Disruptive does not begin to describe what we have done. Rather than follow the established order, we executed a bold plan to fundamentally change how business is done in Phoenix from the state and city government level down to the real estate agent and the recent ASU grad.
Gangplank is a collaborative workspace located in the desert of Arizona far from the tech centers of Silicon Valley, Boulder, Austin, Boston and NYC. Founded by 4 anchor companies 3 years ago, Gangplank is pushing the philosophy of “social capital” powered workspaces combining freeform coworking workspace, established anchor companies, and community engagement to create an environment of collaboration, innovation and mentorship for the creative class and business community in Chandler and all Greater Phoenix.
Now think about that. Reflect for a minute how far we have come and the impact we have made.
They said we were crazy, and it could not be done. Derek is still insane. Three years later we have an economic development agreement with the City of Chandler, moved into a 15,000sqft facilty, countless local and national press mentions, expanded to other cities, hosted a boozed up WordCamp afterparty at Chandler City Hall with the blessing of the city, helped revitalize the downtown economy, have on-site lasers that will burn through skin, 5-year olds learning to tattoo next to 12-year olds building robots, and millions of dollars of taxed business revenue being pumped into the economy by in-house anchors. Gangplank is reshaping the landscape of technology, education, civic and business operations in the 6th largest city in the nation.
Gangplank has not just touched and shaped the lives of those of us that have been here from the beginning, or those that are here now. It has fundamentally changed thought patterns, expectations, business dynamics and civic economics in the Valley.
Put 30-50 high income, super intelligent, tinkering, thinking, non-conformist souls in a free space ruled by self-governance and driven by creativity with a lofty goal of forcing their city away from a reliance on cotton and real estate to embrace the new creative economy. It’s fucking dangerous; like pouring gasoline on a fire.
But it’s just crazy enough that it works.