We have about 70 members at WELD Dallas right now, and as we continue to grow, each new member adds an amazing flavor to our community — a new talent, a new skill, a new way of seeing the world . . . What if we took that model and built diverse, creative communities around the country? Expansion on a national level is my dream for WELD.
WELD is probably the single most important element in both my professional and personal life today. It's an amazing community of fundamentally good people who continue to inspire me to do bigger, better things with my life.
And, wonderfully, it's beginning to grow.
When I sought to find a workspace for myself and Need in early-2013, I became jaded by questions about my company's valuation, investors, and trite tests of my elevator pitching skills. There was a deep-seated sense of competition that I found beguiling and reductive of what ought to comprise an ecosystem of creators.
In other words, it was hardly conducive to working at my utmost. And I suspect it'd have a poisonous effect on most others, too.
WELD, on the other hand, provided so much more. During my first ten minutes of touring the space, more than three people offered their support for me starting my own company. Some of the world's most talented photographers, illustrators, designers, and videographers automatically pledged their de facto support as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
It was a default proclivity toward helping other people that is all-too-rare in the business world.
I remember mentioning that I was considering joining several companies or launching Need and, unlike all other spaces I visited, this amazing group of people utterly ignored the former portion of the equation and laid the infrastructural groundwork to make Need possible.
It was one of the most humbling moments of organic support and selflessness I've ever witnessed in the professional world.
Austin Mann has fostered one of the most affable and inspirational commnities in Dallas and, having spoken at length about his plans for expansion, I'm confident that spirit of goodness will only be improved upon arriving in new cities.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for WELD and I feel so lucky to have witnessed it from the inside out. I suspect that, if you're reading this now, you'll likely feel the same way if you ever have the chance to experience it.
So, bring it to your city. Vote. Come visit us in Dallas. You won't regret it.