seattle-fremont-01On June 12th at Turnstone’s SmallTalks event in Seattle, thinkspace announced that we are launching our 2nd location in Fremont (#thinkspaceSEA). We are so excited to be opening in Fremont, as they say it’s the “center of the universe.” During SmallTalks we offered up a free month of coworking in our Seattle office to the 10th person that retweeted our announcement.

“What’s the big announcement?! @Thinkspace is opening Seattle in September! #thinkspaceSEA /

dan-goldgeierCongratulations Dan Goldgeier,  freelance copywriter and author of  View from the Cheap Seats! You’ve won one free month of coworking at thinkspace Seattle. Along with an amazing view of the canal you’ll be surrounded by the top startup and entrepreneurial talent in the city. We want to thank you for retweeting us and welcome to the thinkspace community!

In a recent presentation given at thinkspace, the CEO and founder of thinkspace, Peter Chee, spoke on the importance of mentors and role models.  He confessed that when he first started out, he had a 50 page business plan which he was pretty jazzed about, but didn’t grab ahold of the models of mentors early enough.”  Peter’s lesson learned (as well as advice to all entrepreneurs) is to get those people in place, and get them in place sooner rather than later.

Listening to Peter talk about role models and mentors got me thinking about the importance of our surroundings.  I think most would agree that who you surround yourself with matters – in life, in relationships, and especially as an entrepreneur striving for motivation, significance, and effectiveness.

The importance of surroundings is at the core of what makes thinkspace more than just office space, but a community.  Just yesterday, I gave a tour to some guys that are launching a new product and are looking for somewhere to work (other than a coffee shop).  As we chatted in the kitchen of the coworking floor, these two guys expressed to me how they are eager to find a place where they can be surrounded (there’s that word again!) and inspired by other entrepreneurs.  And not surprisingly, the questions that they asked me about thinkspace had nothing to do with price points, but more to do with what kind of community thinkspace is.

Q: “What kinds of people will I run into at thinkspace?”

A: “Thinkspace represents a wide variety of different people and companies – tech startups, CPA and lawyer firms, videographers, SEO gurus, sales, marketing firms, counselors, and there’s even a pastor on the second floor.”

Q: “What are the benefits of being at thinkspace, in the coworking community?”

A: “I can best explain that in a story…I was talking with a coworker the other day, and he mentioned to me that he knew coworking at thinkspace would be a good fit for him because of the flexible plan and the quality space.  But he was surprised by the community that it’s provided him with – which is a huge value-add to him, as well as his company.  At thinkspace, you’ll be surrounded and inspired by innovators and entrepreneurs.  You could work at home, or in a coffee shop, and try to conjure up inspiration on your own.  Or you can hang out in coworking for a few moments, and hear about the amazing things that the entrepreneurs in this community are up to, and share in their energy and motivation.”

Peter Chee spoke about the need for mentors and role models.  And whenever I walk through coworking, I see these roles being established.  One thing that I’ve come to expect whenever I’m at thinkspace: the opportunity to learn something new.  And I love that.  I don’t care that I’m no where near the smartest person in the room.  At the end of Peter’s presentation, he shared something similar about what drives him: “I’m constantly learning, so I’m just absorbing.  If you’re the smartest person in the room, than you’re probably in the wrong room.  I’m always surrounded by people that are smarter than me.”

So who do you surround yourself with?

And are you in need of a mentor or role model?  Thinkspace has recently launched the CXO program, which offers office hours with experts in their field.  Want to know more?  Find more information here.




grassPerhaps there is some truth to the saying “the grass is greener on the other side.”

We can always find greener grass than the grass we’re standing on.

But instead of getting caught up in comparison-mode, re-route your perspective back to yourself.

Pining for another person’s green “grass” (someone else’s life, career, marriage, etc) will work the opposite way you want it to.  Instead of focusing on the condition of your own grass, you’re wasting time wishing you had someone else’s.

Maybe the grass IS greener on the other side.
But, so what?
Instead of being jealous or threatened by greener grass, see it as an invitation to water the grass you’re standing on.  If someone has an amazing job, be inspired to lean in and set a goal to earn a promotion.  If someone has the “perfect marriage,” figure out ways to work on your own marriage (the #staymarried blog is a great resource).

The secret to a better life isn’t seeing how you size up to someone else’s life (and thank you Facebook for making this all-too-easy).  The secret to a better life is self-awareness…and knowing what fertilizer you need in order to be fruitful and productive.


always-open-closed11Has anyone ever qualified a question with the following: “I know you’re busy, but…”?

This happened to me the other day, and I had two immediate reactions.

My first reaction—> I was glad they recognized my schedule was packed with busy and important things.
(Confession: that observation made me feel important and popular).

My second reaction—> I was frustrated that my busyness made them think I wouldn’t have time for them.

Too often, I over emphasize my busy schedule.
When people ask me “How are you?” usually my response includes something along the lines of “Good, I’ve been staying really busy, etc etc etc.”
We live in a world that masters the glorification of being busy.
While busy seasons come and go, defining myself by my busyness will communicate that I’m unavailable.
So even though I desire for others to know that I am always open, my actions show that I am closed.
What would it look to communicate a more open and flexible schedule?

I’ve set a new goal—> To stop defining myself by being busy, and to be more approachable and flexible so people don’t begin conversations by first acknowledging my limited availability.

That’s been on my mind this week…I’d appreciate any feedback or suggestions you all might have!


thinkspace redmond waThe 41th Annual Economic Forecast report for 2013 was released in the Puget Sound Business Journal in the January 11-17th issue. In this report Cynthia Flash authored an article, “Local tech sector key to sustaining regional economic growth.” Cynthia writes, ” It’s no secret that Washington’s information technology industry is a major part of the state’s economy. Microsoft and are among the world’s largest and most well-known tech companies.”

Tech Sector Supports the Washington State Economy:

– Tech-related employment since 1990 more than doubled from 94,500 to 203,000.
– Tech-related jobs accounted for 55 percent of the state’s employment compensation growth and 33 percent of the state’s personal income growth since 1990.
– The tech sector contributed $2.9 billion in state Business & Occupation tax revenues in 2011, up 318 percent since 1990.

While these numbers are dominated by our local tech powerhouses, I believe that the key to sustaining growth in the local tech sector is anchored by the start-up markets. Fostering innovation within the tech sector is a critical factor in the future of our local economy. This is where thinkspace enters the conversation.

My name is Gabriel Gervelis and I own a start-up marketing agency located in thinkspace’s coworking office. Lead by local entrepreneur Peter Chee, thinkspace has developed a culture that supports start-ups,  fosters innovation, and provides all of the support and services we entrepreneurs need to succeed.

thinkspace is home to both giants and start-ups

You never know who you’re going to meet at thinkspace. As a start-up entrepreneur, it’s amazing to run into the executive team of Donuts Inc. who are recipients of $100 million in venture capital funding. And having the opportunity to swap ideas back and forth on your lunch break with the development team that created Pirq is equally priceless.

Local Tech Entrepreneurs, at thinkspace, gearing up for greatness!

Brand Buddee: Lead by a thinkspace entrepreneur, Brand Buddee is a web platform that allows local businesses to promote offers and put their social following to work sharing content through their social networks. By offering incentives to the public, local crowds flock to Brand Buddee to earn rewards by sharing special offers through their social profiles.

Anomo: Watch out Facebook, here comes Anomo! Next time you’re in need of a wordpress developer for that last minute change, simply check your Anomo network to see if there are any within in a few blocks from you. This is a true game changer and a perfect way to capitalize on the mobile app boom.

EDUonGo: Fresh out of beta, EDUonGo is taking the online education market by storm. This unique technology platform allows professors (and other content providers) to upload their course content and then produce income by sharing their expertise.  What would you do if you could launch your own university in a matter of minutes, then start collecting ecommerce revenue? With over 30 universities already on board, EDUonGo is another local tech company destined for greatness.

Marketing and Advertising at Your Fingertips:

A major part of of Washington’s economic future depends on innovation within the tech sector. This isn’t possible unless you, the people, get to know about the great ideas that we’re launching. On any given day, one can visit the coworking space and find young entrepreneurs running around, inventing new ways of making their visions come to life. What better way to make this possible than to grow in a culture of marketing and adverting professionals? Surrounding your company with partners that want you to succeed is a key factor to a start-up’s growth.

Arc Media Studios: CEO Ali Mohsenian operates his video production agency out of the coworking office at thinkspace. With years of video development experience, Ali and his team (along with their brand new RED camera) provide the insight needed to ensure that your business plan has the proper budget for branding and video development.

Heinz MarketingWhen it comes to sales and marketing, it’s no secret that Matt Heinz is one of the Northwest’s local leaders. Matt and his team operating out of the thinkspace building are always open to giving helpful advice on your go-to-market strategy, sales strategy, and overall marketing plan. Matt is an extremely valuable resource for any tech start up.

Gervelis Search Marketing: This is where I enter the picture! I’m an SEO Guru, Social Media Master, & Content Marketing professional at your service. The most effective SEO strategy is one that’s identified at the beginning stages of a start-up’s development. Often times, a single recommendation we make on the subject of marketing can change the development plan of an entire company. If you’re a start-up, or thinking of realizing your business dreams,  then surrounding yourself with this type of entrepreneurial culture is critical to your success!

Development Resources at Your Fingertips

Web development, software development,  & mobile development are key factors to the success of any young technology company. thinkspace is home to several businesses that will help you safely navigate these waters.

Vina Source: You can often find CEO Benjamin Liu hanging out in the coworking space here in Redmond. Ben controls an overseas a development team that produces grade-A mobile products. With clients like Pirq &, Ben can help you create a mobile development strategy for your start up.

Blue Label Labs:  Blue Label is a young and highly innovative team of mobile developers headed up by Jordan Gurrieri. You can find Jordan in and out of the coworking space, too. Jordan, like the rest of us, suffers from ‘entrepreneurial A.D.D.’, but Jordan’s side projects result in published books and websites that generate tens of thousands of monthly online visitors. He’s definitely not a bad guy to sit next to when you’re creating your start-ups strategy for world domination!

What Else Could You Need…Besides Funding?

Yes, the ground floor of thinkspace (a large, well furnished facility with extra monitors, meeting areas, and desks) is truly an innovation hub for start-ups but let’s not forget about the 300 companies that they service. This broad mix of service professionals are here to help and advise you as well.

thinkspace services: Peter Chee has created a service center complete with everything that a start-up needs including a physical mailing address, phone answering services, registered agent services, and other offerings to help the start-up community truly succeed.

Here are some additional members of the thinkspace community you may want to know:

Certified Public Accountant:  Jon Jenkins has a team of five professionals ready to help you answer your toughest accounting questions.

Attorney: Nathan Neiman of the Neiman Law team is a seasoned lawyer helping entrepreneurs establish themselves.

What About Funding & VC’s?

You will find several VC’s Lurking the hallways of thinkspace who are willing to listen to your plan and offer helpful advice.

Angel Investors: Charlie Kindle is a private investor and a member of the ‘Alliance of Angels’ funding organization who keeps office hours here at thinkspace.

Washington’s Economic Future is at thinkspace

There can be no argument, technology will continue to a play a major part in the  local, national, & global economic environments. Communities like thinkspace are playing an important part that will decide what role Washington will play in this space. We are a community of like-minded people going above and beyond to help each other navigate the new and uncharted waters of the technology front.

$2.9 billion in state Business & Occupation tax revenues in 2011, up 318 percent since 1990. Looking ahead into 2015, let’s work together to add a few billion to these numbers!


The other day I came across this saved list in my iPhone.


And it probably deserves an explanation.


During my three-year graduate program, my classmates and I frequented fine karaoke establishments.

And during that time, I started to track the songs I sang.

*The “x’s” mark repeat offenders.


While my graduate degree required a lot of studying and research, my karaoke-filled evenings provided me with an alternative form of research:

Finding the best karaoke bars in the Seattle area.


So in regards to the information that follows…

…you can thank me later.


Here’s what three years of research boils down to:


Don’t waste your time with…

the Dubliner,

Hula Hula,


the Yen Wor Garden Restaurant,

or the Boxcar.



The Baranof in Greenwood and Palmers in Redmond provide the most entertaining karaoke around.



So what are you singing this weekend?

















headshotsEnter [what’s been on my mind]

Much of last week’s media focused on Lance Armstrong and Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o, and on more than one occasion I heard reporters ask, “Is America able to forgive and forget?”

Blink [see a new perspective]

There is no weakness is forgiveness.  More often than not, it is the strong who are able to forgive and the weak choose to remain resentful.  In regards whether or not America can forgive Lance and Manti, I think the answer should be and has to be “yes.”  While the truth of the matter is that Lance and Manti both got caught in lies, there is another truth present: I am a liar, too.

Don’t get me wrong, I try to be honest.  Honesty and trust are two things that I not only value in others, but also in myself.  But there are times when I have been caught in a half-truth (which is just another way to say “lie”) which I explain away saying “Oh, that was just a little white lie.”

Lance and Manti are liars.  So am I.  And if America is honest (since we are discovering that the truth will come out eventually), then we all have to admit that at some point in our lives, each and every one of us has told a “Lance.”  Or told a “Manti.”  In other words, we have told a lie.  We may console ourselves by saying our half-truths aren’t anywhere near as severe as the lies exposed last week, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to line-up lies on a sliding scale of comparison.

In resonating with Lance and Manti, it makes it a bit easier to offer them forgiveness.

Shift [try it out]

But while I argue for forgiving Lance and Manti, a part of me has a hard time with the statement “forgive and forget.”  In some circumstances, forgiveness is cheapened when it is paired with forgetfulness.

What if the If the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency forgave Lance Armstrong and decided to dismiss and forget about his years of drug use?  Pairing forgiveness, alongside the USADA’s ruling that Lance ran “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program the sport has ever seen” (source), with forgetfulness would undermine the existence of their organization, as well as open the door for other athletes to do the same.

Forgiveness means getting to a point where you can wish the other person well, but it does not necessarily mean that you completely forget their indiscretion.  Moving through the steps of forgiveness can cause a relationship to change – sometimes you part ways, but sometimes the relationship is strengthened for the better.

Listen [hear from our community]

We are all flawed, in some way or another.  Some mistakes and missteps are bigger than others, and our ability after the fact to do or recognize the right thing and course-correct isn’t a cut-and-dry decision either.  It’s hard to see things from another’s unique point of view, and even more difficult to know that our perspective on their actions is, itself, correct or even appropriate.  Best thing I can think to do is stay true to what I believe, understand and stick to my values, and learn from what I see around me (including experiences from other flawed people) to constantly try to make myself better.

-Matt Heinz, President of Heniz Marketing Inc

StudentRND is holding CodeDay this weekend in the thinkspace Mobile Innovation Hub! Are you ready?

CodeDay is this weekend! Get ready to pitch ideas, form teams, and build amazing things over the course of a weekend!

And it’s only $10 to attend! Register today, and let your friends know about the event!

Schedule & Format:
Saturday, June 30th:
Noon – Opening Presentations
1PM – Pitch ideas & Form Teams, and Pizza
2-7PM – Workshops

Sunday, July 1st:
4PM – Judges walk around and talk with teams
5PM – Presentations
6:30PM – Awards


Charlie Kindel:

Charlie Kindel is a 21-year Microsoft vetran, and most recently led the Windows Phone 7 effort. Last year, he left Microsoft to pursue entrepreneurship, and in his free time, advises and invests in local startups.

At CodeDay, Charlie will be talking about Tech Trends, and Problems You Can Solve with Technology.

Joe Justice:

Joe Justice develops software, but in his free time, runs WIKISPEED, an team of volunteers around the globe that teamed up to build a 100+mpg car that goes from 0-60 in less than 5 seconds. Joe will talk about how he led the team of volunteers, and how you can lead a team to accomplish amazing results.

Scott Porad:

Working at Cheezburger Network as the CTO, Scott knows a thing or two about entertaining the internet, and building products that people want. He’ll demonstrate aspects on the Lean Startup, and show you how to eliminate waste when building a product, and discovering what your users want.

Carter Rabasa:

Twilio is a web-service API that lets you use your existing web languages and skills to build phone and SMS apps. Carter will demonstrate how to use the Twilio API to build cool apps!

David Tyler:

A StudentRND alumni, David Tyler runs Tapin.TV. He’ll share his journey in entrepreneurship, from getting started, to raising money and moving down to Silicon Valley.

We hope you’ll be able to attend!

Game, Atomic Chimp, We have some absolutely amazing member companies inside thinkspace and, every once in a while, we like to brag about the awesome things they come up with – especially when it’s something that our members can actually use! Kick’n Chick’nz is a whimsical new game built for your iPad (and eventually your iPod or iPhone) by one of thinkspace’s newer member companies: Atomic Chimp Games! You may be wondering when you might use a game like this? Here are a couple examples that you can expound upon: 1. While waiting for the coffee to brew. 2. When you need a little mind-break from that proposal you’re writing. 3. When you feel like having a laugh. 4. Well, you get the idea… Built for those young, or even just young-at-heart, Kick’n Chick’nz features high quality graphics, an adorable premise, and fun game play that will have you addicted before you know it. The “karnival” includes four mini games within the game’s main storyline and additional mini games will be released shortly, so keep your eyes open for even more fun soon to come. Check out their website, twitter account and facebook profile for more information.

Your 'digital diary'.

It’s something most of us don’t think about on a regular basis, but the safety of your online data is always at risk. Twitter has well publicized up-time issues and even the behemoth’s like Facebook and Google have a little kinks in the line once in a while.

When you start thinking about the possibility of losing all that you have in social media, the thought of losing it gets scary. Pictures, wall posts, conversations, your memories. You never know when a server crash might result in the permanent loss of your data. Rebuilding would be a pain and gaining back your social media influence might be impossible. If your social networks are your primary place for sharing photos, videos, or meaningful interactions with friends and loved ones, you really don’t want to lose it all.

Thankfully, a service called SocialSafe recognizes the importance of your online memories and has created a service dubbed a ‘digital diary’ to help you preserve them in the event of disaster. SocialSafe can back up memories from Facebook and Twitter, with more services coming soon that include WordPress and Flickr.

Data losses happen, a while back Yahoo deleted a bunch of images from their server, the Sony PlayStation Network suffered an attack and may never be the same, and it’s only a matter of time before one of Twitter‘s crashes loses your account somewhere in digital wasteland.

SocialSafe has a free account that you can try their service out with. I backed up my Facebook and Twitter because I know how valuable my social networks are for anything from keeping up with family to my professional life. The free version allowed me to save my profile, photos, friends, and status updates. An upgrade (only $6.99, that’s a crazy good deal) let’s me save tagged photos and all wall posts. Set up was a snap and I feel much better!

Don’t rely on others to keep your data safe, if you want to make sure you have all your online memories safely backed up, SocialSafe is an awesome bet. If you have heard of or use other services like this one, let us know!

Also note that Facebook somewhere along the line put a native option for downloading your photos and videos. Check out what you can do with that and how over on Salty Waffle. The nice thing about SocialSafe though, is that it covers other networks like Twitter too.