If you are an entrepreneur in Toronto, you are probably familiar with the various coffee shops, co-working spaces and wi-fi zones available to you as pseudo-offices. You might even have a pattern of Foursquare check-ins that run like clockwork throughout the week.Steven Johnson refers to spaces like these (noting England’s transition from pubs to coffee houses) as environments where ideas can have sex. At Jet Cooper, we like that.
While it takes a serious commitment to invent and scale something the size of a CSI (Centre for Social Innovation), it isn’t all that hard to contribute something – even if it’s just a few desks – to the people who might be one good conversation away from a big idea. It’s for that reason that we’ve kept a handful of desks available in our office since day one. Even now, as we plan for our next office furniture re-arrangement, we try to keep in mind the people we haven’t met yet.
Thinking back on it, it has been a wonderful way of attracting a lot of bright people, which on it’s own is a great way to expose any team to a city’s creative pulse. And realistically, all it cost was a few extra desks and chairs.
There are no restrictions on who can drop in. You don’t need to be a client, or a partner, or even have a twitter handle. Just stop by and maybe let us know your coming so we can put a beer on your desk.
Consider this a ringing endorsement for this kind of simple contribution. If you have an office, open the door. The correlation between environments and innovation isn’t a secret and as per usual, more good is gooder.