Passion and support are the backbone of a successful startup. When I arrived at NGIN Workplace, a coworking space founded by entrepreneurs, I found an abundance of both. If you can, think back to the first silver steps you took at a real job. At NGIN I learned to use the excitement of that moment to drive my passion every day. It is funny how loud my footsteps sounded in my ears. They dominated that tight hallway. Twenty feet of fluorescent orange was my moment of transition, a chance to catch my breath. I wasted it. I could only hear strained squeaks from my boots crushed between me and the ceramic floor. It felt like the whole office had stopped just to listen. In my life’s pinnacle moment of evolution, my only thought was, “I hope there is a carpet”.
That moment alone slipped away and gave way to a splash of senses. Crisp bright colors unfolded and an edgy receptionist, looked up and smiled at me. I remember that she introduced herself and leaned away to let someone know I had arrived. I didn’t catch her name, a velvet humming muted everything. I felt excited and anxious. After some directing by the receptionist, I found a chair to lower myself into. Once seated I looked up and a surprised laugh escaped me. I was staring into the eyes of my manager on my left and my CEO on my right. So this is what working at a startup is like: bright, fast, and momentous.
Undoubtedly these characteristics are what draw so many to the startup life. NGIN Workplace in Kendall Square is an unparalleled union of startup and coworking space. It is about as far away as you could imagine from the isolationist style of traditional big business. Characterized by glass walls and open spaces it encourages community and expansion. I was fortunate to have such an incredible place to enter professionalism.
When I arrived at NGIN I quickly learned the type of community it bred. The marked trait of its employees and clients was passion. There was little that compared to the drive of those entrepreneurs. It seemed that each day they surged forward with a love for work. They were a little crazy and it was beautiful. To build their companies it took a lasting excitement and a love for their work. This office didn’t fill at nine and empty at five. People were poised over their desks all night long, making their dreams come true.
The first question they asked me was what I thought I could do for NGIN. It was the last question I expected. My heart pattered and a river of excitement flowed out of me. Half-baked ideas and hopes stammered into the room. Then I was surprised. My bosses didn’t laugh at me. They nodded and noted that I had lots of work to do.
Overtime, I understood how valuable an appreciation of ideas was for Startups. NGIN Workplace only succeeded when ideas were encouraged and nurtured. It created an invaluable community of individuals who fed off one another every day. When creativity is stifled progress comes to a halt. This is a concept that was appreciated all the way up the ranks of NGIN.
The advantage that a coworking space provides is a community of like-minded individuals who nurture and support one another’s passion and ideas. I hope one day I will have the privilege to return to NGIN Workplace with a company of my own.
NGIN Intern, Summer 2016.