Note: I’m cross-posting this from the South Florida Tech Leadership group. We’re a group of leaders in South Florida who are passionate about improving the tech and entrepreneurial ecosystem in our region. If you’re interested in joining in on the conversation, just drop in or introduce yourself on twitter.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve read a bunch of inspiring blog posts with different angles on building your local community. I wanted to share summaries and links with you. In particular, the one below about giving back through workshops spoke particularly to me as I prepare the next version of an Arduino workshop. I plan on following up on that one as it focuses a lot on personal benefits and glosses over the community-building side (which are significant).
Has anyone else read any interesting blog posts, articles or experiences about community-building?
We discussed the idea of a “high quality focal point.” – This is the notion that you need something in your community that engages everyone deeply across the spectrum of first time entrepreneurs, more experienced entrepreneurs, service providers, angels, venture capitalists, students, etc. They have to have something “real” to do together. TechStars provides this for the communities that we’re in. But it can be anything, as long as it drives real activity and energy together and it’s something that’s not shallow.
Finally, I said that a community needs visible entry points. Boulder’s new tech meetup and boulder.me web sites are great examples. I love the “ambassadors” part of Boulder.me. Look at the entrepreneurial leaders who have stuck their hand up to say “I’ll show you around here.”
David Haywood Smith recently wrote about the golden age of the developer and how every developer should give back. I agree. Sharing our skills is an essential part of being a creative person. It enriches the ecosystem we work in, raises our profiles and it connects us with like-minded people. […] I’m going to use my own experience running two workshops to tell you a story. It’s a story that I hope will motivate you to run your own workshop. I’ll cover the lessons I’ve learnt and I’ll explain how and why you should run a workshop.
A couple weeks ago, Paul Graham posted an essay called “Why Startup Hubs Work”. It explains the disproportionate number of successful startups in the valley as being the result of 1) it being cool to start a startup there, and 2) the frequency of chance encounters with people who can be useful to you. […] But most of us failed because we didn’t know anyone who had done it before that could mentor us, invest in us, or co-found the companies with us. […] The key is to know why you want to start a startup [in Silicon Valley]. If it’s mere convenience, then I think you’re doing it for the wrong reasons (and you’ll eventually leave or fail).
We’re moving from a world shaped by the industrial economy where we grow up thinking about becoming bankers, lawyers, doctors, etc. Today’s world and going forward is being shaped by an information economy. The skills needed to succeed in this new world are way different than that of even ten years ago. Summer QAmp has a chance to be a beacon of light that will let underprivileged youth have a shot at being prepared for this new world.