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How communities level the playing field ft. Felix Lee of ADPList
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How communities level the playing field ft. Felix Lee of ADPList

How communities level the playing field ft. Felix Lee of ADPList

Kritika Oberoi
September 22, 2022

How was ADPList born?

Felix started building ADPList in the middle of the pandemic. He was looking for a way to help the community, to give back at a time when things looked so bleak. Mentorship and community was one way he knew he could do that—even if it had to be run through an excel spreadsheet.

More than anything, Felix wanted to create a shared sense of belonging, a place where people with common interests and goals could come together and support one another—that’s how ADPList was born.

How can being part of a community help Designers & Researchers level up?

Today digital communities help people build connections across cities, countries, continents and democratize access to learning opportunities that were previously tied to a physical location. In the past, a Designer in San Francisco had a distinctly different opportunity set than someone sitting halfway across the world—and not all of these opportunities were created equal.

But in the middle of the pandemic, an aspiring Designer based in Nepal reached out to Felix: “I’d love to learn about design & entrepreneurship from you,” he said and Felix readily agreed to a conversation.

Soon after, two perfect strangers sitting 5,000 km away from each other sat on either side of a Zoom call. These two people whose paths would never have crossed otherwise, talked about design, growth, career, and more for an hour.

This ability to level the playing field—to get the same exposure and opportunity, whether you’re sitting in Silicon Valley or Sao Paulo—is what Felix loves about community. It’s also one of the greatest assets for anyone who chooses to join such a network.

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Designers & researchers in particular, Felix mentions, have sharing and feedback built into their DNA. This makes it an incredible group to tap into if you would like to grow and learn rapidly. All you’ve got to do, is ask.

What NOT to do in a community!

While communities can be a powerful network to belong to, there are ways you can get it wrong. Felix visibly bristles when he talks about the things he doesn’t like in communities:

  • #1 Being transactional: The premise of a community is to be collaborative, supportive, a family as Felix called it. If you’re just there to get something out of it, it shows. Communities where people are simply taking and not give back, very quickly become transactional.
  • #2 Don’t commit if you can’t deliver: If you’re committing to contributing to a community—promising to create resources or mentoring juniors in your network—be sure that you deliver what you promise.

Bonus: One thing you didn’t know about Felix Lee!

I’ll cut to the chase: he’s fun! So next time you meet Felix for an event or a mentorship session, ask him to go out for a drink 🍺

P.S. You can list yourself on ADPList (here) and connect with mentors across the world.


Felix Lee
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