More importantly: Why can’t I find a list of startups they’re assisting? I want to support YBI companies in Youngstown!
I’m very frustrated. I don’t want this to be a bitch-fest—I need it to be a call to action. The YBI is an unbelievably excellent resource that is going to waste in its web space because no one has taken the time to solve these problems. Of course, they’re spending that time in an awesome way: They’re helping businesses grow in the Youngstown area. But getting the website taken care of just isn’t that hard. Can you convince me that redesigning this site, and fixing all the content issues, navigability issues, making it from an eyesore into a fantastic, useable, functional web presence is anything but easy? Where are the excellent, internet-bent artistic minds? Where are the Youngstown arts community web designers and skilled developers? I know you’re out there. (For Heaven’s sake, send me resumes.) There’s work to be done!
This wouldn’t take a lot of effort, or a lot of money. When is it going to happen? The whole situation causes me a great deal of personal pain, because Cossler is full of exciting ideas that seem to be coming to fruition. I loved this piece here:
Mulready: “Why Youngstown? Why is something like this so successful here? This is something that’s really not happening in Cleveland, it’s not happening in Pittsburgh, it’s not happening in Akron or Columbus—why here?”
Cossler: “…Rather than being mediocre and incubating a broad range of technologies, we chose to be world-class at one technology, and we are world-class at business-to-business software. It’s narrowness of focus.”
Cossler: “…The second thing is, we have what we call a managed cluster. Every single one of my companies and every single one of their employees has a responsibility to share their knowledge with people who need it. Now, there’s 230 people working in this building today—that’s a lot of institutional knowledge for a two-person startup to tap into.”
Now, if you’re me (or anyone else, trust me), this is really, really exciting. It’s right in line with many of the business precepts I’ve been fixating on—think Seth Godin, think 37signals—and it’s right on the money, it all fits together. Jim goes on to talk about Turning Technologies, which is a great story—but what he’s explaining is an incredible system that makes me excited for growing Youngstown businesses.
Cossler: “[Turning Technologies was] just named the fastest growing software company in the country by Inc. Magazine. Not San Jose, not Austin, Youngstown, Ohio.“
That made me grin. This guy is awesome! Why isn’t there more information on the site? If I could read the damn thing, I would be completely hooked. Who is involved? What can I do to help? Where do Youngstown startups go if they aren’t in business-to-business software? Anyone? How can I help, how can I tell people about what’s going on, if I can’t get answers from the one place that should guarantee them?
Anyway, just listening to the interview it’s obvious to me that they have some serious structure underneath the sub-sentient web presence. If you are thinking of putting together something wonderful, the Youngstown Business Incubator could be exactly the resource you need… as long as you’re not depending on their website for more than contact information. I guess that’s what business cards are for. But man… the web is so much better than that. It can give people so much more than that and honestly, it’s what they’re coming to expect. Now just isn’t the time to screw around with lame implementations. And Youngstown is growing so fast—can you just imagine what a solid web presence could do for an entity that’s already creating so much amazing change?
Someone needs to set the precedent for positive, appealing design in Youngstown. Who better than the Youngstown Business Incubator? It’s already given so much, and been such a role model for Youngstown business ventures. I don’t see any indication, from what I could find, that someone is working on it now.
You know what else? I can’t add YBI news to my feed reader, because I can’t find an xml feed anywhere.
Let’s get on the ball!