The simplest way to approach this is the same way we determine what operations fall under the coworking umbrella: their core values. While incubator and coworking businesses services tend to overlap, their individual purposes are
very clearly defined. Incubators *can* encourage coworking. Coworking *can* incubate independents, businesses, and even products and services.
Just remember, in all cases, the core values remain in place and, more importantly, in prominence. Community, Collaboration, Openness, Sustainability, Accessability.
In the last 6 months alone, I've seen the following examples take place:
Example:Incubation encouraging coworking
- DreamIT Ventures is a Philly version of the now popular Y-Combinator model, sort of a "startup summer camp". Startups apply, recieve a small amount of seed funding, and are placed in physical proximity with a number of other startups that share, at the very least, one thing: a reasonably common place in their startup cycle. The business services and cash aside, I was lucky enough to consult with one of the DreamIT startups and quickly realized (and I wasn't the only one to verbalize this) that the REAL value in the program was the comradery of growing your startup together alongside other startups. Sharing in successes and failures. Giving and recieving advice. Becoming stronger as a collective of teams.
"Funding Day", their "summer camp graduation" event, was last week, and seeing the result of 4 months of growing businesses together is something that's amazing. Coworking incubating independents, ideas, products, teams, and even regions
- Many of you already know about the activities and results that we've had organically form within our community at IndyHall. Some of the larger succsses are iSepta and RipIt.app, but there are other, less visible ones: we've been there for more than a handful of people who left their jobs that they hated to go independent, and they credit the community of Indyhall for allowing them to be able to be comfortable taking the leap. We've had our fingers in dozens and dozens of events that have quite literally changed the landscape of the city. Geoff is even deeper down in the civic rabbit hole, working directly with the city on some committees for the Mayor.
I'm not saying this to brag, it has nothing to do with ego. My point is, coworking has such immense gravity and influence on more than just where people are working. Even the members we've had that joined simply for desk space quickly realized what they were involved in, and without anyone asking or telling them to, changed their tune and became more community oriented.
In all of these instances, the core values have been at the forefont of an initative and the results have been hugely positive. I know I have a habit of getting preachy, but it really comes down to the recipe model (or the pizza anaolgy, as Tony has taken it). If I order a steak and it's got a side of greens on the plate, that's fine. But if I order a steak and I get a salad with a couple of strips of sirloin across the top, I'm going to be pissed.
Incubation is *extremely* valuable, with and without coworking as part of it's model. Coworking is *extremely* valuable, with and without the incubation.
Call a spade a spade. Get over your identity crisis. It's simple:
Be a part of a community, and be a community leader. If you're not doing one of those two things, you're probably not coworking.
Encourage collaboration at every opportunity. Being open and transparent helps that.
is just as much about eco-friendly practices as it is making sure that
the things you're doing within your community work towards it's ability
to sustain itself. Accessibility
, to me, means not being
exclusive. If you asked me a year ago if I expected the diversity of
IndyHall to include government-focused business strategy consultants,
green home developers, video game programmers, and educators, I'd have
laughed. But today, we have all of that and more. Accessibility of the
resources to anyone who benefits from them is important. I'm not here
to evaluate your business model. My only concern is that you're making
enough money to pay our membership dues.
-Alex Hillman, IndyHall
p.s. I'm re-posting this, with some of your quotes from the previous thread, on my blog: dangerouslyawesome.com
p.p.s. I acknowledge that this rant probably came across more intense than I intended, but I can't seem to convince myself to revise it. So realize that, as you'll see in my blog post
, I agree with almost everything that's been said in this thread so far. I just wanted to get a substantial comment out backed with examples and fact.
I still love y'all :)
im always developing something