh take on it, but I don’t think I am all that far off!

David Sax, author of The Revenge of Analog, put it this way:

“Analog provides a potential solution to this. If social networks and online communities are able to transcend their virtual existence into some form of real-life interaction, they can build a genuine sense of belonging among users.”

Its a novel idea.

What if the digital tools were just that: tools. What if they helped you connect, not be the final connection.

A relatively unknown (at least to me) but important early founder of online social networks is Catarina Fake, one of the founders of Flickr. In a recent interview with LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman’s on his podcast Masters of Scale, Caterina dove into her history with social networks and investing in internet companies:

“A very strong motivating force in the work that I have done has been building a more human internet; building a very thoughtful, people oriented internet. If you look at the companies I subsequently invested in after Flickr, they have a lot of things in common. Etsy is a very strong example of that as it is a very community oriented product, it is very person to person, it is very human.”

Caterina Fake on Masters of Scale, Season 2 #16.

The point Caterina is harping on — personal interaction — is why I think that places like Mantle. City Club are important. Even if you meet someone through one of our new digital networks, you are still going to run into that person, whether it is over a beer or a popsicle, or at an event that was organized around that digital group, or while eating, shopping or working out at one of our City Club Partners.

Sure, you won’t have thousands of people in your friends tab, but when you ask me a favor, I will probably be more likely to oblige you because I know you. I met you. We had a beer together. I told you I would reach out and connect you with someone else. You are one of my few analog friends and connections!

I will do it because I said I would and it will really mean something to our analog selves.

At Mantle. we are building a more human internet like Fake was talking about. Analog is back. Join us in the City Club and reach out to make a new, old school connection.

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