It was a privilege and a thrill to be a part of @tonybgoode Tony Bacigalupo’s first-ever “IndieCon” conference in downtown New York City this past weekend.
Walking south on Broadway just past the Soho shoppers into what felt like an insiders’ roped secret, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but knew from Gene Zaino that Tony was “a quality guy” and that New Work City is one of the first coworking facilities in the nation. Around since 2008, it’s mission - and Mayor - didn’t disappoint.
#IndieCon is based on a simple concept - it asks community members and well-wishers, like our team @MBOPartners, to help define what is missing for Indies (AKA independent workers), and how each of us can help fix it.
Amongst make-your-own-salads and bottled waters, I met with entrepreneurs launching facilities, those working with the city on the startup movement, a host of independent web, software, and graphic designers, and photographers, a blogger or two and even a rope-masseuse expert. I had one thought running through my head the whole time: Respect, the colloquial kind.
I know that independent work is changing the world, because I look at the data, and help our company spread the word with major thinkers, the federal government and the media, on a daily basis. But to be in the room with those on the front lines in my favorite part of downtown Gotham took my insight to a new level.
For example, the most important question in the room was “how can you help me?” Each independent wanted to do something better – make more $, run more efficiently, improve themselves. I’ve said again and again that independents are unique not just because they are breaking ground in how we work and live, but because they are more self-actualized.
By doing work they love, and committing to being in a business-of-one, they are more certain of what their needs are. There is less of that other stuff. The stuff that makes people run at a hundred miles and hour from traditional companies. Less politics, less meanness, less putting others down, less managing people rather than managing work. This was a community that built each other up, by building each of themselves up to be better people, and therefore better contributors to the world-at-large.
Tony kicked off with a compelling thought about the future of organizations, a big part of the future of work. It went something like this: Instead of a pyramid, the world will look like an interconnected web. He’s not the first to say this. But the web was in the room watching, and nodding in agreement. So it rang truer, and they rose to his challenge to think creatively about a future of work that is not industrial, but collaborative and connected.
His challenge to the group – and Tony, I’m working on it – is how do we make this even better? How do we direct more resources, how do we grow?
Answers ranged from getting more crisp in one’s own “Manifesto” – a thought that came from @AmySegreti, to learning how to blog in real-time, to overcome a fear of words as a business tool (from Mary Beth Coudal, super mom and blogger @MaryBethC). For a great wrap up of sessions and learning, just check out https://hackpad.com/IndieCon-Notes-Resources-n4y5ErxXOHB
If you want to join this fun community, either as a Citizen, Day Tripper or Community Member, check out their website: http://nwc.co/#membership
For those I met, look forward to continuing a great conversation, and as promised, the data on workers in 2013 is now live.. Check out details here and a link to report: http://www.mbopartners.com/mbo-partners-state-independence-report-reveals-independents-are-self-employed-successful-satisfied