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By Shane Barbanel

I want to talk to you about one item that seems to get glossed over a lot in business books, marketing media, and self help tweets: Perseverance. (noun) – steadfastness in doing something
despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

Everyone seems to make building a startup more akin to a rocket ship exploding forward than a ship setting sail, moving ever so (seemingly) slowly to the horizon.

And so starts the mini history lesson. Yes, there were unicorns—aka, startup companies valued at $1 billion dollars or more. Yes, there still are unicorns: Uber, WeWork, Snapchat, Pinterest, Spotify, Slack, DraftKings, Instacart, and Lazada Group, to name a few of’s class of 2016.

That’s a billion dollar valuation; a billion dollars is a LOT of money!

How do you get there? How does anyone get anywhere? Move. Move with a plan, and move with purpose. Otherwise you’re just spinning your wheels, my friend. But I’m not talking to you about how to make a billion dollars; that would be bullshit because I’ve never made a billion dollars myself. But I’ve made business happen–sold buildings, closed leases, opened more than a few companies, written, directed, and produced a movie, and am most recently the founder of the CoLab-Factory, a killer coworking space in downtown Brooklyn where pirates and ninjas work.

So here’s where I tell you about that inspiration moment…that instant where an idea (for me) was born. I was leasing a store on the Fulton Mall and this guy asked about space for an incubator (which, at the time, I thought was a container for protecting a premature newborn from the environment–remember this was 2011, after all). I started to laugh (because I was a bit of a dick), but before I could say anything he described the modern day definition. In truth, the definition is really not far from the medical definition—the “newborn” in this case is just a startup, unable to stand, breathe, talk, walk or work on its own.

I fell in love with this idea immediately, and wanted to be involved with this movement right away! I went to WeWork, and checked out General Assembly, among others, and realized that downtown Brooklyn was a perfect fit! In fact, I believed it would help the kids FROM Brooklyn to have another avenue. It would be a place for the graduates from LIU, Berkley, Brooklyn Tech, St. Francis, and Poly to have a place to graduate into—a startup community environment of doers generating action and innovation!


To be continued…click below!

CoLab-Thinks: You Need a Business Plan

CoLab-Thinks: How You Work in Brooklyn is Everything