Just one block from
I’m dropping in on the Indy Hall crowd this afternoon right after departing the Hive 76 hacker space. On the second floor of a loft space, I exit the elevator to a large sign painted on the wall, “Independents Hall”. However, this is not the Independence Hall where our Nation was planned just a few blocks away, but this one is where startup companies are being planned, developed, and grown into companies.
On a Saturday afternoon, Indy Hall’s conference room hosts a cluster of about eight men sitting at desks arranged in a coworking circle. Their mission: to get Google to bring Google Fiber to Philly. Fast at work talking and typing on their computers, Alex @alexknowshtml, co-founder of Indy Hall, took time out to give me a tour.
Indy Hall’s furniture consists of modern IKEA individual desks, but all desks are arranged in clusters where developers can work side-by-side with their coworkers and with other entrepreneurs who choose a group working environment over renting an office in solitude. When asked about the arrangement of the desk and the permanence of a few of the work stations, Alex said, “Every 4-6 months, we move everything around just to keep things new. Sitting in the same place breeds complacency; when you’re running a start-up company, mixing it up keeps ideas new".
The idea of a modular set of individual desks was clever. Just when you get used to the same coder or social media mogul sitting next to you every day, you may have a biologist or a hardware architect next to you tomorrow. According to the philosophy of Indy Hall, taking down walled barriers and moving around spreads ideas, intrigue and innovation.
I asked questions about usual organizational management: about $275-400/month for full-timers, less for part-timers, and there is a $25/day drop-in membership for out-of-towners or people who just want to drift through when they feel like it. Between the murals on the walls, the hang-out area with couches, glass tanks containing a rat and a turtle (respectively), video game consoles, and large pillows to sit on the floor, this was a fantastic co-working space in which the organizers have given obvious attention to the flow of ideas and co-working camaraderie in a dynamic business environment in which old ideas of managing companies and intellectual property are becoming stagnant. This coworking space keeps it fresh.