Pack your lunch and stay a while.
Based on my first visit to Gangplank, I decided to commit to spend more time there. So I returned the next Wednesday. This time I got there much earlier than during my first visit and found out I was in time for “Brownbag“. Not having a full understanding of what was going on, I was intrigued as to what it was. This day was a open panel discussion held between the “anchors.” After listening to the discussion and researching what a “brownbag” actually is, I found that it’s where Gangplank invites leaders in the local community to share the success they’ve enjoyed, and challenges they’ve faced in their careers. In this particular case, Gangplank refers to anchors as
“companies that base their operations out of Gangplank, with permanent desk space for multiple employees. Each anchor is involved in Gangplank planning meetings, as well as contributes to the community through donations, services, etc.”
Trust is built through engagement.
During and after the panel discussion, I spent a few minutes getting familiar with each of the members and their organizations. Quite a nice blend of marketing, strategy, designers, developers, and small business mentors. I got a good sense as to why these guys were up there talking – about what they love, their drive and passion clearly showed.
After the discussion, I had the opportunity to speak with Tim from Brand Adoption. We had a great conversation about social media growth, the important of trust within communities, and product value. Heck, I even recall some laughs about how we thought we know what we wanted to do before college. (Gosh…if I only knew then what I know now!)
After Tim and I finished up our conversation, I returned to my little work area and anxiously awaited for Hacknight Street Hockey game starting at 7pm. After some help from Chuck Reynolds of Rynoweb and Andrew Ryno with some PHP related issues, I changed changed into some workout clothes and headed across the street to the parking garage to play some street hockey.
It was a great time and was an excellent reminder to me on how I need to adjust to the dry air. Moving from southwest Florida (where the average humidity is 98 bajillion percent) to the Phoenix area (where, well… let’s just say it’s very dry) – I needed to stay hydrated. I think some of the guys thought I was going to pass out and die mid-game. Great group of guys. Had the opportunity to meet Chris Conrey, who is responsible for organizing the game. So… thank you, Chris. After about an hour or so of having my butt handed to me, we wrapped the game up and headed back Gangplank HQ.
After the friendly game of street hockey, there was a tattoo session scheduled at 9pm. Mike Benner stepped up to the plate and had the guys from Tabu Tattoo and inked up his back with Gangplank’s tagline, “Be Dangerous.” The session was great and I’m looking forward to seeing the finished/healed work.
While all this was going on, I was asked if I minded that my “personal geek space” was to be invaded. This was when I had the pleasure meeting April Holle of Made Better Studio. After a candid introduction, we sat back and watched the tattoo session and discussed what brought us to Gangplank. By then, it was getting late and time for me to get home. I had a 45 minute drive, so I wrapped things up and took off.
Gangplank is great collaborative workspace and offers one roof for technologists – from designers to developers, market strategy consultants, students and tutors, entrepreneurs and mentors, and musicians. It’s directly described as:
“a group of connected individuals and small businesses creating an economy of innovation and creativity in the Valley. We envision a new economic engine comprised of collaboration and community, where industries come together to transform our culture.”
The place has a great vibe and company of people who know that when great minds with great ideas get together at once place, great things happen. I’m looking forward to moving in the right direction with the “pirates” at Gangplank.
If you want to read Part 1 of 2 of this blog post, click here.