Community Manager

Website WaitWhat

Community Manager for WaitWhat – Media startup from former TED execs

About us

WaitWhat is a joyful new start-up from former TED execs June Cohen and Deron Triff. For a combined 16 years, June and Deron launched and led media at TED —, TED Open Translation Project, TED Radio Hour, TED Books, TED in Cinema, etc. — resulting in more than 1 billion annual views and listens of the organization’s content.

Founded in January 2017, WaitWhat’s inaugural media properties Masters of Scale and Sincerely, X have been critically acclaimed and represent just the beginning of the intriguing new things we plan to bring out to the world.

We describe WaitWhat as a content incubator. Combining exceptional creative capacity with distribution know-how, we create media properties that defy formula… content of the highest quality and originality. From the get-to, we design our media to live across many different forms and formats – audio, video, virtual, live, print, etc. – in order to scale as thriving independent businesses.

We’re now building out a team that’s as diverse as it is creative, brought together by the desire to create amazing media experiences. We’re channeling our energy to fulfill what we believe is the greatest, often unspoken, need of our times… to feel lit up and alive. Everything we produce will have those “Wait, what?’ moments that spark your curiosity and change your understanding of the world.

About you

We’re looking for an intellectually curious, creatively courageous Community Manager to join our small, growing team. You have the empathy, enthusiasm, and intuition to cultivate a thriving online community based on a shared mission and mutual respect.

You must love start-up culture, feel energized by team-oriented environments, and have an all-hands-on-deck attitude.

If you’re looking for an opportunity to explore the widest range of community management possibilities — in an environment that creates great media; to both deepen your skills and stretch your existing talents in new ways; to take real ownership and responsibility for projects; to help invent new genre-defining media/technology properties; to be a respected member of a creative cross-disciplinary team; to be inspired and delighted by the media/sites you work on; to be mentored by a range of experienced colleagues; and to be part of a low-ego, high-collaboration, “all hands on deck” startup environment, this job could be perfect for you.

That said, if you’re looking for a chance to work with a large team with large budgets in which everyone sticks to their specialty; or if you seek a simple day job to support your side hustle — this isn’t the job for you. (Nothing wrong with any of those pursuits, but it isn’t the job for you.)


This is a broad community management role on a small team that embraces innovation. Initially, your primary focus will be cultivating the founding community for a service we’ll launch by mid-summer.The service is a community-oriented media site that combines user-generated content and community interaction in a unique way. It will elegantly and delightfully fill a common unmet need, while celebrating our shared humanness. It also has a sense of humor. You’ll build our initial community (the “first 500” as we call them internally) by identifying and recruiting a diverse set of users who match the site’s personality; cultivating a welcoming environment; and establishing the community norms that help perpetuate a warm, respectful culture.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Develop, project manage and execute the effort to recruit members of the community from the ground up. These contributors will establish norms, set the tone and provide massive value for users to interact with.
  • Co-develop, project manage, and help to implement creative tactics used to engage and delight community members throughout their lifecycle, including initiatives that celebrate their contributions and introduce them to each other.
  • Support community members with their profile set-up and onboarding to represent themselves with a rich, compelling identity.
  • Develop community guidelines, instructional copy, and other user-facing content that sets the tone for both advice givers and seekers.
  • Design the systems whereby community members will be able to get friendly assistance at any point during the experience. Organize and respond to support inquiries to provide users an awesome community experience that brings the brand to life.
  • Establish moderation policies and procedures.
  • Train, oversee and inspire contractors to deliver a world class community interaction.
  • Community management nuts and bolts including: Defining and contributing to platform help center, remaining engaged in online forums, shaping and participating in ambassador programs, participating and optimizing online chat experiences for community members.
  • Determine and propose a lean and efficient staffing / resourcing plan at the first 90 days, 120 days, and year mark.
  • Complete data driven analysis on the performance of community interactions and make suggestions to take it to the next level.

This is a FT position, based in downtown Manhattan. We’re a startup with tight budgets, so our salaries are lower than big media companies. But we’re so much more fun to work for! Benefits include field trips, team dinners, awesome colleagues you’ll be proud to know, and building wildly original media properties from scratch. We also have a formal benefits package that’s highly generous and competitive with much larger companies (We believe in taking care of our team.) We work long hours, but we also rest. (Our whole company closes for 2 weeks in the summer — and the week between Christmas and New Years — so we can recharge). We’re committed to 50/50 gender balance, and diversity of all kinds — in our media properties, among our investors and on our team: Women, minorities and anyone with an unconventional background are strongly encouraged to apply. Also, we only hire extremely nice people.


  • 4+ years work experience as a community manager
  • Experience in launching and managing community initiatives including: moderation tools; support ticket classification, prioritization and assignment; help centers, online forums; chat solutions
  • Familiarity with Intercom, Zendesk and other third party ticket tracking and community management tools
  • Proven capacity leading and motivating community team members
  • Start-up experience working with MVPs and growing a community from its infancy
  • Ability to identify and track relevant community metrics
  • Excellent verbal communication and writing skills
  • Ability to interpret website traffic and online customer engagement metrics
  • Knowledge of online marketing and marketing channels
  • Attention to detail and ability to multitask
  • Self-directed and able to manage your time effectively to meet deadlines
  • You are cool as a cucumber under pressure

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