Note: This post is written by ASU Business Senior, Dan DiLizia. Dan is one of five interns that elected to do their senior project with Gangplank.
Throughout my first few experiences at Gangplank, my general outlook on the nonprofit altered drastically. Being a somewhat conservative and “old-school” type of person, I doubted that this collaborative work environment could yield any positive results (since I, myself would not be able to function in the controlled chaos that is Gangplank). Despite my initial impression, I gave it some time in hopes that my attitude would turn around. I had trouble visualizing success stories coming from Gangplank, and overall became confused as to exactly how businesses were able to prosper.
My mindset didn’t change from an extended period of working at Gangplank, rather more so from thought and consideration. Instead of focusing on my personal qualms with Gangplank, I decided to approach it from the point of view of one of the businesses. A start-up company needing direction and motivation would be brainless not to take advantage of an opportunity like Gangplank. If the free workspace isn’t enough, the ability to network on a daily basis (probably without even realizing it) while being pushed by the surrounding companies is a huge advantage. It can be seen as a constant motivator to be stuck in an area next to other competing businesses, yet utilizing this scenario also increases one’s ability to learn and see avenues of differentiation previously unscathed.
Gangplank is not a “cop out” or a “last resort” for companies. It’s a strategic decision made to further a company and attain its objectives. I have a new found respect for Gangplank’s inhabitants because they are chasing a dream with a passion, not just a dollar. In this day in age, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find those with this same mindset and is a breath of fresh air to those who peek in the doors of Gangplank. Whether it be visiting to use free wireless Internet, or taking part in a community event, Gangplank has the opportunity to serve as an unorthodox appreciation for a clashing of ideas: the old-school chasing of a dream with a new-school collaboration mechanism to achieve success.