In a city where 2010 headlines ushered in the upside down WonderWorks attraction and added a 200-foot high SkyWheel to its oceanfront promenade, Myrtle Beach could also become home to a “Den of Disruption.” Not to be confused with tourist trappings, local entrepreneur and software developer Paul Reynolds is looking to follow in California footsteps to establish a co-working center where mostly home-based freelancers can come together as “a development team and tap into the power of collaboration.” “Freelancers, knowledge workers and software developers may work from a home office, but miss the social interaction and bouncing around of ideas with others. They don’t want to go back to working in a corporate setting but can come to a co-work space and find ideas and stimulation from like-minded people, in more of a coffee shop atmosphere,” says Reynolds. So, how is this disruptive? “When you work in a positive, open-minded culture, it can be electric…it makes things happen … it can save a priceless number of hours trying to solve a problem when someone in the group already knows the answer to the next step,” explains Reynolds. “The iPhone totally disrupted the whole market and made Smart Phones the norm rather than an out-of-the-box idea. Getting creative minds out of the old-school institutional company environment and converging art with technology can change the world.” So, why Myrtle Beach, S.C.? “Why not?” asks Reynolds. As Reynolds points out, the Grand Strand is focused on hospitality and tourism, but those industries have also served to make the area very “people-centric” and a place where hundreds, maybe thousands from around the world, would love to relocate to, if they could find work beyond service jobs. And, believe it or not, the Myrtle Beach area has top-notch internet access and fiber optic network capabilities that rival that of New York City or Atlanta. The Grand Strand also has its fair share of investors, but not a whole lot of exciting new projects at which to throw money. “Writers, designers, programmers and the like don’t require huge warehouses or office buildings. All we need is a work space, computer and great internet access,” Reynolds explains. “A small investment for a possibly huge payoff.” So, what’s in it for Myrtle Beach? Establishing a brave new culture at the beach that takes ideas to proto-type to product to investors to market, could significantly plug the area’s brain drain. Instead of the multitude of university graduates who leave every year for a bigger city with bigger opportunities, maybe they could establish a career here. And, the hobby software writer who bartends to make ends meet might be able to work himself into the job of his dreams with co-work resources, mentoring and support. “I’m a great believer in the inside-out economy,” says Reynolds. “Instead of trying to recruit 200 companies to the area with strict must-have lists, why not give 200, one-person ideas a fighting chance?” Not a bad, big idea. Find out more about Paul by visiting: Written by Denise Mullen

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