I’m sure I’m not the only person on this group who has google alerts set up for the words “coworking” and, sigh, “co-working”.
Between the number of new space announcements that show up in those alerts, Deskmag’s reporting on coworking growth trends, and many amazing success stories that we’ve all been privy to seeing unfold, there’s no doubt in any of our minds that coworking isn’t disappearing any time soon.
But speckled in the success stories are sadder ones. Coworking spaces who struggled and failed.
Another one hit my Google Reader tonight, in St Louis. Hence this email and this project being spurred right now.
On one hand, the business of coworking is susceptible to all of the rules of starting a new business - there’s going to be a failure rate. Not every business is meant to be. The rate at which I hear about closings is increasing, but it’s hard to tell if it’s growing in or out of proportion of openings.
Between coworking spaces that struggle to keep the lights on and coworking spaces that have closed (for good or bad reasons), there’s patterns in closures that I personally find very interesting, far more interesting in “new hotness variations” on the coworking models.
The pattern-watcher that I am, I see some things, but I need more information to start building a hypothesis that can be proven or disproven.
I can’t do this alone. If you’ve started and closed a coworking space, been a member of a coworking space that struggled and failed, or are simply a passionate observer who saw an unfortunate closing, please take a few minutes to help fill out this survey:
This information is personal and potentially sensitive. I don’t expect all of the replies to include names or all of the details. Many people on this list have shared their personal stories before, and we should all be thankful for that.
The best solution I could come up with is to choose how anonymous you would like to be.
1) The name and email address fields are optional and will ONLY be used to reconnect with the submitter for more information.
2) The final required question asks for your consent to share the data you enter, beside the optional name/email fields which are anonymous by default. In case you have an alternate preference, you can specify it in “other”.
There’s researchers on the list, so if there’s other fields that you think I should include (or better ways to collect the same data), I’m all ears.
**Even if you’re not aware of closings you can share about, I need help getting the word out about this project. **I’m hoping for some assistance from Steve King & Team Deskmag since I know this stuff is already on their radar. If there’s anyone else already studying this (all of the quiet grad students on this list, I’m looking at you), I’d love to share work reciprocally.
My goal is to organize this information and share some hypothesis that we all study together and share back again, overall helping the ecosystem not just learn from successes but also avoid repeating historic failure patterns.
My hope is to be buried under a mountain of responses and have to recruit some of you to help me dig myself out
coworking in philadelphia
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