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This piece was written by Gloria Bell, of Red Stapler Consulting, the events director of Philly Startup Leaders and a frequent supporter the Philadelphia technology community.
History has demonstrated that the development of sub-communities is often a commonplace result of advancement.
The rapid growth of the technology and creative communities in Philadelphia over the last few years is no exception to this phenomenon. It seems that the more these communities grow, the more silos are developing between and within the spheres of business, technology and creativity. A simple search on Meetup.com reveals 22 technology groups, 220 business groups and too many different networks falling into the “creative” sector to even accurately count. And the reality is there are many other organizations, events and informal networks that are not even included in these Meetup.com counts.
However, these communities are now faced with a pivotal question. How do we continue to shape this growth?
Groups have developed that specialize in a specific coding language, an individual design medium or a particular business niche. Is all of this specialization negative? No, far from it. The trend is a positive result of rapid growth. Congregation with like-minded professionals to hone our particular crafts is necessary. The ability to share with and learn from so many others working in a specific domain is one of the things that clearly demonstrates Philadelphia’s continuing progress through the 21st century and beyond.
So, how do we make the most of this growth to the benefit of the greatest number? The answer lies in collaboration. It lies in combining forces, learning from each other, meshing our efforts to create bigger and better business, technology and creative endeavors. It is in the melding of our strengths and knowledge from all fields that we create sustainable enterprise.
Things as small as attending a meeting of a group outside of your realm of expertise or taking the time to get to know others who do different things than you, can make a difference. Making the effort, one person and group at a time, to convert the silos from structures that only hold things in to the missile silo launching pads that will send our city into orbit. Establishing connections that promote collaboration across disciplines leads to superior products and projects and increases visibility for the individuals, companies and Philadelphia.
Establishing connections that promote collaboration across disciplines leads to superior products and projects and increases visibility for the individuals, companies and Philadelphia
As the saying goes, “a rising tide lifts all boats.” What has to be remembered though, is that the tide rises as a result of a natural collaboration between the moon, gravity and the spinning Earth. If we, as members of these communities and this city, dedicate ourselves to a collaborative advancement of the technology, creative and business communities, we will create the tide that rises all of our “ships.”
Follow Gloria Bell on Twitter @gloriabell.