Stop planning and start doing: getting things done with Leanstack

The perfect business-plan is a myth. At indycube, we don't advocate spending weeks or months on plans which never amount to anything. We prefer to see people setting up at a desk, coffee in hand, and just getting on with it.

"Failing at something requires starting. The number two reason why products fail is that they never even get started. We spend too much time analyzing, or planning, or making excuses for not starting — we wait to first write a business plan, or find investors, or move to Silicon Valley," says Ash Maurya, founder of Leanstack.

Leanstack is a collection of tools, content and coaching resources that help you build your business - faster. Begin by creating a 'product,' (personally I prefer to call this a 'project,' perhaps due to the nature of my work,) within which you can include canvases, strategies and experiments. These can be shared amongst collaborators if you're working within a team or with others.

Lean Canvas, as pictured to the right, is an Entrepreneur-focussed adaptation of a business model which is as actionable as possible. It takes about 20 minutes to fill in and allows you to identify the major issues within your business, as well as the best ways to solve them.

If you need a helping hand getting started, Temi Anubi is able to walk you through the process, focussing on applying Leanstack specifically to you and your business, for £50. Get in touch with her via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - she's a personal friend and is really great to work with!

For some interesting and insightful blog posts by Leanstack founder Ash Maurya, check out Medium.

 

#WhatsGoodAboutWales

Local produce, great views, Roald Dahl, community and seaside coworking - just some of the things Twitter says are great about our country!

Head over to Twitter where you can follow @wgawales using the hashtag #whatsgoodaboutwales.

Siopa'n lleol, golygfeydd bendigedig, cymuned a cydweithio wrth erbyn y môr - just ychydig o bethau sy'n gwych am ei'n wlad os gwrandewch i Trydar!

Edrychwch ar @wgawales a defnyddiwch #whatsgoodaboutwales os hoffech son am Cymru.

Working together is always better

Working together to make things happen: JP Cardoso at TEDxBrainport

In the video below, JP Cardoso, a Brazilian student, gives some great insight into the power of working with others. He talks about one of our favourite things - serendipity, and says that the best collaborations often happen accidentally.

The concept of serendipity is on my mind today, seeing as yesterday, I sold a copy of my book, Percy the Pompom Bear, to a stranger on the train. This unlikely incident happened purely because the man sat opposite me was very friendly and insisted I talk to him! He told me that he makes a point of chatting with someone every day on his commute from work and has met some very interesting people doing so, including two Radio 1 DJs.



Bizzarely, this man, whose name was Dean, worked on a building site where he had a colleague named Percy, and a colleague named Pom Pom. I'm not making this up - the guy used to be a boxer and supposedly 'Pom Pom' was the sound he made in the ring, hence the nickname.

I was tired getting on the train but chatting with someone and learning about his background helped the journey to pass more quickly and enjoyably, and I got a new customer out of it. I realised that as a nation, we should open our minds, our hearts and our mouths more often - I'm going to make it my goal to speak with more people from now on. You never know who you might meet or what could come of it.

Enjoy this video from Ted Talks!

Worried you're not quite there yet? Relax, you're doing great!

“I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best,” Oscar Wilde

Most of our community members are self-employed, creative individuals who use indycube coworking spaces to get out of the house and meet others in a similar position. I know, therefor, that they will likely understand exactly what I mean when I say that we, as a creative cohort but also as human beings, are perpetually unsatisfied!

“It can never be satisfied, the mind, never!” Wallace Stevens

In ‘The Well Dressed Man with a Beard,’ Wallace Stevens posed that the mind could never be satisfied. The poem is complex and holds more than one aporia; nonetheless, it can be read as a poem about hope - hope for that final, ever unreachable, intangible, ‘yes.’

What interests me is not our propensity to strive despite being repeatedly knocked back, to reach for that intimate ‘yes,’ but that the ‘yes’ never holds the finality we expect it to. We have a propensity to believe that our successes amount to very little. As human beings, we are rarely comfortable with our current and present level of achievement. Success, in whatever fashion, is idealised, sought and fought for, only to be replaced with the next yearning or goal once eventually obtained.

(Interestingly, it seems as though many employees strive to become free-spirited ‘entrepreneurs,’ while those who are self employed often seek the security of a full time job.)

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking,” Marcus Aurelias

Happiness is a state of mind, an internal state rather than anything physical or external. Only by sitting back and enjoying our journey, rather than focussing solely on the final destination, can we experience true contentedness.

I realised recently, as I sighed and moaned about ‘not being where I want to be,’ that I’d have chewed off my own arm to be in the position I am now, only a year ago. In our hurry to race towards the end goal, we lose sight of how much we’ve actually achieved.

My point is this - reflect, give yourself a pat on the back when you think about how far you’ve come, and enjoy where you are right now, at this very moment in time.

@mariiellis

Catching Kindness in Cardiff

On my way into the indycube office this morning, everything was up in the air. The dogs were yipping, I was in a hurry and there were people to contact and emails to respond to. It wasn't until the train was chugging away from Cadoxton station that I realised my mistake... I'd forgotten my handbag.

In a panic, I called my Mum, although I knew there was nothing she would be able to do. (I suppose it's just an in-built panic station system!) I had everything I needed for work, my laptop, my notebook, my lunch, and luckily my phone - just no keys and no purse. As soon as I reasoned that the guards wouldn't be able to lock me in the station, like Tom Hanks in Terminal, I calmed down and figured it would work out.

That was the moment a kind man who had overheard me on the phone offered to buy my ticket. This small act of kindness set me up smiling for the day, and inspired me to do something kind myself. Kindness, I realised, is catching, and much needed at the moment.

It's this sort of thing that I particularly love about Cardiff, and South Wales in general - the place I call home. Perhaps this would have happened anywhere, perhaps not and I would have found myself stranded at the station barriers. Either way, my faith in humanity, generosity and community has been revived today.

@mariiellis

indycube's writer in residence releases children's book

Most of you will know me, and for those of you that don't, Hi, I'm Mari, indycube's writer in residence. It's my job to write the blog posts you see on this website, handle Facebook, Twitter and our Instagram account.

Today, I've hijacked the site for a bit of shameless self promotion... Some of you may be aware that I've been working alongside Rowanvale Books, who are located in the Trade Street office, to bring out my debut children's book, 'Percy the Pompom Bear.'

Four years after writing the story, I have finally done something about it, by collaborating with a talented artist and utilising my coworking connections to take the book from my mind to shops and shelves.

Percy is trying desperately to find a friend, but being the only pompom bear in the woods, all hairy and purple, he has a hard time discovering any that are like him. When Percy meets a boy in the woods, together they become determined to find one of his own kind for him to play with. The bear and the boy soon discover that there is more to friendship than they had first thought, and that similarities can always be found if you look hard enough for them!

I will be launching the book at Abergavenny Writing Festival on April 23rd - I'd love to see as many indycubers there as possible! The book is suitable for small children and should particularly appeal to those who feel that they struggle to fit in, just like poor Percy!

Order Percy the Pompom Bear from Rowanvale Books or find out more.

Facebook: /percythepompombear
Twitter: @percypompom
Instagram: percypompombear
mariellisdunning.cymru

indycube to withdraw coffee from all locations

It is with heavy hearts that we must announce that coffee will cease to be provided by indycube coworking spaces due to several adverse reactions and affects of the drink in recent months.

Coffee, some studies have shown, is not as conducive to productivity as we may have initially believed. With anxiety, heartburn and increased heart rate all linked to caffeine intake, we feel it is our duty as an organisation to protect our coworkers from this drink and its effects.

It has come to our attention that several members of the community have had severe and detrimental reactions to the hot drink, which all spaces currently provide in plentiful amounts. Coworkers have reported feelings of dizziness, lethargy and hunger in equal amounts, and have begun to witness several bizarre reactions in their colleagues.

Founder Mark Hooper, although disappointed by these findings, has had to accept that even he has fallen victim to the stimulating effects of coffee, noting that his hair had disappeared entirely since opening indycube 6 years ago, at which time he sported a full afro. And it doesn't end there...

Dai Lloyd was seen last week whizzing around our space in Tradestreet on a motor-scooter, singing atop his voice and even throwing down some beats in the meeting room. 'It was really quite disruptive,' Chris Jenkins said of the disturbance.

Members of the St Mary Street office have been spotted scaling the building, claiming 'I'm Spiderman,' while those in West Wales have taken to building forts and denying entry to the opposite sex, with one male member heard to shout with great emphasis, 'No girls allowed!'

Although coffee consumption has been proven to provide several health benefits, including reduced risk of heart attacks, we at indycube simply feel that the adverse effects of the drink are just too detrimental to continue supplying in our offices.

Think you need to work 9-5? Think again...

Work smarter, not longer

An article in The Guardian this week reported Britons working longer hours with no gain in productivity, not surprisingly.

The first problem with this relates to our definition of 'productivity.' For most, (particularly for employers,) productivity in the workplace is based on the measure of hours worked in order to produce a specific output. Certain outputs, however, may not be considered 'productive,' if lacking physical evidence - for example, a morning spent drinking coffee and watching the birds might not be considered productive, but for me, starting the day in this way means that I am able to work much more efficiently later on.

Similarly, reading may be a leisure activity for some, but as a writer, I feel I must read in order to write, and so in essence, kicking back with a good book is also something I can consider to have productive value.

Of course, everyone works differently, and I know many people who enjoy the 9 to 5 lifestyle. If, like me, however, working fixed hours is not your forte, don't despair! Studies show that the human mind can only truly focus on something for 10-20 minutes at a time, suggesting that regular breaks and respite are the way to produce something of quality.

I suggest we redefine our idea of 'productivity,' giving focus to contentedness, relaxation and enjoyment in our work, all of which, incidentally, are likely to lead to higher levels of measurable productive output.

Using a coworking space like indycube provides a creative environment in which people can work at their own pace and in their own way. Take a break, take a nap, play some table-top football, then get back to it, and do it right.

See more by our writer in residence.

Crazy cool coworking in Porth's Pop Factory

The Pop Factory in Porth, now home to indycube, has a pretty full history. Once a soft drinks factory belonging to Corona, the building was officially opened in 2000 by Tom Jones, who smashed a bottle of Dandelion and Burdock against its umber brick walls.

I remember The Pop Factory from my days as a primary school student. We would go by the bus load on school trips to take part in the music scene there. From what I remember, this was an annual event, which would always involve us children being greeted with a bag of crisps and a bottle of pop, (the Panda pop kind, I think it was), then eyeing up the kids from other schools as we chatted and waited to go through.

Welsh musicians would take to the stage and we would rock out 00s style, though I can't remember why. I have a feeling that we were filmed as extras for a TV show, but I have no idea what sort of TV show would want a load of 10 year old teeny-boppers skipping around to Welsh-language songs... 

Anyway, Steve Jones was a part of it so that was all well and good.

Between 2003-2007, The Pop Factory hosted an annual award ceremony focussed primarily on the Welsh music scene, with winners including The Blackout, Kids in Glass Houses, Stereophonics and The Manic Street Preachers. See - pretty cool!

We're thrilled to have become a part of this beautiful building's rich history, with an indycube office located there, inclusive of course of wifi, tea, coffee and meeting rooms.

indycube members should feel free to pop in for the day as they please, while PAYG users can book a desk through out booking system. New to indycube? Try a Free Day Pass!

Try Something New! Cowork at any of our locations

Did you know that as a member of indycube, you can use any indycube location? That means that if you have a Full-Time desk at Trade Street, for example, you can call in to St Mary Street to shake things up!

Using different locations every now and again can make your day more interesting and is a great way to meet new people.

It's as easy as letting us know youre coming in. 

Just something to think about....

Cowork in Chepstow

Coworking across Wales: Chepstow

Our space in Chepstow is run in association with Cohesive Communications and is located right above the tempting lure of Coffee #1 in Beaufort Square.

It's a fantastic space with an open floor-plan, great decor, lovely people and a recently revamped kitchen. We're within 5 minutes of the station, which is great for those who take the train; there's also parking nearby, for those who drive.

Keep up with indycube Chepstow on Twitter, or check out more photos via our Instagram.

Making the Web More Welsh: a Year on

 

March 1st saw the first birthday of Our Home Online's Welsh domain names - .Cymru and .Wales. We went along to the Senedd in Cardiff Bay for a celebratory event, and met some great people who have chosen to join us in making the web more Welsh!

So one year on, what do we think?

Registering indycube.cymru as our domain name was a massive step in the right direction for the company. Our values have always been, and will remain, intrinsically Welsh - we're all about communicating, collaborating and socialising. We're proud of our Welsh-routed origins, and want to show that wherever and whenever we can.

Our domain name lets people know who we are and what we stand for before they've even clicked through to our website!

Mae dros 19 mil o gyfeiradau wedi'u cofrestru ers i Nominet creu y parthau newydd blwyddyn yn ôl. Mae'n werth cofrestru eich wefan newydd a dangos bawp o ble rhydych yn dod!

It's so easy to sign up for your very own Welsh domain name. Don't miss out - sign up now!

Blog Dydd Gwyl Dewi - indycube has become a cooperative

We’ve been talking a lot recently about our quest to become a mutual - a cooperative company owned and run by the community. As of today, these changes are finally taking place, along with some other exciting developments…

We’re opening 6 new spaces - including Wrexham, Treharris, Milford Haven, Chepstow, Porth, and St Davids. We’re also implementing our price increases as of today.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been letting the community know about these changes; now we want to answer some of the questions you’ve been asking.

Why is indycube mutualising and what does it actually mean?

We’re mutualising simply because we want to give indycube back to the community. Becoming a Community Benefit Society was always part of the plan, and now, six years on, it’s finally the right time for that change to take place.

Becoming a mutual means that all decisions will be democratised - indycube will be jointly owned by its members, who will be able to contribute ideas and elect board members.

I heard a rumour indycube was going to England?

We’ll be opening a coworking space in Wakefield very shortly, branching out by opening our first space over the bridge!

We’re doing this because we’ve found a great place and there’s no reason not to! Our aim in taking indycube coworking spaces to England is to export the things businesses are good at in Wales, such as community values and sharing. indycube is all about conversation, connectivity and serendipity, and we’re hoping to spread these values as far and wide as possible. However, we will remain Welsh in essence, and can guarantee any surplus will be coming back into Wales.

Why do indycube have to increase their prices?

The decision to increase our prices was not made lightly - it was a necessity in terms of maintaining the indycube network and its standards. As we’ve grown and expanded, we’ve seen an increase in housekeeping costs, which has made it essential to raise our rates a little.

Since starting out on March 1st 6 years ago, we’ve never once put our prices up, which makes this a comparatively small increase - it works out at the equivalent of a 3% rise each year.

Going forward, will indycube be looking to finance its business more?

Since the beginning, indycube has been completely bootstrapped. Expansion and growth within the community has been 100% paid for through desk users, from regular members to those who pop in every now and then. 

We’ve never asked for any public funds, because there’s been no need to - indycube has always been maintained by the community, with all earnings going back into the pot to better the network. However, as we expand, it’s likely that we may need investment from those who would like to help us to contribute to the community. No doubt they’ll see a great return.

Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus i bawb!

Free Jelly Day - March 1st 2016

Gwisgwch ceninpedr i gwaith ar Dydd Gwyl Ddewi

March 1st this year is a big day for us at indycube. It's St David's Day, of course, which makes it an important day for everyone in Wales. It's also our sixth anniversary! We're thrilled to think that we've been up and running for six years. It couldn't have happened without a lot of help and support from many of you, including each and every person who's come in and used a desk.

There's been trials and tribulations, ups and downs and bumps along the road, but we are now in a position to offer indycube to you, the community, through our mutualisation, which will see indycube become a Community Benefit Society. March 1st  brings about these changes, which we posted about back in January - you can catch up with that here if you didn't read about it at the time.

We're aiming to open 6 new spaces on March 1st, including Wrexham, Treharris, Chepstow, Milford Haven, Wakefield and St Davids itself. These locations will all be opening six years on from the opening of our first space in Culverhouse Cross.

To celebrate the Patron Saint of Wales, as well as the launching of new spaces and the future of our company and it's members, we're offering a day of free jelly on March 1st! Come along and use any indycube for free, all day, on one condition... you have to wear either a daffodil or a leek :P

Dewch i mewn i weithio yn indycube am ddim ar Mawrth 1af, os ych chi'n bodlon gwisgo rhywbeth Cymraeg neu canu Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau cyn dod mewn!

Register your interest through Eventbrite, or book in here.