Some of the Collab21 folks and I are going to be working on redoing our web presence. We have a few sites set up right now: Sharks in the Park, Collab21 and this site. We want to consolidate our business use and public face with a standard design and access it all from one site. We’re going to sit down next Thursday after our jobs and crank out as much work as we possibly can. Hopefully it will carry into the weekend so we can have something by the following Monday.
I think this is what collaboration is all about. Get together as a group, come up with 100s of fantastic ideas, get a few of them started, then buckle down and focus the better ones. We’re finally at a point where we can start to focus on business. It took a while, but I’m ready to start exploring new experiences and growing and sharing collectively.
Someone asked me today what the vision of Collaboration Chronicles was. What is the purpose? I found myself stuttering. I started to explain that we’re using to blog about collaboration. But then I realized that we haven’t really blogged about collaborating between all of the members of the group. There are some posts about this topic, but the majority of our posts are about individual passions. Therefore, I’d like to modify my response to include the following five things:
- Collaboration – working together to solve problems
- Inspiration – we are inspired in order to inspire others someday
- Contribution – actually doing the work
- Communication – transparency in projects and business and open feedback policies
- Vision – understanding goals and realizing them
We’ve met almost every Wednesday since October 2007. We’ve missed maybe three of the Wednesdays. We haven’t always had a formal meeting. It started out with me emailing everyone I thought could contribute and may be interested in this idea I had of mashing The Tech Shop in Menlo Park idea with Hat Factory. We organized and filed for an LLC, drew up some ByLaws, had some shuffling of members, attracted the attention of a member of Hat Factory to give us some guidance, sold snowcones in Dolores Park on a cold day and brainstormed down to our spinal columns.
What is the result of this? We have some money in the bank. We don’t have enough to get into any type of Industrial or Commercial space in the city. None of the members really need the space to do their work anymore. But we’re all still very passionate about having some space to do projects in, and potentially use for freelance work.
We have a mailing list with more than 50 people on it, but only two or three have actually shown up to events we hosted in the past. We wanted to keep hustling this, but got discouraged and started doing other things.
Then I had an idea that we would host mini workshops in my apartment instead of having meetings every Wednesday. I thought I would called them “Workshop Wednesday”, and the premise is the same as any coworking place: bring your laptop, drink some coffee, get your damn work done. A couple people showed up to these as well, but nothing really significant. We don’t have any drawing power. The experience isn’t really there. We’re still really just a group of friends who have big dreams and no capital to even being to realize them.
I’ve been inspired since the first to do greater things with business. We’re going to rebuild our site and our brands and start invisioning our futures better. We know what we can do, now let’s do it!
The first thing we’ve discussed is hosting real workshops with a real marketing campaign. There’s a lot of prep we’d need to do to get this going. The website redesign is the first step. Keep reading if you’re interested, because we’re not done yet.