Category Archives: Cool Projects

Gangplank: Where Collaboration Beats Competition

Gangplank logo

ZenPunk Web Works (formerly Kelleher Web Design) started out like a lot of small businesses: using the kitchen table as a workspace. For the cost, it’s hard to beat. You can work in your pajamas. Everything is right there.

And that’s part of the problem. EVERYTHING is right there. The dishes that need washing. The cats that are always on the wrong side of the door. Family members who need something right now. The fridge full of goodies and naughties. Laundry that won’t fold itself. A whole host of distractions that you managed to put off until after hours when you worked for someone else.

But being self-employed, those distractions are hard to ignore, especially when facing the intimidating challenges of life as a freelancer. And then there are the feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Enter Gangplank.

Gangplank is a collaborative, open area workspace where professionals of all sorts can sit down and work, away from the distractions of home. Did I mention it was free?

You can also collaborate with other people using the space. There are also numerous community projects including Arduino group, a WordPress users group, and Gangplank Junior, an initiative for the kids. There are also weekly brown-bag seminars on a wide range of topics from gluten-free living to inventing a product to web hosting.

The original Gangplank opened in Chandler about six years ago, about 60 miles from my home. I loved the idea and even visited a few times. But it was too far away for a daily commute.

So when Gangplank opened a location in Avondale (about 18 miles from my home), I chomped at the bit to become a part of the space.

How Gangplank Helped ZenPunk

For us, Gangplank helped us to form relationships with others both in our industry and out. Through these relationships, we have learned a lot about how to make ZenPunk successful (including tools and business practices) and it has generate a lot of business for us.

It was slow at first. There were only a handful of us using the space and ZenPunk was one of the few here throughout the typical business day. But gradually more professionals found and fell in love with the space. Now there is a constant flow of people using the space, and not just during normal business hours.

In short, Gangplank has helped ZenPunk to become a viable business.

If you’re a solo professional in the Metro Phoenix area, I encourage you to drop by and check us out. We have locations in Chandler, Avondale, and Tucson, while developing locations Sault Ste. Marie, ON and Portland, OR.

Need More Help?

If you liked this article, be sure to sign up for your FREE subscription to the Nickel's Worth of Free Advice newsletter where we send helpful articles every Tuesday and Friday. You can either fill out the form on the right side of this page or visit the Nickel's Worth of Free Advice signup page.

We're also happy to provide assistance directly. Just send an email to dharma@zenpunkwebworks.com.