Anything worth doing takes a lot of effort — often lonely effort. Whether you’re a startup, consultant, job hunter “in transition,” solopreneur, or any of the other flavors of non-corporate worker that make up so much of our economy, much of what you do is done on your own. The great thing about the growth of coworking is that working on my own doesn’t have to mean being on my own.
More than a herd.
The truth is, people are cool. Whether it’s Doug who walks around shoeless making deals on his iPhone, or the Samantha who packs a lunch fit for Bobby Flay, nothing beats a bunch of personalities to make the workday better. Or my friend Drew who works standing up, dressed in a full suit, on endless conference calls. All of these people and dozens more make coworking worth more than just a desk and a printer. Humans are built to be around other humans, and it makes us more comfortable, more productive, confident, and ultimately more happy to be with people, even if we have completely different occupations
People — they know things.
Community is, of course, more than just a bunch of coworkers chewing the corporate cud and milling about. You see, Mark over there knows more about Twitter than Jack Dorsey, while Peter can tell you about SaaS pricing, and on and on. If you’re lucky, you’re in a community full of people that know things you don’t, and I find that the mix of talent & experience we get down here at the Innovation Center is remarkable.
People — they’ll help out.
We get together once a week at a meeting that we call the “Innovation Roundtable,” and hear about what different companies are doing. There’s pizza, wine and a nice, after hours attitude – a great environment to get to know people. You see, we’re all looking to get something done, we’re all a little unsure about how to get there, and just asking some smart people can often move the ball forward. Being willing to share connections is essential.
Alex, who runs the Innovation Roundtable, has become a master of the connection – somehow finding people who need each other and often dragging them across the room to say hello. Toward the end of each roundtable, everyone gets to introduce who they are and describe what they need to make progress with their project. The people who come to this thing are incredible, from investors to inventors, designers to developers, and confused entrepreneurs like me.
We all get to learn something.
Community also means we bring in amazing guests, from Kayak CEO Steve Hafner, VCs Marc Michel and Skyler Fernandes to local startup legend/author Bob Dorf. Amazing companies like Sikorsky, IBM, and Pitney Bowes all to add interest, information and some fun to the mix. The insights these folks bring are truly world-class, and at least once a month we’ve got someone coming to speak, usually on the third Wednesday.
A key part of our community, one I cannot speak highly enough about, is our advisors. Barry & Peter, Janis & Bas, the list goes on. In fact, the Stamford Innovation Center has nine advisors that will talk through IP, marketing, finance, strategy and beyond – all for free. You can request an advisory meeting at this link.
So check out http://www.stamfordicenter.com to see what’s happening next. Go to our coworking page and request a free day. We recommend Tuesdays so you can stay for Innovation Roundtable, which starts at 6.
And come hang with the cool kids. We’ll be just on the other side of the desk.