BJ Mendelson praises Grind, the coworking space I occasionally use in NYC, and warns about brogrammers:
from the article
I particularly like Grind and Coloft because they are fairly open in terms of who can be a member, so you have a nice cross-section of designers, freelancers, startups and others populating the space and sharing ideas. This allows for great opportunities to learn something new, exchange information and even solve problems in new ways. If you can find a co-working space like that, it should be considered as a potential location for you to base your business. If not, don’t bother. Have you ever heard the saying that the people you want to network with don’t attend networking events? The same can be said about startup-only co-working spaces. So why spend the money on a membership to a place like that when other co-working spaces can offer you brighter and more vibrant communities?
Another thing that can ruin a co-working space are pretenders and “brogrammers” that sniff around and fake friendliness in order to find out who the big investors are and how much funding each startup got. You can’t exactly foster a positive and collaborative environment when the conversations consist entirely of, “Who gave you money and how I can speak with them?” Put another way, brogrammers are awful people who should be shunned, not celebrated.
I love co-working spaces. I’ve been in and out of many of them across the country and I highly recommend them to startups under this one condition: If you’re going to spend your hard-earned dollars on expensive memberships and key cards, you should do so only if the co-working space offers a positive and healthy environment with a mix of different people. Otherwise, you’re better off in your garage.
Nitasha Tiku via Betabeat
“I certainly looked at GA when I was trying to find some office space, and certainly would consider it in the future, but I found it to be a bit…pretentious?” Mr. Root, who works out of the space, explained by email . “Unlike its Manhattan-based cousins, I’ve found people at The Yard to be just as talented but far more approachable. Maybe I’m just more comfortable with the Brooklyn vibe than the highly-caffeinated Apple-everything crowd in the city.”
“I don’t mean to be unfair to GA, they have accomplished something incredible,” he continued. “But The Yard struck me as more practical and comfortable.”
I guess it’s inevitable to make the comparison to General Assembly, but almost nothing is the same at the Yard: 100 offices, not open space, for example. And while Levy is having discussions with angels and VCs, the place wasn’t started and managed by them.
And I am — to say the least — ambivalent about the vibe at GA. I work out of Grind which has a totally different and more freelancer-oriented vibe, rather than a start-up dominated one.
I am really looking forward to hearing Sara Horowitz speak next week at Grind, the founder and head of The Freelancer’s Union:
Grind is kicking off the #Rethink series with a speaker who has truly changed the freelance landscape. Sara Horowitz, founder of Freelancers Union, has been representing the needs and concerns of the growing independent workforce since 1995. By pursuing creative, market-based solutions to pressing social problems, Horowitz has pioneered a new form of unionism, and the organization now has 165,000 members nationwide.
Sara’s event, #Rethink Mutualism, focuses on ideas to build the next fair economy.
Seating is limited, so sign up early!
#Rethink is a free monthly morning speaker series for free radicals. Each event includes a 30-minute speaker presentation and group discussion beginning at 8:30am, followed by 30 minutes of networking before everyone heads off to begin the workday.
Grind is a members-only workspace and community dedicated to taking all of the frustrations of working the old way and pulverizing them to a dust so fine it actually oils the wheels of the machine. Located at 419 Park Avenue South in New York, Grind offers members a friction-free place to work and collaborate. For more information about Grind visit grindspaces.com. Follow us on twitter at @grindspaces.
Anyone interested in the ronīn economy should come. I rescheduled the closing on my new house to attend.
Jim Collins, Best New Year’s Resolution?
Suppose you woke up tomorrow and received two phone calls. The first phone call tells you that you have inherited $20 million, no strings attached. The second tells you that you have an incurable and terminal disease, and you have no more than 10 years to live. What would you do differently, and, in particular, what would you stop doing?
I had a subarachnoid aneurysm a few years ago, and at one point I was informed — erroneously — that my brain injury was inoperable. I had some time to reflect on that, and even after it was clear that surgery was, in fact, an option, the mortality stats on my condition were pretty harrowing, with at least 50% mortality, and given the severity of my situation, significantly higher.
I have changed a great deal since then. I started playing the guitar again, after about 20 years hiatus, for example. I’ve started writing music and poetry again. I drink a lot more champagne, too. Have to smell those roses.
But I still need to stop once in a while and ask: what should I stop doing?
This year, I intend to raise even greater barriers to long-distance travel, which is so costly in time and often so meager in payback.
I am involved in a foundational transition in my work, started last year. I am transitioning from a modality of acting as an advisor to companies (usually software start-ups), and investing more of my my work-related efforts into various, well-defined research initiatives, often working cooperatively with other researchers. I will be saying more about these initiatives later this week, with more specific announcements.
The book that I have been talking about for the past few months (formerly called Liquid City) will be sewn into the new research agenda, and will be rolling out in pieces this year, in a slightly reconsidered form, and a new title (in process).
I have recommitted myself to connecting with the community here, in Beacon NY, my adopted home, and I am working to get a food cooperative off the ground. Most critically, my family is buying and moving into a new place here in the next week, and in the next few months we will be putting in a garden, fixing up the place, and settling in. Going to dedicate a lot to that.
I am working in NYC from the Grind coworking space, and I hope to be an active and involved member of that community, and the tech and innovation community of NYC, as well. This will all be keeping me relatively close to NYC, more local than I have been in decades.
I still plan to do 12-15 conferences in distant places, but I intend to keep to that number as a max, and the rewards — on some level or another — have to be pretty high to get me to go.
Say yes to some things, and no to most others. But I am open to discuss new ideas with people. I will be starting open office hours in February, after the move is over.
Before I was a genius, I was a drudge. - Nobel laureate Ignace Jan Paderewski