I love what 1871 says on its own site:
“The story of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 isn’t really about the fire.
It’s about what happened next: …. A remarkable moment when the most brilliant engineers, architects and inventors came together to build a new city.”
Since very early 2011, Corey Haines & I have been advising startups on their technical challenges. This was an organic process that began when we–a couple of developer-entrepreneurs–began mingling with the bootstrapper community in Chicago.
I loved the community from the beginning, and it was for simple reasons: they were builders; they shared; they helped each other. But what struck me first and foremost was this: they laughed. This was striking because some of the stories we heard described challenges no one in their right mind would find exactly funny: losing money and time on unfortunate technical decisions; finding themselves a year out no further than they’d started; being unsure how to bring their visions to fruition. And yet here were rooms and rooms of people who were not only smart, but bright-eyed, hard-working, passionate, and continuing to build, sometimes quite successfully, despite the obstacles that lay in their path.
Every story of building is, in a sense, the story of re-building. Every project iterates, every idea comes from something that was tried before. And so I love seeing fire embraced–fire that fuels and fire that clears a path–right here in the middle of Chicago.
I have lived in many cities and I can truly say that nowhere have I felt as creatively at home, and in as rich of a community, as I do in Chicago. People ask “Why Chicago?”. For me, I can only say that there is a great mix of creativity, ambition, and spaciousness here that allows and facilitates creative growth between communities.
Because of this, I am excited that 1871 is opening up shop to embrace and grow the digital tech communities in Chicago. 1871 is offering a home to a vast, creative community of people, each carrying a spark. What will come out of 1871 will be the result of frequent, lightning-spark serendipity paired with diligent, constant hard work. I look forward to it. Chicago will grow from it.
As part of Technical Advocates, I am looking forward to being engaged in the community. We plan to be frequent drop-in guests of 1871, and to continue on our mission to help entrepreneurs solve their technical challenges so they can build the businesses of their dreams.
In this capacity, I am excited to announce that, in partnership with 1871, we will be offering the following 90 minute courses:
- How to Hire a Software Developer
- How to Translate Software Practices Into Business Values
- Understanding Technology’s Acronym Soup: Getting Value Your Business Needs.
There will be full descriptions posted via 1871 in the weeks to come. We are very much looking forward to being a part of the community.