Work Different, My Book Project

Ok. I said it. I’m writing a book. I’ve avoided saying that out loud or writing it here because I have lots of book ideas. But rarely have they made it this far. This idea has a lot of blood, sweat, time, and ideas behind it. It’s really a result of the past four years of doing business.

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post as a introduction called Work Different, Number One.

Here’s a bit:

Now I am about start a new chapter in my career. I’ve spent the past three years working in a office environment I created from the ground up. It coincided with my first experience being a entrepreneur. Something I had dreamt about for decades but avoided.

Some of the blog posts that follow will be a debriefing about what I’ve learned. Primarily about creating highly productive work environments. It involves interior design, community building, the changing nature of work and play, how to save money when building a office, the element of time, and the truth that less really is more.

This is first outline for Work Different (A working title).

  1. Introduction
  2. Work & Play is merging in the modern office
  3. Build Community
    1. Physical: Events inside and outside of work time
    2. Virtual: Pair programming, Not just for computer scientists
  4. Save money
    1. using existing cheap office space
    2. use cheap furniture
    3. Free On-line Services like Google Docs, Gmail, Hangout, etc
  5. Less is More
    1. Smaller offices are best
      1. cheaper
      2. less energy
      3. less waste
      4. Help save planet
  6. The element of time is critical
    1. when work is done determines what kind of space is needed
    2. quiet time
    3. phone calls
    4. conference calls
    5. meetings
    6. head down working at the computer

Tiny Disclaimer: This future book is an important piece of professional writing for me. I plan on profiting from it. A confident statement I realize. But just so you know I can’t promise your contributions will be compensated for monetarily. But I will thank you loudly.

All that said I need your help. This is my first book. I’m dyslexic, a bad speller, and have notoriously bad grammar skills. So as I write chapters and pieces of chapters please provide feedback, correct spelling, suggest new directions, or what ever you think is necessary. Try to be kind. 🙂

Thank you!

What is Coworking?

Coworking
1. The act of working together to get things done.
2. A global movement of coworkers and coworking spaces.
3. Offices that provided a consistent location for independent workers to be productive.

I’m elaborating on it here rather than using someone else’s definition for a few reasons. One is that I founded and ran a Coworking space for three years and have some strong opinions on the subject. Another is my definition greatly informs my writing on how people can work together well and be very productive doing it. This is a foundation for future writing. So when you see the word coworking I mean this definition. I will link to it for reference and context.

BTW – the word Coworking doesn’t have a hyphen between co and working. At least that’s how people spell it who are part of the Coworking movement.

Work Different, Number One

My first real job was doing digital print design for a book. It was a eighty page art book with ten pages of full color photography of painting. I had used Apple computers all through college to edit QuickTime movies that became part of video installation art. Then someone asked me if I knew how to use them. As in “Do you know how to use this computer thingy?”. They didn’t ask if I’d done a book design before. Just had I used a Apple computer. I said yes.

This job took me out of the studio using mechanical tools and paint brushes and thrust me into the office. I spent that entire summer in-front of a computer slinging digital files. Previously I had sworn I would never work in a office. I went to get a Fine Arts degree because I felt I did not have the skills and temperament to work “in business”. That skepticism mixed with creativity forced me on a path to reinvent the office environment.

Since that first job I’ve worked in lots of offices. From the nine to five to visiting clients and working at home. I cultivated a career as a ‘tech guy’. Someone who is known to use the left side of their brain. But I had been born with a strong right side and trained to use it.

For those who learned I had a Fine Arts degree it was very confusing. Why would a “artist” be working in a office and know about computers? Because the stereotype of the socially inept and uncreative computer nerd had sunk in peoples’ minds. This stereotype would soon be turned on its head by a new generation who used digital tools to create. And it happened that those tools, computers, like to be operated in a air-conditioned office.

I’ll admit a certain amount of internal pressure to please my parents. They were very skeptical about my desire to go to art school. My mother reminded me what a bad idea it was all through college and long after. So in some sort of response I sought after and obtained jobs at businesses. In part to prove I could do it. For as a child I had learned that I could do anything if I wanted to.

Now I am about start a new chapter in my career. I’ve spent the past three years working in a office environment I created from the ground up. It coincided with my first experience being a entrepreneur. Something I had dreamt about for decades but avoided.

Some of the blog posts that follow will be a debriefing about what I’ve learned. Primarily about creating highly productive work environments. It involves interior design, community building, the changing nature of work and play, how to save money when building a office, the element of time, and the truth that less really is more.

So check back as I get all this info out of my skull. Please forgive my horrendous grammar, poor spelling, and dyslexic word flipping. This is just a sketchbook for now. Maybe one day this will become a proper book.