The following is an excerpt from an e-mail I recently sent describing what we’re trying to accomplish. I thought it did a really good job of explaining what we’re doing and why, so I wanted to share it here.
Part cafe, part event venue, and part collaboration/co-working space, we’re creating what I think can best be described as an Entrepreneurship Incubator. It’s being designed to provide a comfortable and functional work space for Boulder’s entrepreneurs, artists, students, and makers to create and collaborate on their businesses and projects.
We are creating a culture of entrepreneurship using:
- A proprietary, member-only social network with project and business pages, tutoring connections, and “in building presence” using RFID
- Weekly scrum meetings where members can talk about challenges, opportunities, and accomplishments
- A micro-job board a la Mechanical Turk to allow members to be rewarded for helping each other
- Shared resources like a conference room, private offices, and workstations which can all be rented by the hour
- Other items which are still in the works
And here’s the exciting part. The behind the curtains part I don’t always talk about: In the middle of that miasma of creative energy – that culture of “I can do that” – we will have the cafe, event venue, wine bar, and bakery attracting people from off the street with great events and a great space to hang out in. Unwittingly, these people will be wandering into a culture that is unlike anything most of them have ever experienced.
They will be surrounded by people following their passions and turning their dreams into reality. All around them they will see evidence of people working to change their world. Not far-off and mystical people in the news, magazines, or books, but real people within arms reach who are creating the next big thing in art, robotics, web, or other technologies.
And if even 1% of those people come away thinking “Wow, I could do that …” then all we have to do is tap them into the building’s community and the tools and resources available there and they can truly become the masters of their own destiny.
Then? Then we export the business model. San Fran, Five Points, Manhattan, East St Louis – we balance the profit centers with centers in areas with less opportunity and wealth. We start spreading that culture of opportunity and entrepreneurship everywhere. The US, the Americas, Europe, Japan, rural India, South Africa, and the rest of the world.
If we manage to replicate that 1% success rate around the world – that’s the change maker. Even if we only inspire 1% of 1% of the world’s population to take their future into their own hands and give them the tools and resources to do it, that’s success. That’s the new world we’re all looking for.
It’s a big dream, I know, but what’s the point of dreaming small?