Better Together: The things we share

A bi-weekly column exploring the intersection of entrepreneurship and community by Sam Davidson

One thing I heard early on at the EC was, “Watch out. They’re our competition.”

The comment was in reference to another co-working space opening in Nashville. And while I understand the comparison (half of our building is dedicated to entrepreneurial workspace), I don’t think it’s true, at least in the way Dr. Pepper competes with Coke or the Yankees compete with the Red Sox. 

In fact, I’m glad more options are being made available for doers and dreamers. I told our team early on that as the city grows there is no way we can serve every entrepreneur in town. I can’t raise enough money or build enough buildings. There have to be other organizations and services whose sidewalks start where ours end. 

In the Nashville entrepreneurial ecosystem, it’s not Dr. Pepper vs. Coke. It’s Dr. Pepper and Coke.

That starts with understanding who the EC is for and why an entrepreneur would want – or better yet, need – our space. 

My new friend Dave gave me the perfect expression for what we want to offer in our building: a shared energy.

A lot of buildings offer shared services. Things like printers, coffee, fax machines (are those still a thing?), conference rooms, staplers – these can all be shared among a common group saving any single member the cost and time to procure and maintain. Shared services and things are nice, but a shared energy is exciting

I want the EC to have an energy that entrepreneurs want to be around. I hope entrepreneurs and those who support them can feed off of and feed into this energy. The energy that comes with a room and building full of people taking a risk or two and dreaming big. The energy that appears when a light bulb goes off because two people are talking about the same problem and they decide to build what’s needed together. The energy that happens when an entrepreneur reaches a breakthrough with a mentor. The energy that manifests when a milestone is reached, a sale is complete, a deal is signed, and a difference is made. 

Any group can share services; only a community can share energy.

Onward. Energetically. Together.

More news from EC