In connecting the dots, business opportunities emerge

It’s always interesting — and instructive —  to observe the potential links among stories published in the Business Times. It’s kind of like connecting the dots to see what kind of picture emerges.

Consider three stories in this issue reporting the opening of a co-working space in Fruita and staffing firm in Grand Junction as well as efforts to promote the technology sector in Fresno, Calif.

As you can read, what’s billed as the F-Works co-working space in the Fruita Civic Center offers a place to work not only for local entrepreneurs who’d otherwise work out of their homes, but also visitors who’d likely be willing to spend more time in the area if they could also get in a few hours of work.

The Grand Junction Economic Partnership announced a staffing firm based in the Silicon Valley plans to soon open a second location in the Grand Valley. According to the president of netPolarity, the intention is to tap a labor pool with strong ethics and loyalty — in other words, employees more likely to work for an employer on a long-term basis.

The Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce hosted an event featuring Jake Soberal, a lawyer who recounted efforts in Fresno to promote the growth of the technology sector there. If efforts to develop the tech sector can succeed in what Soberal said was one of the least likely places to have that happen, they also could succeed in Grand Junction.

So what do these three stories have in common? As usual, the opportunities for opportunities — for individuals as well as businesses.

Soberal said one of the missing pieces in Fresno was what he termed place — a place for individuals and small tech firms to work, an environment that fosters a sense of community. F-Works adds to the places available to do just that in the Grand Valley. The Factory co-working space in downtown Grand Junction offers another place. There’s talk Colorado Mesa University could set up yet another co-working space. One of the benefits of co-working spaces are the collaborations that can occur among the people who work there that in turn create new ideas and new businesses to bring them to market.

It’s not too far-fetched to think of the potential connections among people who use co-working spaces and a Silicon Valley staffing firm looking for new talent. Soberal talked a lot about the importance of developing talent for tech firms. That’s not to mention the connections among students who receive education and training from CMU and Western Colorado Community College.

There’s seldom a proverbial silver bullet that can solve all of the economic challenges of an area. Besides, there’s a distinct disadvantage to relying too much on one sector — to use another proverb, the risk associated with putting all your eggs in one basket.

What’s arguably the better approach is a more diversified approach, one that grows organically out of the connections among various individuals and businesses.

Go ahead: Connect the dots. Chances are, you’ll see a picture of opportunity emerge.