So we at Customer Systems, Inc have been around Gangplank full time for just over 5 months now. Though we’ve been fans and participated on some level for a number of years, our experience is definitely changing.
One of the things folks say is that the proximity to others and the culture of collaboration enables synchronicity to occur. In the short time we have been at Gangplank full-time, I’ve seen this happen a number of times.
My favorite story is when Forty asked for feedback on an opportunity to purchase subdomain redirection and emails at http://forty.net at an astronomical rate. Ed Nusbaum went out and found that the domain was up for auction, grabbed it and gave it to Forty for nothing. I especially love that the original domain owner had been less than cordial to Forty.
Another recent serendipitous event occurred when the Startup Bus came by Gangplank on its way to SXSW. The folks from Xero, this year’s Startup Bus sponsor, mentioned that they were laboring with a technical challenge. Someone happened to hear them and turned them on to Authority Labs, who are experts in that same technology. A quick conversation yielded significant benefit to Xero.
I’ve had a number of these synchronicities myself while working on various projects thanks to Chuck Reynolds, Jade Meskill and others.
One big one that just occurred stands out though. I guess I expected that people would help each other with technical hurdles or design questions. I don’t think I anticipated all the different ways that Gangplankers help each other.
We had a new prospect that we pitched who came back requesting that we discount our services. We were ready to go back with a counteroffer (with discount) and figured that we might as well run our email and the scenario by Chris Conrey, the sales guy at Integrum. He had some killer feedback and suggested we handle the situation a different way. We did as he said and within a matter of hours, the prospect closed themselves without a discount.
Basically, if we hadn’t been at Gangplank, hadn’t furthered our friendship with Conrey to the point that we were comfortable to just blatantly ask for help, and he hadn’t been right around him to make the ask, we might have mishandled the opportunity and lost it or just ended up in a lesser situation.
So the moral. Be here. Or someplace like here. Engage. Get to know folks. Make friends. Strengthen friendships. Give. Do good. So when you need to, you can walk the 10 steps and ask someone for a bit of help that might turn out to be quite significant.