After almost a year of conversations. 9 months of grassroots team building. 3 weeks of blood, sweat, stress, name-calling, goofiness, power tools, moving trucks, and absolutely no sleep. And for what? Oh yeah…this:
This past Saturday, the 1st of September 2007, IndyHall celebrated its independents. Friends, old and new, from near and far, came together to share in our opening reception. So many faces were put to names. So many moments of realization of where we’ve gotten…and dreams of where we might be going.
There’s a video of the toast in which I thanked a lot of the people who helped make this whole thing happen…which we’re having some upload issues with. As soon as we’re done, we’ll make sure it gets posted for those who missed out. Video posted, thanks John!
In the mean time, here’s those thanks, one more time:
Viddler.com, for a bunch of things. First for keeping it real with east coast technology initiatives. Rob, Colin, and the entire Viddler team take so much pride in a product that, while much of the development team is elsewhere, the core management and strategy comes out of Eastern Pennsylvania. They’re innovating in an incredibly saturated market, and doing a bang-up job.Viddler’s focus on their users as a community and not just as users has been inspiring to me.Rob’s generosity in providing me with a place to sleep at SXSWi07, which gave me a TON of the energy that was directed straight into IndyHall.And for Rob and Colin’s constant support at every step of the way, culminating at this latest venture, their MealToday contest giveaway judging and our grand opening bash.
ForkYou.tv is a Philly based cooking video podcast that puts Alton Brown’s cooking/humor blend to shame. Marisa’s tasty treats and Scott’s rapier wit has been a blast to become involved with, and I was stoked to have them in our house. We’re excited to hopefully do an episode of the show here at the Hall. These two were also responsible for the hysterical and accidentally viral promo video for our opening party. Thank you so much for supporting us, we love ForkYou!
WinelibraryTV and Gary Vay-ner-chuck is changing the wine world, whether you like it or not. I’ve been calling Gary the Jim Kramer, but Gary does more than get excited about wine and scream into a camera. Gary cares so much about his community, the Vayniacs/Vayner-nation, that he spends nearly all of his time NOT on camera answering every individual message sent to him, no matter how trivial. Gary’s passion for people and community is out of control, and in the best way possible. His latest venture, a community-driven wine project, makes it crystal clear to me that Gary understands the value of community. We were not only privileged enough to have Gary (unlike his shirt says, Gary is a National Celebrity, not just a local one) attend our opening, but he and WineLibrary chipped in and contributed champagne for the entire attendance of our gathering to enjoy at the end of our toast. Gary hasn’t let his celebri-dom go to his head, he keeps it real and for that, we thank him. Congratulations on 300+ episodes of WineLibrary, GaryVee for president.
Chris Messina and Tara Hunt: Citizen Agency/Citizen Space for not only traveling 3000 to spend the weekend with us, but for inspiring myself among many, many others to make a living doing what we love. Meeting these two has been life changing, and I could talk for hours about how awesome they are. Two of my best friends (on the internet and otherwise), and together an inspiration for what I think is a better way of thinking, and doing. Co-founding Barcamp and evangelizing coworking are only two of your greatest achievements, among many. I love you guys, and I’m so glad you came to the east coast to embrace a night of chaos with us.
Where would we be without these guys? I don’t know but we wouldn’t be here. Geoff and I became notorious for instant brainstorm/execution, a “no debating, just do it” that lead us from the P’unkAve Juntos (with the help of Alex G and Ricky B) all the way past Cream Cheese Sessions and to a lease signing. Geoff was the business mind, he let me know when my ideas were totally off the wall, and when they weren’t off the wall enough. Geoff is a king in the Philadelphia community (I dare you to walk down Passyunk with him and see how many people he knows), and I’m so happy he was bitten by the IndyHall bug as early as he was.
Bart Mroz has been my day to day Partner in Crime for the last 3 weeks. From our first day of working in the office on the floor to moving most of his home office into IndyHall (contributing printers, cables, postage printing, and a BUNCH of other handy things to have in the office), to day to day riffing off each other’s lack of sleep, if Bart and I didn’t get along so well this absolutely positively would not have worked. Thanks a million times for your persistence and donation of time and resources. So stoked to have you on board.
Roz Duffy has been taking photos at our events for as long as I can remember, and they all rule. A good portion of the photos in the new IndyHall Flickr group are hers. Keep making us look good, Roz! Also, Roz has stepped up as the IndyHall Librarian, managing the wish list and helping keep track of what we have in the office. This was her idea, and I’m so glad she ran with it, because we have a great number of books already on our shelves!
Belkin, just one more time, for the hookup with our wireless networking and power gear. I’ve thanked them before, I wanted to thank them one more time.
Jay Graves and Kevin Horn of Bardiver.com who kicked in for the food enjoyed at the opening. We spent the whole weekend with these two who are indeed professional bar crawlers. We had an unbelievably good time with them, and thank them for hooking philadelphia.bardiver.com up for us to use and for leading a bar crawl through some of our favorite spots in town. You guys are welcome back in our town anytime!
Jason, Darren, and Paul, and the wait-staff at National Mechanics for putting up with us spending many, many nights talking about our plans of world domination over well priced beers and excellent burgers. You’re excellent hosts, there’s a reason we keep coming back (besides the fact that you are 2/3rds of a block away).
And finally, to everyone who came by in the last 3 weeks, tried out the office, helped put desks together, donated ANYTHING (and a lot of stuff was dropped off), and hung out or supported us along this incredible journey. Thanks to everyone who listened to my broken record schpiel about coworking for the last 9 months. This is just the beginning. Cheers, I tip my hat to all of you.
[tags]philadelphia, philly, independents hall, indyhall, grand opening, viddler, rob sandie, colin devroe, forkyou.tv, scott mcnulty, marisa mclellan, gary vaynerchuck, winelibrary, winelibrarytv, chris messina, tara hunt, citizen space, citizen agency, coworking, geoff dimasi, punkave, bart mroz, roz duffy, belkin, bardiver, jay graves, kevin horn, national mechanics, all of you awesome philadelphians[/tags]