Gangplanker Profile: Kameron Williams

Hi! My name is Jason Bastian and I am a new addition to the Gangplank content team. Thank you for having me aboard and I hope I can contribute in a meaningful way. I am originally from Omaha, Nebraska, and yes I know all about cow tipping. I love writing and hope to blend my unique observations, people skills, and comedic insights into some great blogs and stories for everyone at Gangplank. I’m going to start off by profiling some of the Gangplank regulars!

First up, Kameron Williams of LilliMedia. Kameron is a big contributor to Gangplank and I was able to sit down with him one on one, see what he is all about, and what he could enlighten us on with photography. The Gangplank Photography Classes were started by Kameron and have grown into a prosperous meet up at Gangplank.

Me: Why did you get into photography?

Kameron: I got into photography because it was the best way to create an emotional connection with someone. I feel there are a lot of different mediums that people engage with, but for me personally photography is the best way to take a feeling, an event, or an occasion of that particular point in time and really preserve it and share it with someone else.

Me: How important is it, in this day and age, with video, high-speed internet, the I Max with 3-D, advanced special effects, iPads that play music videos, movies, and television shows, and even phones with video blogging capabilities, that when you have photography, you still have to appreciate that. How do you see [photography] as still an important piece of our everyday lives?

Kameron: I think that multimedia as a whole will always continue to evolve. You see, as you mentioned, these huge I Max theaters and things like that I think one very important piece of information that people forget about is a lot of movies that you watch are a conglomeration of many different images moving together, so for me, where you have all these different realms of multimedia; i.e. YouTube, Vine, Snapchat, things like that I think the epicenter, the core, the anchor that holds all these pieces together will always be photography. Whether it’s in a moving format or a still format the basic image is what we always see –the basic image is what we always identify with.

Me: Why is lighting so important [in photography] [for you]?

Kameron: For me, I believe that lighting is a large contribution to the emotional connection of the image. Whether it’s inside or outside, studio or ambient, I feel that lighting sets the tone for the way that imagery is going to be perceived. So, if you were to liken it to something else, I would say that lighting is the secret sauce of the palette of imagery and it’s what distinguishes one artist from another, or one photographer from another. As well as one feeling from another.

Me: Tell me about your company, LilliMedia.

Kameron: LilliMedia is a full service web design, web development, and interactive agency. What our focus is, what our primary function is, is that we articulate brand messages, we really show people what different brands do in order to help brands connect with different groups of people.

So, what that means for us is that we look at photography, videography, web design, web development, their marketing assets, and we carve out a road for a brand to specifically engage with a particular type of target or individual and a large portion of what we do is focused on engaging imagery, i.e. still photos to accomplish that mission or that goal.

Me: Can you predict the next phase in digital photography? Where do you see the future of photography headed?

Kameron: I think that multimedia will continue to evolve as it has. I think that photography will still be through that river of evolution. With a lot of this mobile technology coming into place, things like wearable technology, location based technology, the pace of life is always getting quicker, so people want to do less reading, more looking and just understand what something is. So, I feel that digital photography moving forward will play a paramount role in that because where you see a reduction in text and verbiage, and things like that I think that digital photography, iconography, things like embedded in small squares that we wear on our wrists and put to the sides of our faces, I think that imagery will be the primary means of human communication moving forward.

Thank you very much Kameron Williams for a wonderful and very insightful interview. Say hi to Kameron if you see him around Gangplank!

Social Media Boot Camp November 2, 2013

To learn more, please visit http://www.meetup.com/Gangplank-Avondale/events/145437152/

“Social Media Bootcamp” is an immersive experience in learning and improving all areas of your social media marketing . There will be classes ranging from Intro to Twitter, G+, Linkedin, Facebook, and Youtube to classes that help you to create better content. We will also have mentors to help critique your current social media accounts and a photographer to provide head shots.

When you are not in a workshop, enjoy our drop in collaborative workspace. Bring your laptop and work on creating social media accounts, get expert feedback and critiques from fellow social media users, and develop content for your social media or just work on a project while sharing the fun collaborative atmosphere.

Please note that for the weekend, our drop-in space will be on our second floor which is unfortunately not ADA accessible.

To learn more, please visit http://www.meetup.com/Gangplank-Avondale/events/145437152/

Hiring Solved is Really Working

When Shon Burton and Trevor Olson first launched Hiring Solved, who could’ve guessed that in less than six months they’d be accepting a startup scholarship from Tallwave?

Flashback to Gangplank’s Startup Weekend 2011. “I pitched him my idea and he thought it was shit,” as Burton recalls his first encounter with Olson.

Now their recruiting tool is running at full force. So much so, they’ve just accepted their first international client. And it couldn’t have happened without Gangplank. In fact, Burton eloquently writes in previous posts (Something Crazy, HS Launches) about how the culture at GP is the reason for the season of Hiring Solved.

hs homepage edit 1024x670 Hiring Solved is Really Working

“I’ve been searching and longing to find a group of passionate people, people that inspire, create, hack, and love what they do,” wrote Burton.

trevor resume edit Hiring Solved is Really Working
So what makes Burton and Olson unique? They’re really working. It seems simple but it applies to everything. One of the first things they’ll tell you about Hiring Solved is that times have changed. People are writing their resumes everyday, with everything they do. That couldn’t be more true for the founders. Take Olson’s for example. Only a programmer would write theirs in code.

If it wasn’t for Gangplank, Olson and Burton might not have met. As they say in Hiring Solved’s tagline, it’s “The Fastest Way to Find Talent”…. after Gangplank that is.

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.

Gangplank Avondale hosts WordUP AZ

wordupaz Gangplank Avondale hosts WordUP AZOn Saturday, March 16, 2013, Gangplank Avondale will host WordUP AZ, a one-day event for WordPress Developers. The event will kick off at 9:00AM and run until 3:00PM.

WordUP AZ will use the unconference format, giving attendees the opportunity to bring up topics they most want to learn about while also allowing them to share their own expertise.

This free event is open for developers of all levels. Lunch is provided.

To attend, signup at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/5567101350/efbnen.

Listen to a Folktale to Grow Your Business.

So in the midst of so much technology and business development comes a troupe of storytellers. Why storytelling when there is work to be done? Aren’t there other good things to do at a brown-bag besides telling stories?

Stories are catalysts to new understanding. I have been storytelling professionally since 1986. I’ve learned how even the simplest story can lead the listener to thinking differently or contemplating a bit more deeply about their own life and work. At other times, the story is just plain fun and simply meant to be enjoyed. You, as the listener, get to decide if you are listening for understanding or just to have fun.

Let’s take a look at a folktale. Here is a story that I told at the StoryRise brown-bag event in June. It’s short. Watch it before you read more of this article:

There are many ways to interpret that story. When I told it at this particular performance, I was thinking about what it means for the entrepreneur. I’ve created a few questions for that story to help you think about it in terms of your work as an entrepreneur or small-business developer:

1. Were you “asleep” before you started on the entrepreneurial road? It’s easy to just go through the motions at a job but not really accomplish anything. What were you doing before you started out on your own? Were you engaged with your work or just plodding through it?

2. The boy in the story lies down and finds that the ground is uncomfortable. What “uncomforts” forced you to move forward to your life as it is now? Why do you do what you do?

3. It was necessary for the boy to take action. He had to start digging up the ground to find the chest. He needed tools. What actions have you taken to move your work forward? Did you discover, find, borrow or create new tools in order to start “digging” into your business or creation? Do you have the right tools now?

4. Everywhere you look people are shouting about “starting your own business.” Maybe within your path is a “golden box” for you. However, the boy in the story can’t open it until he has dug deeper for the key. What is the “key” to your business? What or who is it that finally allowed you to unlock the box of treasures that is your work now? Are you still looking for the key?

5. The story does not end. It simply asks the listener to imagine the treasures inside the box. As you move through your life in your own business, what “treasures” are you finding in your work, your family, your understanding of the world and others? Is your box empty or full? Are you surprised by anything in the golden box?

Now that you have thought a bit more about the story, go back and watch it again. Let your subconscious work on understanding what the story says to you.

Just as with music or any art form, there are things going on below the surface of any tale. Next time you hear a story, think about this: what are the characters doing at any point? Those actions may be symbolic of what you need to do or stop doing. Objects (fields, tools, boxes, keys, locks) in a story may also be symbols intended to make you think, “Oh, I have something like that in my life.”

Don’t worry, you won’t have to work so hard every time you hear a story. Just as you have learned to listen to and appreciate music automatically, you’ll find that appreciating and understanding story will come as naturally.

Come to our next StoryRise at Gangplank or other location. Enjoy a story just for the fun of it and/or feel free to get all introspective.

More information about StoryRise is at StoryRise.

***
Sean Buvala, storyteller, is a coach for public-speaking and presenting skills and a mentor at Gangplank Avondale. You can learn more about him at seantells.com.

Event: June 15 Brown Bag – "Will Your Business Idea Be Profitable?"

spreadsheet Event: June 15 Brown Bag   "Will Your Business Idea Be Profitable?"Building a profitable business requires the ability to tract important financial performance information. At the Brown Bag presentation at noon on Friday, June 15, John Bradley, Ph.D., demonstrates how to use a “Proforma Financial Spreadsheet.”

John says, “Most people start a business to make money.” In his brown bag presentation, John will show how to use this spreadsheet tool to calculate startup costs, price points, sales goals, cash-flow and income statements.”

Bio: John Bradley joined Estrella Mountain Community College in 1992. While he gets paid to teach business and management, making dreams come true is what he does best.

He says that EMCC’s flexible Organizational Management Associate in Applied Science (AAS) Degree program is his best tool for business growth. John has a PhD in Education, an MS in Technical & Industrial Education, and a BS in Agricultural Industries. You can find more about him at johnlbradley.com.

John suggests that you bring your laptop, to get the most out of the presentation.

Here are the details:

When:
Friday, June 15, 2012
Noon – 1:00pm

Where:
Gangplank Avondale
525 N. Central Avenue
Avondale, AZ 85323

Cost: FREE

Event: May 18 Brownbag – "From Idea To Invention"

iStock 000006501684Small 300x221 Event: May 18 Brownbag   "From Idea To Invention"Every product you use, every service you employ started with an idea. The iPad. The fuel injector in your car. Even that ridiculous helmet that your Uncle Louie wears to the Arizona Cardinals games –the one with the two beer holders and the straw. All started with an idea. And now someone is making money on those ideas.

And we know you get those little nudges. Those sparks of innovation that hit while you’re working out or about to fall asleep. Wouldn’t you like to be making money on that idea?

On May 18, inventor Elia Martinez will be presenting her free seminar “From Idea to Invention”, helping you to navigate the often confusing process of turning ideas into salable products and services.

So if you’ve ever come up with an idea for something but weren’t sure how to take it further, grab your lunch and join us for the discussion.

Here are the specs:

When:
Friday, May 18, 2012
12:00 noon – 1:00pm

Where:
Gangplank Avondale
525 N. Central Avenue
Avondale, AZ 85323

Cost: FREE