They’re the People That You Meet Each Day.

I spied him over the top of my monitor. He’d walked in well enough, but I could tell by his confused look that he had no idea what to do now that he was inside. This happens frequently. I’d seen that befuddled look on the faces of Gangplank newcomers countless times.

As a Gangplank veteran, I consider it my duty to make visitors feel welcome. Plus, I needed a break from writing marketing copy.

“Today’s subject is Software-defined Networking, boys and girls!” I’d loudly announced to the 15 odd entrepreneurs working out of Gangplank as I arrived earlier. (The crowd had returned my excitement with odd looks and loud groans.)

“Hi, how’s it going?” I asked as I rose from behind my monitor and walked towards the visitor. Perhaps he was an entrepreneur, looking for a home.

He tells me his name, Todd. He wants to know how much is it to use a computer here. He’d like to download a large file that someone sent him via email.

“You don’t pay anything to use the facilities here,” I tell him. “At least not monetarily.”

His confused look returns.

“Walk with me,” I tell him, laughing to myself. “We’ll get you squared away.”

We walk past the hot desks, large tables with office chairs where anyone who wants to can come in, set up a laptop and get some work done.

“There’s no charge here,” I repeat as we walk. “Because payment is in social capital.”

“Uhhhhhhhh-huh,” he says, in that tone that says “I have no idea what you are saying.”

We walk past the 3D printers that line the back half of the main Gangplank workspace. I continue giving Todd an introduction.

“Basically, if you find Gangplank is a space you like working from, and the people here a community you find valuable, all that is asked to use Gangplank’s resources is that you find a way to contribute something back. What you contribute is up to you.”

He’s not from around here, he says. He’s passing through town on tour. Just wants to use a computer, “How much?” he asks.

I shake my head and chuckle.

We continue straight down the hall, past the free library, buzzing conference rooms, and podcast studio. Finally, we arrive at the Gangplank computer lab. He seems a very nice guy, about 50 years old I’d guess, wearing glasses, a gently worn pair of blue jeans, and respectable short sleeved dress shirt.

I help him log on to one of the eight iMac computers in the lab, all freely available to the public. I make small talk while he accesses his email.

“So what is this file?”

“It’s a pilot for a TV show that I’m in. ” he says.

“Uhhhhh-huh” I say using the same tone he had earlier. An actor, just about to make his big break. Yeah, right.

Todd downloads the video. Over the next 45 minutes I am amazed and delighted at his talent. As we watch, we talk about life, swap stories about our kids, and generally just get to be pals.

The people you meet at Gangplank are random and diverse – and always interesting. I love this place.

Todd Oliver, nationally known comedian, ventriloquist, and past performer on America’s Got Talent.

Novel Critique Group: First Meeting Report

The first meeting of the Novel Critique group was a great success. In it, we defined the terms the group. We covered the difference between a critique and criticism, as well as discussing the submission guidelines and methods. Our group will be using a Google Drive folder to share files, allowing both Word and Google Doc file formats.

We had five people at our group, and we are eager to see how the group grows. Our group size will be limited by the total word count submitted. For now, we will be working under the guidelines for the Aspiring Novelists, limiting submissions to 5000 words, and a total word count of no more than 40K words for each meeting.

We look forward to our next meeting, on March 31st.
For more details, or if you want to join the group, contact David at: david@grendelmen.com

Community Meeting Notes, July 23, 2014

Note: We did not hold a July 21st meeting.

Red Bull Wings Team Visit, Monday, July 28th, 2014

Whether its Mountain Dew, Monster, or Red Bull, Gangplankers are no strangers to sugary, caffeinated drinks, regardless of what the GP Chandler Health Initiative will say.

Our relationship with Red Bull goes even deeper though, as they regularly send the “Red Bull Wings Team” to share free samples at various events of ours, including last weekend’s Startup Weekend Chandler. This week, a regional marketing director asked a special favor of us. They are filming a new training video for the “Wings Team” and need an office/work environment to use. Because they love the layout and atmosphere of Gangplank, they’d like to fill that need at our space.

The community discussed whether this was okay. We agreed yes, given the condition that everyone be provided with adequate warning and an option to not participate. It was also asked that they turn on the cameras only after they’ve announced their arrival.

The “Wings Team” and video crew will be at GP Chandler around 11am to 1pm on Monday, July 28th. You’ve been notified!

Downloading on Startup Weekend Chandler

The Startup Weekend Chandler organizing team wishes to thank all who helped out and/or participated in last weekend’s Startup Weekend Chandler event.

Our winning team was Rival Ripper, which included GP Chandler regulars Michael and Hans M., and runner up was Shark Bite Boards, featuring the work of our own Jenna C. Congrats and good luck everyone!

Trish G. announces departure from role as Executive Director

Trish G. has been playing the role of Executive Director of the global Gangplank organization for nearly two years. She announced that she will be leaving her role effective 8/8. She thanked us for our support and encouraged us to keep up the good work. She said that she still will be around to a varying degree, depending a lot on what her next career move entails. THANK YOU TRISH!

260 Update/#90days #blameJade

Construction on 260 has slowed to a near-halt the last few months and Trish G. provided us an update.

“The delays are caused by needing to re-think a few design issues. Older buildings come with hidden surprises, and ours is no exception. That said, work was active this week and should pick back up again soon.”

Awesome!

Upcoming City of Chandler Contract Renewal

The GP Chandler team is preparing to submit paperwork to the city to renew our city contract that provides a majority of the funding from the city for Gangplank Chandler. Keep your ears open for ways you can personally support this. The council is expected to vote on this topic later this year.

Discussion on the Future of the Brownbag

Jeremy S. announced his commitment to restoring quality to the Brownbag programming.

Jeremy S. assembled a team of supporters for Brownbags that will keep them running smoothly from here forward. He wishes to point out the following people for their support: Jeremy S. (Scheduling, Lead), Catherine L (Speaker Support), Ita U. (Video Recording, Emcee), Jody H (Promotions, Video Recording & Emcee Backup), and Hans M (Post Brownbag Blogging).

Because Brownbags are important to the current city contract, he explained how he made a strong effort to schedule out Brownbags for the remainder of the year. He explained that this is merely a patch, however, because recent lackluster support for Brownbags are a consequence of many in the community seeing them as having lost value.

Trish G. and Jeremy S. explained that a new vision for the Brownbag is being discussed for implementation in the new year. They will seek further feedback from interested persons and finalize the details later. That said, they previewed the concept:

In the beginning, Brownbags were an opportunity to teach and learn. In a lot of cases, the teacher was merely sharing a recently acquired knowledge of their own. It was a weekly personal and professional development hour for Integrum and Forty. Since then, the Brownbag grew from a small, in-house training event to a speaker’s event that moved more toward an inspirational storytelling and/or pitch platform. We are not Tedx or Ignite, but in a way, we act like one. This means the training and learning value has been replaced with an entertainment value at times, and therefore lacks much value to the average Gangplanker. Our vision is to return to the concept of learning and teaching knowledge to the peer-to-peer inside. We want to introduce the concept of Learning Loops, and we’d like to challenge the community to bring the Brownbag back to an event of the community where outsiders are welcome versus an event where we bring outsiders in that don’t resonate as well with the community.

As this idea is further developed, more details will be shared. If this reboot plan goes forward, it will take effect in early 2015.

Next Week’s Brownbag: Kieran Thompson on Kickstarting a Local Film

All that said, the Wednesday, July 30th, Brownbag will be Kieran Thompson speaking on the experience of Kickstarting the Production of a Local Film. His description:

In March 2012, a group of local Arizona filmmakers used Kickstarter to fund the production of our first feature film. “Broken Leg”, raised over $24,000 from over 200 backers. I’ll share what we learned while planning and executing a successful campaign and discuss how we’ve engaged our backers throughout the entire life of the project. “Broken Leg” will be released on DVD, Blu-ray,m and online August 1st.

Please share this with friends and colleagues! It promises to have some deep insight into running a Kickstarted campaign, as well as some entertaining stories from an up-and-coming Arizona industry.

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