Boris Mann

Open Source. Community. Decentralized Web. Building dev tools at Fission. Cooks & eats.


I want to vote with my dollars that the Vancouver tech community is important

Allen Pike posts about how important homes for startups are and what his experience has been like here in Vancouver. Here’s the closing sentence:

Bringing startups close to one another is, dollar for dollar, more helpful to the Vancouver ecosystem than tax breaks ever could be.
Allen Pike, Homes for Vancouver Startups

Once again, I realize that my gut agrees with this 1000%, and it has for years.

In May 2006 I wrote about what I called the Innovation Commons; at the time, I didn’t think coworking / community spaces could / should be for-profit. Last summer I referenced that post again in writing about coworking and supporting it with dollars and wrote this:

Vote to have something exist by supporting it beyond a retweet: with blood, sweat, and tears, or with cold, hard cash.

I think shared spaces are fantastic, and deserving of your dollar votes.

We are lucky to have spaces like The Network Hub and The Hive. If the economics of those spaces work for you, then pay for them.

If you can find a shared space and shack up with other startups: do it.

The article I was riffing on said “You cannot make a profit selling community”. And there is a whole bunch of other stuff in there about what coworking MEANS.

So, all of us that have an irrational desire to have the Vancouver tech community be, and happen, and grow - we need to go beyond the dollars.

I’m thinking back to an idea that we had in the early days of the Bootup Society, about a membership based program. About paying to have the Vancouver tech community exist.

I’m saying right here: let’s do this. I’m in for $50 / month or $500 per year. Maybe you can let me into some sort of space on evenings or weekends, but really, I just want to vote with my dollars that the Vancouver tech community is important.

Update May 2012: I’ve ported this piece over to my new blog. At the time, Hack Hut was not yet in full swing, and I didn’t mention VHS.