Jun 29

Planting Seeds in Austin with Innovation Camp and Conjunctured Opening

Yesterday was a full day for me at Innovation Camp and the Conjunctured Coworking Space opening. I can’t imagine what it was like for the guys at Conjunctured though. Unfortunately, John Erik Metcalf was sick, but I assure him both events were successes.

Why do I say that these events plant seeds?

Innovation Camp was a great place for people to discuss new ideas in a free way. What was the best part? People openly critiqued ideas to make them better. The guys at Downtown Cartel do not think my idea of a community for open source projects that aggregates donations from multiple users in exchange for functionality was that innovative. I told the guys at Conjunctured that getting worked up about a Startup District is step 1o when we should focus on step 1. At the end of the day though, I like both these groups and respect their positions. It was a great way to bounce ideas off of other people because in the end, people just wanted to make each other’s ideas better.

I like the concept of coworking. I enjoyed visiting the Caroline Collective in Houston and am really excited for Conjunctured and Launchpad. Coworking plants seeds for good companies and good work because it promotes voluntary collaboration between people. Imagine: no more pouring through Monster.com, only to get a boss that ends up being the devil reincarnate. No more coworkers who are so grating, they end up ruining your day causing you to take out your frustrations on the people you love. We choose to enter a coworking space and no one forces us to collaborate to appease shareholders or greedy bosses. We can leave at any time. Coworking by its very nature encourages good work, because we work on projects we love with the people that we work with the best. If we aren’t feeling particularly productive, we are not confined to do work at a certain time at a certain place in a certain manner. This allows ideas to flow rather than being forced. As a former UT philosophy geek, this seems like an existentialist’s dream.

As someone looking to hire someone for a project, I’m not sure why you’d want it any other way.

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  • http://launchpadcoworking.com Julie Gomoll

    Thanks for your support, Michelle.

    It seems to me there’s been a really significant shift — certainly in Austin, but in many other cities as well. The growing number of independent workers and the associations they form has really brought out the best in people.

    This evening I was describing InnovationCamp to a neighbor. He asked what, given the wide range of disciplines, everyone had in common. My response: everyone who attended had an interest in doing better work, a mind open to new ways of solving problem, and an interest in sharing information and knowledge. There was no one present who bought into the scarcity model. It was all about abundance. And once you’re there, it’s not to hard to imagine that you can change the world. Which feels very good :)

  • http://dailyslackr.blogspot.com Luis Sandoval

    Michelle,

    Thanks for stopping by my site, and thanks a lot for all the pics you took of iCamp.

    Articles like yours and mine, and the ones on Austin 3.0 that highlight what is going on around us is a great way to advertise, market, and bring attention to the trends that will be and have been changing the way we see one another and technology.

    Keep up the great work and I’ve added you to my RSS Feeds to keep track of your writing.

    Luis Sandovals last blog post..Co-Working As A New Model for Businesses

  • http://ceezer.org Cesar Torres

    It was a long week for me and the guys, and I’m sure Julie, Todd and Drew had a nice long week too. BUT, it’s so much fun and I’m learning a lot, which rocks.

    I think you’ve honed in on an integral part of the shift that everyone keeps referencing—choice. There’s a huge shift towards people being able to choose their lifestyle, their work, their schedule, their clients—their happiness, essentially—and I think that’s super powerful.

    It’s great that people are coming together on this issue and I’m excited that people like Julie, Luis and you are on board this boat with me. :P

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