The New Office Space:
After months of trying out almost every co-working space in Austin, we finally found our new home. Tech Ranch is located in North Austin.
What is a co-working space?
In a nutshell, you rent a desk in a large office space. Instead of having the burden of renting a conventional office space (the lease, maintenance, and on and on) companies and business people can rent space for as long as they need it with considerably less headache. From first hand experience, the environment is conducive to networking and being more productive. Why? Simple. People talk to each other (like a normal office!) Most of the other places we looked at were dead quiet… This sold Kaneisha right away. It was love at first sight. People being social? Yes please. The takeaway for you is this: put yourself in an environment where there is social pressure for growth, and you will find progress. Everyone I’ve met is part of a small business and carving out their place in the world. Every single person I’ve met is an inspiration to do more, to connect more, to be more. Not coincidentally, this is the founder’s intention – his name is Kevin Koym.
The Man Behind the Curtain:
How do you tell a story? From what I’ve been told, follow these three sentences.
- A man gets lost in the forest.
- The beasts attack.
- The man gets out of the forest.
This is a good formula for a conventional story, but the person who created it didn’t meet Kevin Koym. He got lost in the forest intentionally, and continues to battle the beasts every single day. (Update: He is no intention to leave the forest anytime soon.) Kevin is the entrepreneurial mind behind Tech Ranch, with a vision unbounded. As a pioneer of 6 different technologies, and avid entrepreneur, he created a start-up space that acts as an early-phase incubator, workspace and teaching facility for companies looking to develop and launch their products. He’s helped hundreds launch their businesses. Already in Latin America, his next step is spreading the love to the Middle East (which is currently underway, so look for updates!)
So, why Tech Ranch? Why now?
Kevin says it in three words – “Pioneering, Impact, Community”. Early in his career, he turned down an offer from Price Waterhouse (now PwC) for a considerable increase in salary because he enjoyed what he was doing. At the time, he worked for Steve Jobs at NeXT. While working for Jobs, Kevin decided he was going to be a pioneer. (It’s safe to say he became one.) Later, his path led him to create the software that sold the first 2 billion dollars worth of Dell computers. Kevin decided to be a pioneer, and allowed himself to pursue his passion. He wanted to be a pioneer and he had the skills to do it. Along the way he developed a vision that was based on a model of growth. Tech Ranch fits into the vision because it is based around three things: the entrepreneur, building global bridges, and social impact. It allows businessmen and women to connect in one space to share and develop ideas and business.
Pioneering, Impact, Community and What it Has to do with You.
Although successful, he says it was never an easy road. A lot of it really isn’t sexy. (His words.) Entrepreneurship is often underestimated in terms of what toll it takes mentally, emotionally and physically. Sleepless nights, threat of bankruptcy, stagnation, and facing constant readjustment are all common. Sounds like normal life for some, but imagine this…. your livelihood, life, employees, and friends, all wrapped up into a little ball. Success balances on the blade of a knife, there is no safety net. If your customers don’t want what you have to offer, there is no security. You fail? You are done, and have to start over. Scary, yes, but it is a character building experience and can be very rewarding. In a nutshell, the biggest lessons of our conversation seemed to be resilience, caring about what you do, and vision. Resilience: “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” – Dwight Eisenhower Life is much the same way. Careers never go as planned, promotions don’t happen that are deserved. The future can never be predicted. The ability to overcome, and compensate for rejection or loss is indispensable. Caring about what you do and who you are around: Devotion, passion, and generally caring is what provides the motivation to continue down any path. Passion is the fire that blazes the trail. Devotion is the decision to follow that trail wherever it leads, for better or worse. Luckily, we are never truly alone, though it may seem like it much of the time. Within a good community, support and advice can be much easier to find. With this support we can be bold and fortune favors the bold. Vision: “If your dreams do not scare you, then they are not big enough.” – Ellen Johnson Shirleaf Out of college, Kevin worked for Steve Jobs. From there he set out to create a path all of his own making; he was determined to be a pioneer, to create the new-new things this world needed. (New-new? Yep. It’s the technology ‘new’ things are based on.) This idea of transcending the next step before it happens brings a whole new meaning to vision. It is no longer defined objectively (for example: ‘I will travel from point A and be at point B five years from now, with XYZ in my life’.) Taking the ‘next-next’ step before the next step happens? New territory. In a pioneer mindset, vision begins to surpass reality, almost to the point of being a dream, yet still remains achievable. The unreasonable, becomes reasonable. I will leave you with this last quote by George Bernard Shaw – “The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him. The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself. All progress depends on the unreasonable man.” With that in mind, make progress in your own life, fight the beasts you need to fight. It can’t hurt to be a little unreasonable…