How did you decide to make Discourse this way?

When designing and building Discourse, how did you guys decide on what features to add or not add? Did you read any studies about online communities? Did you just add/not add features based on what you liked? Essentially, was it some sort of scientific process, or did you decide to build something you wanted for the world?

Non-related question: Do they teach Internet Anthropology in schools? :thinking:

There is a topic about this in #releases