Decision update: HackLab.TO

Based on my analysis, I decided to sign up for hacklab.to, a coworking space tucked into Kensington Market here in Toronto. I dropped by on Wednesday and Friday last week.

Let me check how I’m doing against my success criteria. In nine months, what do I want to happen, and how am I making progress?

  • I know more about other geeks in Toronto thanks to ambient conversations and helping each other out.
    • I chatted with Chim about his job interviews, with Justin about biking and electronics, with Eric about friendship, and with Nick and Adam about duct tape
    • Working on getting better by remembering people’s faces, names, and interests
  • I’m better at asking people for help when I get stuck, and at setting myself tougher challenges knowing that people can help
    • Haven’t tried this yet
    • Maybe business questions and referrals to accountants?
  • I’ve dug into some of the more difficult things that are easier to learn with other people who can help me. For example: web development, mobile development, electronics
    • Haven’t tried this yet, just settling in and getting some writing done
    • Maybe Arduino?
  • I’ve gotten better at sketching ideas, asking other people for feedback, and fleshing out the ones that get people interested
    • Haven’t tried it yet
    • Hmm, what can I build that people here might find useful?
  • I’ve improved serendipity (test different laptop cues to talk? talk to people about what they’re working on?)
    • Started making conversation about people’s projects
    • Laptop drawing is useful; maybe swap in a new one next week
  • I go to HackLab 1-2 times a week, and sometimes more often if the weather is great.
    • Did so!
    • Easier if I commit to the idea of being here and I use Justin’s heuristic of buying transit passes during the winter months
  • I’m good at managing my focus (do not disturb / yes, talk to me)
    • Pretty good so far, but I haven’t tested it by working on anything that required a lot of concentration.
    • Server hum is slightly distracting, but I can use my headphones or play music.
  • I’m good at talking to new people and hanging out with the regulars
    • Progress!
    • Flashcards and memory will probably help.

I also survived my initial run-in with the alarm, so that’s another milestone passed – I now know how to properly let myself in. It’s probably a good idea to practice arming the alarm and letting myself out, which would be another milestone.

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