Comstock's magazine 0818 - August 2018 - Page 24

• WORTH NOTING buzzwords get social

• WORTH NOTING buzzwords get social

Paul Willis : Artists create the culture for commerce - what , where , who is cool to spend money with . Attractive physical spaces , great design work and online presence is predominantly created by artists ...
Artists can get even better by becoming more professional . There ' s a science and art to a lot of things , so I ' d like to see more people recognizing an artist ' s value in professional settings .
Danielle Vincent : By creating a culture where the community members value the art within the city . Once they value the art ( including music ) that comes out of their own city , they will be inclined to spend money with those artists … The key is to create value with our local artists so that the money stays with the city . If we only have a culture that fosters outside art or music from “ famous ” people , then the money goes to them and leaves the city . We need a culture that values our local artists enough to spend money with them consistently .
Greg Price : Placemaking is important because talent is mobile . Talented workers have choices of where to live ... disproportionately choosing to live in places that build great urban communities . The number of college-educated young adults is increasing twice as fast in close-in urban neighborhoods as in the rest of metro areas . That ’ s driven by the growing demand for dense , diverse , interesting , transit-served , bikeable , walkable neighborhoods . Companies are increasingly moving to be close to the workers living in ( or seeking ) these neighborhoods . Placemaking is essential to attracting and anchoring talent in place .
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@ comstocksmag : At Trail Coffee Roasters co-owner Gianna Vicari is orchestrating a test-kitchen + coffee house in its new space in # DowntownStockton ( photo : Debra Belt )

wheelhouse

Hwēl-ˌhau̇ s , n .
An area that matches ones skills or expertise .
BY Eva Roethler ILLUSTRATION : Jason Balangue
“ Wheelhouse ” weighed in at No . 10 on the Inc . 2017 list “ 25 Buzzwords That You Really Need to Stop Using Right Now .” This is not the first time it made such a list , and it probably won ’ t be the last . Wheelhouse has been persistent throughout time .
The word has nautical roots as the pilothouse of a boat . It evolved in the 20th century , taking on new meaning as the section of the strike zone in baseball where it is easiest for the batter to hit the ball well . Business loves its sports metaphors ( which may be worthy of its own column ), so it ’ s no surprise the term has wormed its way into startup lexicon , now synonymous with area of expertise .
THE BUZZ The term wheelhouse has a shaky track record in Google Trends , spiking and dropping throughout the last decade , though somehow consistently trending up . Which begs the question : Can the incessant phrase go down and stay down ?
Tim Keller agrees the phrase is dated . You certainly won ’ t hear it within the walls of the high-tech makerspace at Davis-based Inventopia , which Keller founded . Inventopia is a business incubator that offers entrepreneurs and scientists access to industrial fabrication equipment — such as laser cutters , 3D printers and other high-tech tools — to get products to market faster .
Though team members at lean startups inevitably “ wear a lot of hats ” and have to move outside of their comfort zones , Keller says , “ wheelhouse ” is a bit irrelevant . “ I think people talk more about experience and qualifications ,” he says .
THE WORD Tech capabilities , like 3D printing and AI , are breaking down the barriers of our individual capabilities . Is it wise to stay hyper-focused in this era of endless opportunity , or could someone swing at a wild pitch and hit the ball out of the park ? Do we really need to stay in our perceived wheelhouse ?
“ I definitely think that entrepreneurs need to stick to business ideas where they understand the problem — and especially the customer — extremely well . That is critical ,” Keller says .
Keller saw this in action in his last venture , VinPerfect . “ I was not the only person working on an oxygen-permeable wine closure ,” he says . However , as a winemaker competing against packaging engineers , he says he understood the problem better because it was in his wheelhouse . “ We approached the problem from a fundamentally different angle .”
24 comstocksmag . com | August 2018