Sabine Heller

Asmall(er)world by heathrowkennedy

I know I'm not alone in being a member, almost without purpose, of asmallworld virtually since the beginning. In those early days snagging an invite to this private networking club was an end unto itself. On becoming a member you then waited until you were accorded member inviting privileges and thereby your social currency went up a notch. It was a glorified listings service for the wealthy and wannabes and, if you found yourself with nothing to do on a Thursday evening in St Tropez, there was sure to be another asmallworld member in a similar I'm told.

It survived, but become less relevant until last year it was sold and all went quiet. Then in March the new CEO, Sabine Heller, declared her intentions to relaunch 'ASW' as more of a private club. The existing list of members would be cut dramatically and those who survived the purge would then be invited to reapply with a small fee of £70 / €85 / $110. In return the benefits (or as they like to express them 'privileges') beyond interacting with a hopefully more useful membership base, had become more tangible. And there was a move from a hedonistic approach to one based on values - listed in the photograph.

All of this seems sensible. Charging a fee should create a more engaged membership base which will be easier to monetize and parley with potential suppliers of those 'privileges'. So it's a win for the members, the new owners and the supplier/partners.

Of course there has been opposition to the purge but, not unlike the frequent membership purges of Soho House, if done correctly this simply increases the value of membership. Less really is more.

I shall see if it is worthwhile. My FoundersCard membership (which I've written about previously) has paid for itself in hotel room discounts and upgrades alone. And that's the whole point - it's not about the cost, it's about the value. So I've opted-in and will report back.