Gangplank is My Extended Family

Guest Post by: Francine Hardaway

First let me tell you that I’m not what you think of as the average Gangplanker. (BTW, there isn’t one.) I don’t code, I’m a woman, and I’m probably twenty-five years older than everyone else. But they never allow me to feel that way, and they inspire me every day.

I discovered Gangplank back in its beginning, when the offices were in Integrum’s space over the candy distributor. But that’s not what drew me in. As a long-time member of the Phoenix tech business community, I was attracted to the crazy atmosphere, the pirate trappings, and the “be dangerous” attitude. The “be dangerous” was something that fit my own lifestyle.

When Gangplank moved into a bigger space, Ed and I decided to be anchors, whatever that means. I think it means you give more back to the community, both within Gangplank and surrounding it, than you get. And you do that because you know nothing can happen if you are working alone. Derek, Jade, Josh, James, Chuck, Chase – some still at Gangplank, many now graduated – made me feel like we were all in this together, whatever it was. It was like going on a scary Disney ride with a group of friends. Nothing bad could happen if you were with them.

The third location appears to be the charm. By this time, we sort of knew what we were doing and who we wanted to be. We didn’t want to be an incubator. Others could do that. Rather, we wanted to be an open collaborative workspace, reaching out into the community.

I my own case, I mentor at Gangplank at least once a month for an afternoon. That’s my way of reaching out to the community. Anyone can make an appointment to come see me, and I will try my best to set them on a path to success – or a pivot.

I also try to develop business for others in Gangplank, because that’s my skill set. I’m a referrer. And Gangplank is my trust network. If you’re my client, and I recommend someone from Gangplank to you, I feel I can guarantee you will be happy, because whoever at Gangplank is performing the service or selling the product will make sure to do their very best to make me and my client happy.

To me, Gangplank is a place very similar to the yoga studio where I practice – a “safe” place where I can grow and learn without feeling stupid, and where I feel embraced by welcoming hands. It didn’t happen overnight, but Gangplank is my family.

The More you Give the More you Get

Guest post by Greg Taylor

I will be first to admit Gangplank is flawed. We cannot be all things to all people, I admit it. We are a group of organized unorganized people who are trying to make a difference. We seek better ways to run companies, new avenues to launch projects, a different avenue for professional networking and most of all challenging the status quo.

I was introduced to Gangplank by Jeff Moriarity in 2008. I had just been fired from a job I hated, working for people I didn’t like. I needed a place to go and be around other “professionals” and work on some ideas I had for a business, which later became Marketing Press. I walked in Gangplank soon there after and never really left.

Although, I took on another job I grossly underperformed at, sorry Ted – the Gangplank mentality was instilled in how I conducted myself. What if I tried to help, more than I sought to be helped? What if I gave away all my “secrets” on how I want to run a business? What if I tried to collaborate with other people I once thought of as competitors? What if I… the list went on and on.

I was able to break free of traditional thinking with this cast of characters and say, “It’s time for something different.”

Fast forward to 2013. After many years of working at Gangplank, I can look back and see that I’ve received exactly what I’ve put into the community. Now these people are not only contemporaries, but they are also friends – and together I don’t think there is anything that’s impossible.

If you are looking for something different, check us out. If after checking us out, you decide our culture is not for you, don’t give up on the collaborative coworking model – find (or create) a spot that’s suited for you. Just do something.

Take Me Out to the Ballpark

Come join us on August 11th to cheer on the hometown Arizona Diamondbacks as they take on the Houston Astros.

The plan is to meet up at Dave’s Electric Brew in Tempe (College & 5th St) and take the light rail down to Chase Field.

To minimize out of pocket costs, once, we arrive at Chase Field we can stroll over to the box office and buy tickets for the bleachers – most likely in sections 140-142 (or wherever you’d prefer to watch the game.)

Here are the particulars:
Date: August 11th, 2011
What: Arizona Diamondback vs. Houston Astros
Where: Chase Field
First Pitch: 6:40 pm
Ticket Cost: $18.25 (including service fees for bleacher seats)

Pre-Game:
Meet: Dave’s Electric Brew
Where: 502 S College Ave / Tempe
When: 5:15 pm (or so)
What: Craft Beer & Pub Fare at Happy Hour Prices

Depart for the game:
About 6:00 (That should give everyone enough time to arrive at Chase Field, Purchase Tickets, Concessions and arrive in our seats pre-first pitch.)

Game Transportation: Light Rail Park & Ride

*Valley Metro provides a LINK shuttle from Arizona Ave & Chandler Blvd to the light rail. Click for LINK schedule

If you want are intent on going and want to buy tickets before gameday please visit The Arizona Diamondbacks Ticket Site.

In typical Gangplank fashion, this is an unorganized event so if anyone has any suggestions to make the night more enjoyable – let’s hear them. Bring the family and let’s all enjoy a Summer night at the Ballpark!

Revamped Anchor Selection Process

Before Gangplank even had a name, there were Anchor companies. These startup and small businesses were invited into a space with the hope to form a community. Three years later, we receive 5-10 applications a month from companies looking to participate at Gangplank in an Anchor capacity. As we grow, the process to become an Anchor has changed to reflect the increased expectations and responsibilities taken on by our permanent companies. The revamped selection process gives applicants a more complete overview of the organization, as well as a better idea of what to expect if they are selected.

Have a look at our new process.

Anchor Pledging

  1. Anchor Pledges must fill out the Use of Space Request to begin process.
  2. Anchor Pledges must attend at least:
    • (2) Brownbag presentations
    • (1) Anchor meeting
    • (2) Hacknights
    • (1) Gangplank Academy class
  3. Anchor Pledges must work out of the space, at minimum, 3 days a week for four or more hours
  4. Anchor Pledges must volunteer 10 hours. Some examples include:
    • Run a brownbag presentation
    • Assist with setup/breakdown of an event
    • Reset the library
    • Teach an Academy class or workshop
    • Clean/Organize the space
    • Plan and run an event
    • Write a blog post or shoot a video for the Gangplank site
  5. Anchor Pledges must be vouched for by 3 current Anchors as part of the interview process. Some ideas on how to get to know the Anchors:
    • Join current Anchors out to lunch
    • Ask current Anchors for help on a project or help them with theirs
    • Organize a social event for current Anchors to attend
    • Play plenty of video games
  6. Anchor Pledges must complete an interview with all current Anchors at weekly Anchor meeting.

Let us know your feedback on the new process!

Chandler Urban Art Project

There are two ways to deal with graffiti – paint over it and hope it doesn’t happen again or show the neighborhood kids how it’s done and make the community that much better looking.

Graffiti is an art form when done right, but when local kids tagged the back wall of the second Gangplank building with some “affiliations”, it was decided that we react by turning a negative into a positive by creating a unique urban art piece that celebrated the graffiti medium. Continue reading

GP Brownbag: Shan Man from 98KUPD

Gangplank, Arizona’s only collaborative workspace, will be hosting 98KUPD radio personality, Shan Man (bio), as a part of our recurring brown bag series. The event will take place on Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at noon. The title of his presentation is: “Banging Your Head to the Beat of Your Own Drum: Innovating through Social Media and Someone Else’s Inspiration.”

1757857 300x199 GP Brownbag: Shan Man from 98KUPD

Photo courtesy of 98KUPD

Shan Man’s presentation will focus on the advantages and disadvantages of the Internet – particularly how social media has impacted the radio industry. He will share his experiences with finding inspiration through shared thoughts online and how he has applied those to his dream of working in radio.

Shan Man, real name Shannon Hernandez, is an Arizona native and has worked in radio for more than six years. His favorite bands include Metallica, Sevendust, Korn, Soulfly and Slipknot. Though he’s known for his extroverted personality on air, he admits he’s “a bit intimidated to be surrounded by such powerful minds”.

His station, 98 KUPD, has been the only Active Rock station in the Valley for more than 25 years. The station delivers popular to aggro-styled rock and frequently informs their listeners of any promotional incentives, events, and concerts. It is home to critically-acclaimed and top-rated morning show, John Holmberg’s Morning Sickness.

The brown bag is open to the public, free of charge. Bring your lunch, have a few laughs and be prepared for an in-your-face account of social media and radio.