In the Orbit Model, we define the impact of a community as the set of outcomes that happen thanks to the operation of the community.

When a business invests in community, the community returns that investment by having an impact on goals the business deems important, such as sales, marketing, product, social impact, and more.

Because community doesn't just impact one part of the business, we need to break the impact into parts to analyze the total ROI. Each part, called a flywheel, creates a virtuous cycle between the community's operations and one or more goals of the organization. As the flywheel spins community input is turned into business value, which feeds back energy into the community. Hence why we call it a flywheel.


Explore the various community flywheels using the site navigation. These are not an exclusive list of flywheels, just enough to get you started.

Community-led growth

A community-led growth motion is one where the community is the primary driver of growth by virtue of member-generated content, advocacy, and the creating of value by members for each other. An essential part of community-led growth is defining setting up flywheels and measuring the impact of each. Learn more about community-led growth.


Product companies have a Go-to-market (GTM) strategy that determines how they will market and sell their products. We encourage companies to have a corresponding Go-to-community (GTC) motion that describes how and why the community will be built. An essential part of a GTC strategy is defining how the community will impact business goals and what the essential community flywheels are.

While community-led growth implies that the community is the primary growth driver for a product, any product with a community can benefit from a GTC strategy in order to accelerate growth.

To learn more, check out Community ≠ Marketing: Why We Need Go-to-Community, Not Just Go-to-Market by Patrick Woods.