In June, King County named 75 local companies to its 2010 “Best Workplaces for Recycling and Waste Reduction” list – recognizing businesses with exceptional recycling programs and for their commitment to reducing the amount of waste their company produces.  This is the second year in a row that thinkspace has been named to this list.  I have to say thank you very much to the entire thinkspace community for their daily participation in our recycling efforts.  It’s an award that really belongs to our community!

The thinkspace team has grown again!  Hiring people is one of my top priorities.  In my MIT Entrepreneurial Masters Program, we focused a lot of time on people as a foundation for building a great business.  One of the books that we had to read was “Who” by Geoff Smart.  The book addresses: “Your number one problem is not what, it’s who”.  My management style is not to tell someone exactly the path to get something done, rather, it’s more important for someone to focus on results rather than process.  After spending a lot of time getting to know Barbara Evans over the last few weeks, it’s become clear to me that she shares the thinkspace core values, has a breadth and depth of knowledge in marketing and branding, is intellectually curious, and is customer focused to immediately add value to our members and their customers.  Barbara loves to work closely with companies and small businesses on how to implement a Social Media Marketing campaign – use Social Media to raise SEO and has taught companies through a wide variety of speaking engagements.

Barbara radiates a true entrepreneurial spirit. Her positive attitude, and infectious personality make her a perfect Community Marketing Manager for thinkspace. After years of Internet Marketing and online community building through Social Media, Barbara applies her skills to build communities and connect with people both within the walls of thinkspace, as well as in the community around us. Barbara is from New York State and has brought with her a MA in Social Anthropology and a cat. She lives life to the fullest with hobbies such as aviation, SCUBA, ultra marathon running, trapeze arts and rock climbing.

The team couldn’t be more excited to have her on the team.  Please drop by and give her a warm welcome.  You can contact her through email barbara [@] thinkspace [dot] com and of course through Twitter (Seattle Wine Gal) and LinkedIn.  I think we all should expect that there will be wine at some future events at thinkspace too.

thinkspace will now be hosting PhyzzYoga classes every Tuesday from 12-1pm! What better way is there to spend your lunch than re-centering your mind and body with a little bit of Yoga?

Karen Lindenberg, Owner of PhyzzYoga, came and taught our first class last week and let me just say that she was a great instructor and I think I know why! PhyzzYoga is dedicated to bringing Yoga to the workplace and I just can’t tell you enough how much this one class helped me gain clarity and focus for the rest of my week. They focus primarily on bringing yoga to workplaces and encourage businesses to attend to their most valuable resource: their people. According to their About Page and apparent in their instructor, Phyzz is “helps people and business energize and innovate the way they work. We [Phyzz] are dedicated to helping you strengthen the core of your business by increasing flexibilty, balance, agility and grace in your workspace.” Does that not just make you excited? I know I am looking forward to the opportunity to spend some time meeting some great business owners during yoga classes right in our building!

If you would like to join us for yoga on Tuesdays from 12-1pm, please do! The classes are $12 for thinkspace members and open to the public for $14 per class and will be held in the first floor conference room of our Redmond location 8201 164th AVE NE Redmond, WA 98052. I am so excited to have PhyzzYoga here tomorrow and hope to see you soon!

In a month from now (August 4-5th), there’s going to be a conference in Seattle about Email Marketing.  The event is being put on by What Counts and is called Summer Summit. I looked at the agenda and I am very interested in hearing the “State of the Union” address about where the State of the Email Industry is.  The founder and CEO of What Counts is David Geller and the President is Brian Ratzliff.  I used to work with both David and Brian back at Starwave.  I’m very interested to hear from them and the other industry experts on this topic.  In my opinion, there seems to be so much emphasis on social media, Twitter, Facebook, customer engagement it seems like people are forgetting about email marketing.  What I’m hoping to learn is to find out how email is evolving, what are the new cutting edge ideas on how best to use email in conjunction with these other social channels.

I have to quote my friend, Anna Billstrom, who wrote a blog article titled “The Demise of Email“: Anna states, “Basically: email is about as dead as your social security number, your physical address, or HTML.”

In the past, while I was working for Disney.  I managed the broadcast email system on the engineering side.  The tools we created were used to send out millions of emails to all the people that registered on websites like,, ABCNews, etc.  The CRM team that used our tools, sent out over 100 million emails a year.  Now as a person running thinkspace, I’m looking at ways to connect with more people, share the stories of what goes on inside thinkspace, and also educate people about my products and services.  I’d like to build a better strategy and I think email is one of the areas that needs to be used in a more strategic manner.

About one month ago I got back from the Entrepreneurial Masters Program (EMP) at MIT.  It’s a join run program with the Entrepreneur Organization and MIT.  It has been an amazing experience and every day I think about what I’ve learned.  I’m amazed by the other 64 entrepreneurs in my class and humbled to be a part of this group.  When my class graduates in 2012, we’ll be the 20th group to have completed this program.  There have been some very impressive individuals that have gone through this program, like Michael Dell (just to name one).

A few of the thinkspace members suggested that I share what I’ve learned and discuss what I’m implementing in my business from the EMP program.  So next week, on Thursday, July 8th at noon, I’m going to give you guys a quick overview and give you a few takeaways that can help you grow your business.  For thinkspace, my goal is to build a company that will last.  This program is certainly shining a light on what I don’t know.  I’m also seeing that it doesn’t matter what size your company is whether you’re a fairly new startup or a $500M company, we’re all going through similar types of problems and without having a peer group it can be kind of scary and lonely.  I’m putting together my presentation deck and plan to cover:

Building for Smart and Sustainable Growth
•    Strategy
•    People
•    Outcomes

If this sounds interesting to you and you think it might help your business grow, please RSVP by emailing by Tuesday, July 6th.  I’ll have my team order up some pizza for lunch too!

When: July 8th
Time: Noon to 1pm
Where: First floor conference room