I just got a pretty interesting email from a small business incubator asking, quite simply, if we keep track of how many jobs have been created by Indy Hall. Of all of the metrics that I’ve wished I could provide, this one simply hadn’t crossed my mind because it represents an old method of stimulating the economy that I don’t think is wrong, but I DO think is exclusionary.
Like the modern education system, “job creation” makes the assumption that at the end of every person’s path is a job. What we’ve found to be the reality, though, (and we’re not the only ones) is that people are motivated by something different, and one of those things is “independence”.
Whereas a traditional job creation approach focuses on the businesses that provide the jobs, we’ve taken a more environmental approach to create people that are more likely to succeed, ultimately creating create jobs for themselves and in some cases, other people. This takes the “teach a man to fish” adage to a whole new level, and has the potential for a profound long term effect on where jobs even come from in the first place.
My response to the inquiry is shared below:
We’re not particularly interested in the creation of “jobs” as we are independence. I don’t have numbers that I can share at this time, but at the core of our mission is to help people cross the bridge from being dependent on a single source of income to many sources, and then to passive sources of income. We do this by helping people form dynamic “super-teams” of talent, premeditated by the formation of strong social working relationships, and then providing guidance and support for product development. The REALLY interesting part was his response:
This is an interesting approach, and I am starting to think that most co-working[sic] spaces follow a similar philosophy as you. Well. I think that’s what we call “putting a dent in the universe”.