Gangplank Town Hall – Phoenix Creatives Called to Action

I had started to create the upcoming speaker list for Gangplank brown bag sessions earlier this week and passed it around to a few of our anchor tenants to get feedback and ideas.  It then dawned on me that we have been doing these sessions for nearly 5 months and that it would be a good idea to get some idea of how those participating felt.  At Integrum we do something at the end of every week/iteration called a retrospective.  This allows us to inspect and adapt what we do and how we do it to follow a cycle of constant improvement.

The retrospective can take many formats, because our brown bags get a sizeable attendance I decided to use the what should we keep doing, what should we stop doing and what are we missing approach.  Within seconds people were giving excellent feed back in each category.  Below are the raw items expressed.

Doing Well
Grass roots marketing
Branding (member owned)
Events (Startup Weekend/Brown Bags/Etc)
Unified community
A Lot in a short time

Doing Poorly
Lack of chairs
Variety of Topics (get wider)
Poor update of events (not facebook)
Introducing/welcoming new people
Communicating vision
Promoting coworking aspect
Starting on time

Whats Missing
Offer more things at hacknight
User generated content
Skill matching
Reaching out to other communities
Community projects (opportunities to give back)
Startup Wednesday
Ambience (paint it damn it)
No way to give back
How to participate at a higher level (path to involvement)
Reach outside current items
Random Fun (ie: lipdub, etc)
Teams (dodgeball, softball, etc)
Place to have discussions

So what does this mean?  What are should we do with this information?  Well we need to keep doing events.  Have an event that you need a home for?  Let us know.  We need to keep having fun.  Come join us having a good time!  We have made a commitment to get a few chairs for co-working every month until we are no longer short.  We need folding chairs for events and hacknights.  Do you have some to donate?  Know where to get a good deal let us know!

We brainstormed topics and speakers (and will share later in this post).  James Archer from Forty has stepped up and is putting some things in place to help us welcome new people and introduce them.  The hacknight website needs to be people not project centered and allow for people to contribute more readily.  We are getting some of the necessities of life finished (like hanging the projector) and are about ready to start adding the decorators touch.  Interested in helping, LET US KNOW.  We have decided that we want to make a section of the commons open to be redecorated on a regular basis allowing it to reflect the community directly.  We hope to add a clock.  Joshua Strebel of Obuweb and Steve Swedler are hard at work getting us an energy drink sponsor.

If you haven’t noticed, we want your participation. Do you see opportunities and have the passion to fill them?  Let us know.  We want to empower you to help make the Gangplank commons your own.

The discussion on speakers and topics resulted in the following.  I will be adding this to my current list.  If you have suggestions please let us know.

James Armstrong (trademark/copyright)
Brent Spore (design)
Tara Hunt (co-working, social networking)
Patrick Sullivan Jr.
Patrick Sullivan Sr.
Dean Heckler (furniture designer)
Rene Gutel (newspaper)
Kevin Burke (Angel Investor)
Erika Feinberg (Active Living)

Interactive Design
Industrial Design
Business Management
Successful Business Owners
Green Tech
Updates on local stuff
Share projects (demo day)
Sports Team/Performance

We wrapped up the session discussing what might make good Academy sessions.  As part of that it came out that that concept of “camps” make sense for Academy structure as well.  2-8hr concentrated events around a theme.  iPhoneDevCamp, BarCamp, MarketingCamp etc only in a myriad of verticals.  KnittingCamp 2009 baby!

Academy (camps)

Database architecture
Lan Party
Water color painting
Typography (@luzbonita has offerred to step up!)
Design Web
Gangplank Junior
Photohard (@luzbonita has offerred to step up!)

In a nutshell, this is a call for participation.  We look forward to hearing from you.

8 thoughts on “Gangplank Town Hall – Phoenix Creatives Called to Action

  1. Pingback: RC » Knowledge and Guide of Electric Rc Cars

  2. I would like to throw as much of Stealthmode’s weight behind Gangplank as I can, including speaking about the business aspects of software development if that is needed. Although I will be out of town from Nov. 25-January 18, I will be available by phone and live stream most of the time.

    I think we have a real opportunity here during the downturn to show the strength of the entrepreneurial community.

  3. Here are a couple of ideas to toss into the mix…

    Code Reviews: When I worked at ASU, we tried to get this started but failed. The idea being that we regularly get together and look over each other’s code. It is a way to get ideas on how to do things better, or a way to show off how you made something difficult look so easy, etc. Plus, it also gives people some exposure to other languages and coding styles.

    Knowledge Base: I like Archer’s idea about the #hacknight website. I wanted to throw an additional idea out there about maybe adding a knowledge base for #hacknighters and @gangplankers to use.

    Tweetups: I think we need more tweetups throughout the valley.

    Ping Pong Table: I may have to break down and purchase a ping pong table for @gangplank, so I can smash you all with my ninja-like ping pong skills.

  4. One of the biggest things I’d like to see right away is the lunch session video’d and offered online on viddler or vimeo or hell even youtube to help spread awareness and further get names out of people presenting and their ideas.
    I mean you guys know what those sites can do in regard to getting the word out and bringing more attention to us.
    …. that is all.

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