Behind glass doors in the old Watsonville Post Office, high school and college students are designing logos, developing websites, and shooting videos in a recording studio complete with acoustic paneling and a green screen. Long wooden benches strewn with pillows and sleek leather chairs are filled with young men and women collaborating on their latest tech project or silently tapping away at a rented laptop. Behind the open workspace is a well-stocked kitchen with free sandwiches, snacks, and beverages that’s always open to members.
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Doug Erickson is dealing with an ankle injury when Santa Cruz Works catches up with him. The result of a snowboarding accident, the ankle injury seems to be more of an inconvenience to Erickson than a major problem. He laughs about a less-than-efficient medical system and makes jokes about getting a second opinion. As he drives to the doctor appointment to get his ankle set, we talk by phone about one of his favorite topics: tech in Santa Cruz.
Darrin Caddes, VP of Corporate Design at Plantronics, believes that the only bad ideas are those that aren’t expressed.
Every Friday, the Plantronics design team gets together for a collective review. Team members write any idea that comes to mind on a post-it, and in one session Darrin’s’ post-it read: ‘Fill a room with dogs.’