My morbid curiosity with Coworking Space Closings

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:

https://indyhall.wufoo.com/forms/coworking-space-closings/

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 :slight_smile:

Thanks y’all.

-Alex

···

/ah

coworking in philadelphia

build amazing communities: masterclass.indyhall.org

Alex -

Props for starting this thread. I think the information will be valuable and hopefully help some current owner/operators succeed in spite of adversity.

I think you will get more responses, and perhaps salvage more existing cases, if you include owners/spaces that fear or outright anticipate failure in the next 12 months.

Btw, If you like we will tweet survey tomorrow.

Best,

Chris

···

On Sep 18, 2012, at 10:14 PM, Alex Hillman [email protected] wrote:

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:

https://indyhall.wufoo.com/forms/coworking-space-closings/

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 :slight_smile:

Thanks y’all.

-Alex

/ah

indyhall.org

coworking in philadelphia

build amazing communities: masterclass.indyhall.org

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To post to this group, send email to [email protected].

To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [email protected].

For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/coworking?hl=en.

Thanks Chris. Great idea on opening up the closure dates to the future. I don’t expect to close the form so we can continue to collect data over time.

I’ve removed the “required” part of the date fields to allow for more flexible entry and updated the intro.

More suggestions and sharing welcome :slight_smile:

-Alex

···

/ah

indyhall.org

coworking in philadelphia

build amazing communities: masterclass.indyhall.org

On Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at 10:40 PM, Chris DiFonzo wrote:

Alex -

Props for starting this thread. I think the information will be valuable and hopefully help some current owner/operators succeed in spite of adversity.

I think you will get more responses, and perhaps salvage more existing cases, if you include owners/spaces that fear or outright anticipate failure in the next 12 months.

Btw, If you like we will tweet survey tomorrow.

Best,

Chris

On Sep 18, 2012, at 10:14 PM, Alex Hillman [email protected] wrote:

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:

https://indyhall.wufoo.com/forms/coworking-space-closings/

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 :slight_smile:

Thanks y’all.

-Alex

/ah

indyhall.org

coworking in philadelphia

build amazing communities: masterclass.indyhall.org

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To post to this group, send email to [email protected].

To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [email protected].

For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/coworking?hl=en.

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

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Hi,

Thanks for starting this, Alex. I’m curious about the results too.

I suggest adding mandatory fields for City, Province/State, and Country so that you can easily search and sort by region. The two entries I just sent were from Toronto, ON Canada.

Also you copied the notes (“It doesn’t have to be a eulogy…”) from the second last question to the last question. Just a formatting thing.

r.

···

____________________
rachel young
rac…@camaraderie.ca

Find us in person:

Camaraderie
102 Adelaide St E 2nd Floor
Toronto, ON M5C 1K9

(647) 861-4350

Find us online:
Website/blog and Newsletter

Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn

*Be in business for yourself, not by yourself! *

Continue the conversations you started on May 27

at FLCTO2 by joining the LinkedIn group.

*Are you a coworking commitmentphobe? *

Try the Coworking Toronto Passport Program

for a day pass to seven spaces for one price.

On 18 September 2012 22:46, Alex Hillman [email protected] wrote:

Thanks Chris. Great idea on opening up the closure dates to the future. I don’t expect to close the form so we can continue to collect data over time.

I’ve removed the “required” part of the date fields to allow for more flexible entry and updated the intro.

More suggestions and sharing welcome :slight_smile:

-Alex

/ah

indyhall.org

coworking in philadelphia

build amazing communities: masterclass.indyhall.org

On Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at 10:40 PM, Chris DiFonzo wrote:

Alex -

Props for starting this thread. I think the information will be valuable and hopefully help some current owner/operators succeed in spite of adversity.

I think you will get more responses, and perhaps salvage more existing cases, if you include owners/spaces that fear or outright anticipate failure in the next 12 months.

Btw, If you like we will tweet survey tomorrow.

Best,

Chris

On Sep 18, 2012, at 10:14 PM, Alex Hillman [email protected] wrote:

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:

https://indyhall.wufoo.com/forms/coworking-space-closings/

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 :slight_smile:

Thanks y’all.

-Alex

/ah

indyhall.org

coworking in philadelphia

build amazing communities: masterclass.indyhall.org

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To post to this group, send email to [email protected].

To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [email protected].

For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/coworking?hl=en.

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To post to this group, send email to [email protected].

To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [email protected].

For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/coworking?hl=en.

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

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Excellent suggestion on location data, and the little formatting fix. On their way.

I’ve got a dozen or so submissions overnight. Keep 'em coming people.

···


/ah
indyhall.org
coworking in philadelphia

On Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 8:45 AM, rachel young wrote:

Hi,

Thanks for starting this, Alex. I’m curious about the results too.

I suggest adding mandatory fields for City, Province/State, and Country so that you can easily search and sort by region. The two entries I just sent were from Toronto, ON Canada.

Also you copied the notes (“It doesn’t have to be a eulogy…”) from the second last question to the last question. Just a formatting thing.

r.

____________________
rachel young
rac…@camaraderie.ca

Find us in person:

Camaraderie
102 Adelaide St E 2nd Floor
Toronto, ON M5C 1K9

(647) 861-4350

Find us online:
Website/blog and Newsletter

Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn

*Be in business for yourself, not by yourself! *

Continue the conversations you started on May 27

at FLCTO2 by joining the LinkedIn group.

*Are you a coworking commitmentphobe? *

Try the Coworking Toronto Passport Program

for a day pass to seven spaces for one price.

On 18 September 2012 22:46, Alex Hillman [email protected] wrote:

Thanks Chris. Great idea on opening up the closure dates to the future. I don’t expect to close the form so we can continue to collect data over time.

I’ve removed the “required” part of the date fields to allow for more flexible entry and updated the intro.

More suggestions and sharing welcome :slight_smile:

-Alex

/ah

indyhall.org

coworking in philadelphia

build amazing communities: masterclass.indyhall.org

On Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at 10:40 PM, Chris DiFonzo wrote:

Alex -

Props for starting this thread. I think the information will be valuable and hopefully help some current owner/operators succeed in spite of adversity.

I think you will get more responses, and perhaps salvage more existing cases, if you include owners/spaces that fear or outright anticipate failure in the next 12 months.

Btw, If you like we will tweet survey tomorrow.

Best,

Chris

On Sep 18, 2012, at 10:14 PM, Alex Hillman [email protected] wrote:

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:

https://indyhall.wufoo.com/forms/coworking-space-closings/

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 :slight_smile:

Thanks y’all.

-Alex

/ah

indyhall.org

coworking in philadelphia

build amazing communities: masterclass.indyhall.org

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To post to this group, send email to [email protected].

To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [email protected].

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You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

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You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

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Hi Alex,

Glad you did this survey in 2012. Any chance you still have the results?

Farhan

···

On Wednesday, 19 September 2012 09:19:57 UTC-4, Alex Hillman wrote:

Excellent suggestion on location data, and the little formatting fix. On their way.

I’ve got a dozen or so submissions overnight. Keep 'em coming people.


/ah
indyhall.org
coworking in philadelphia

On Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 8:45 AM, rachel young wrote:

Hi,

Thanks for starting this, Alex. I’m curious about the results too.

I suggest adding mandatory fields for City, Province/State, and Country so that you can easily search and sort by region. The two entries I just sent were from Toronto, ON Canada.

Also you copied the notes (“It doesn’t have to be a eulogy…”) from the second last question to the last question. Just a formatting thing.

r.

____________________
rachel young
rac…@camaraderie.ca

Find us in person:

Camaraderie
102 Adelaide St E 2nd Floor
Toronto, ON M5C 1K9

(647) 861-4350

Find us online:
Website/blog and Newsletter

Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn

*Be in business for yourself, not by yourself! *

Continue the conversations you started on May 27

at FLCTO2 by joining the LinkedIn group.

*Are you a coworking commitmentphobe? *

Try the Coworking Toronto Passport Program

for a day pass to seven spaces for one price.

On 18 September 2012 22:46, Alex Hillman [email protected] wrote:

Thanks Chris. Great idea on opening up the closure dates to the future. I don’t expect to close the form so we can continue to collect data over time.

I’ve removed the “required” part of the date fields to allow for more flexible entry and updated the intro.

More suggestions and sharing welcome :slight_smile:

-Alex

/ah

indyhall.org

coworking in philadelphia

build amazing communities: masterclass.indyhall.org

On Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at 10:40 PM, Chris DiFonzo wrote:

Alex -

Props for starting this thread. I think the information will be valuable and hopefully help some current owner/operators succeed in spite of adversity.

I think you will get more responses, and perhaps salvage more existing cases, if you include owners/spaces that fear or outright anticipate failure in the next 12 months.

Btw, If you like we will tweet survey tomorrow.

Best,

Chris

On Sep 18, 2012, at 10:14 PM, Alex Hillman [email protected] wrote:

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:

https://indyhall.wufoo.com/forms/coworking-space-closings/

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 :slight_smile:

Thanks y’all.

-Alex

/ah

indyhall.org

coworking in philadelphia

build amazing communities: masterclass.indyhall.org

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To post to this group, send email to [email protected].

To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [email protected].

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I also would be very interested in the results. Thank you

···

On Tuesday, September 18, 2012 10:14:37 PM UTC-4, Alex Hillman wrote:

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:

https://indyhall.wufoo.com/forms/coworking-space-closings/

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 :slight_smile:

Thanks y’all.

-Alex

/ah

indyhall.org

coworking in philadelphia

build amazing communities: masterclass.indyhall.org

Turns out that surveys are terrible for collecting this kind of information :slight_smile: I’ve had to do a lot of more hands on work to find real, valuable information.

I’ve used some of my findings to help fuel other articles, like this one in the Philadelphia Biz Journal (I pubilished the full interview to suppliment the piece): http://dangerouslyawesome.com/2014/07/behind-the-scenes-of-a-front-page-interview-coworking-any-old-space-wont-do/

The issue is that demand for space is a red herring for success in coworking, and worse, it’s a magnet for opportunism.

Take a look at every corner of the “sharing economy”…and you’ll find the same thing. Utopian sharing quickly devolves into mass exodus. There’s a bigger problem in doing the research, though…and that’s collecting information from founders/leaders.

Founders and leaders of failed spaces (generally) won’t talk, and when they do, it’s platitudes or outright lies. Because let’s be honest, nobody likes facing their failures. There are, of course, a couple of exceptions and they’ve written about their experiences here on the Google Group.

The best sources of insight have been former members and former staff. The problem is that THEY generally don’t respond well to being approached out of the blue (I’ve learned first hand).

We see that coworking spaces are opening at accelerating rates, but what’s not as obvious is that the vast majority of them are dealing with high turnover and/or burn rates that make their business model completely unsustainable. Because of the nature of these businesses, it’s very hard to see the effects of these problems until “reality” sets in about 2 years after the start.

There’s clues before then (a mix of highly visible ones, and others that are much more subtle), but any coworking space younger than 2 years old really should be focusing on getting GREAT at one thing: knowing their members.

We’re going to see a lot more closings in the near future. I’d say that most coworking spaces open today fall into one of four categories:

1- they’re generally unsustainable, and will die within 2 years.

2 - they’re generally unsustainable, but somebody is pumping cash into them to extend the 2 year life expectancy. Some will right the ship, but many will not before the cash dries up.

3 - they’re growing sustainably

4 - they’re growing unsustainably

I’d say that 80%+ of coworking spaces I encounter fall into unsustainable categories 1 and 2. ~18% (maybe a bit less) are safely in category 3, and less than 2% in category 4.

-Alex

···

The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Join the list: http://coworkingweekly.com

Listen to the podcast: http://listen.coworkingweekly.com

On Sat, Jan 3, 2015 at 3:32 AM, Farhan Abbasi [email protected] wrote:

Hi Alex,

Glad you did this survey in 2012. Any chance you still have the results?

Farhan
On Wednesday, 19 September 2012 09:19:57 UTC-4, Alex Hillman wrote:

Excellent suggestion on location data, and the little formatting fix. On their way.

I’ve got a dozen or so submissions overnight. Keep 'em coming people.


/ah
indyhall.org
coworking in philadelphia

On Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 8:45 AM, rachel young wrote:

Hi,

Thanks for starting this, Alex. I’m curious about the results too.

I suggest adding mandatory fields for City, Province/State, and Country so that you can easily search and sort by region. The two entries I just sent were from Toronto, ON Canada.

Also you copied the notes (“It doesn’t have to be a eulogy…”) from the second last question to the last question. Just a formatting thing.

r.

____________________
rachel young
rac…@camaraderie.ca

Find us in person:

Camaraderie
102 Adelaide St E 2nd Floor
Toronto, ON M5C 1K9

(647) 861-4350

Find us online:
Website/blog and Newsletter

Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn

*Be in business for yourself, not by yourself! *

Continue the conversations you started on May 27

at FLCTO2 by joining the LinkedIn group.

*Are you a coworking commitmentphobe? *

Try the Coworking Toronto Passport Program

for a day pass to seven spaces for one price.

On 18 September 2012 22:46, Alex Hillman [email protected] wrote:

Thanks Chris. Great idea on opening up the closure dates to the future. I don’t expect to close the form so we can continue to collect data over time.

I’ve removed the “required” part of the date fields to allow for more flexible entry and updated the intro.

More suggestions and sharing welcome :slight_smile:

-Alex

/ah

indyhall.org

coworking in philadelphia

build amazing communities: masterclass.indyhall.org

On Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at 10:40 PM, Chris DiFonzo wrote:

Alex -

Props for starting this thread. I think the information will be valuable and hopefully help some current owner/operators succeed in spite of adversity.

I think you will get more responses, and perhaps salvage more existing cases, if you include owners/spaces that fear or outright anticipate failure in the next 12 months.

Btw, If you like we will tweet survey tomorrow.

Best,

Chris

On Sep 18, 2012, at 10:14 PM, Alex Hillman [email protected] wrote:

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:

https://indyhall.wufoo.com/forms/coworking-space-closings/

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 :slight_smile:

Thanks y’all.

-Alex

/ah

indyhall.org

coworking in philadelphia

build amazing communities: masterclass.indyhall.org

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

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We haven’t looked at coworking facility failure rates lately. When we last looked, back in 2010, the failure rate seemed to be around 30%-40% within 2-3 years of opening. This is higher than the average failure rate for small businesses, but not by much.

I’ll hunt around a bit and see if we can easily update these numbers.

I don’t know if my information would be of use to you but I do thank you for starting this topic. I opened a “business center”/internet cafe’ back in November of 2012. I had previously worked in retail as an operations manager and saw a need for this through many inquiries received at my work. Most of us know that internet cafe’s were pretty much antiquity by the year 2000 but in the city I lived in, it was something new even in 2012. In October of 2013, I decided to transition into a coworking space to be part of the times. Here it is a year later and I’m still struggling. Despite my attempts to get people into my space by sponsoring meet up space, host a variety of classes, etc., it seems people here don’t get the concept. In the couple of years I’ve been running this business, I’ve come across only four people who know what “coworking” is! I’ve had to “flavor” a lot of my social media posts with educational bits: what is coworking? how coworking works, etc. When I explain the concept, the light bulb goes off in their heads and they get it. It seems they’re just not familiar with the word “coworking”. I’m curious to know if anyone else has run into this dilemma.

···

On Tuesday, September 18, 2012 8:14:37 PM UTC-6, Alex Hillman wrote:

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:

https://indyhall.wufoo.com/forms/coworking-space-closings/

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 :slight_smile:

Thanks y’all.

-Alex

/ah

indyhall.org

coworking in philadelphia

build amazing communities: masterclass.indyhall.org

I operated for nearly 3-4 years before more than 20% of the people knew the concept, “coworking”.
Go back to your business plan/model, and communicate the essence of that. If it can’t be explained so simply in 1-2 sentences or that others can reiterate for you, then it isn’t simple and compelling enough.

Also, have you tried to introducing member or visitors to others? Have you “brokered” - so to speak - any collaborative opportunities? Pay it forward and others will appreciate your efforts…and your space.
JEROME CHANG

WEST: Santa Monica
1450 2nd Street (@Broadway) | Santa Monica CA 90401
ph: (310) 526-2255

CENTRAL: Mid-Wilshire
5405 Wilshire Blvd (2 blocks west of La Brea) | Los Angeles CA 90036
ph: (323) 330-9505

EAST: Downtown
529 S. Broadway, Suite 4000 (@Pershing Square) | Los Angeles CA 90013
ph: (213) 550-2235




···

On Jan 4, 2015, at 6:58 PM, M.E. Ralph [email protected] wrote:

I don’t know if my information would be of use to you but I do thank you for starting this topic. I opened a “business center”/internet cafe’ back in November of 2012. I had previously worked in retail as an operations manager and saw a need for this through many inquiries received at my work. Most of us know that internet cafe’s were pretty much antiquity by the year 2000 but in the city I lived in, it was something new even in 2012. In October of 2013, I decided to transition into a coworking space to be part of the times. Here it is a year later and I’m still struggling. Despite my attempts to get people into my space by sponsoring meet up space, host a variety of classes, etc., it seems people here don’t get the concept. In the couple of years I’ve been running this business, I’ve come across only four people who know what “coworking” is! I’ve had to “flavor” a lot of my social media posts with educational bits: what is coworking? how coworking works, etc. When I explain the concept, the light bulb goes off in their heads and they get it. It seems they’re just not familiar with the word “coworking”. I’m curious to know if anyone else has run into this dilemma.

On Tuesday, September 18, 2012 8:14:37 PM UTC-6, Alex Hillman wrote:

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:

https://indyhall.wufoo.com/forms/coworking-space-closings/

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 :slight_smile:

Thanks y’all.

-Alex

/ah

indyhall.org

coworking in philadelphia

build amazing communities: masterclass.indyhall.org

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected].

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Hey Alex and Others,

Long time lurker, first time poster :slight_smile: I started Platform 53, a coworking space in Cincinnati, OH/Northern Kentucky this past September, so still really fresh, but have been doing research and pop-up coworking events around the region since 2012, hence the long-time lurking…

I just ran across this conversation thread and found it fascinating. I know most of the collection was done a few years ago and it didn’t sound like it was as helpful as hoped, but sounds like there’s still a lot of interest around it. I think understanding this topic is extremely important. I’m a market researcher by trade (both qual and quant), so if there’s a passion for picking back up the effort or digging into other coworking questions, let me know–I’d be happy to help and ready to start being more active in the broader coworking community.

Best,

Stacy Kessler

Co-Founder & Chief Visionary Officer

Platform 53

PS. Thanks for all you do for the coworking community, Alex. Love your dedication to having open conversations about coworking through this Google Group and elsewhere. Really refreshing to be a part of a collaborative industry after coming from the cut-throat corporate world.

···

Hey Stacey, welcome to the discussion! :slight_smile:

Hit me up off list, I’ll catch you up on what I’ve found so far and some leads that might be worth following. I agree that there’s a ton of value in better understanding the patterns in the mistakes made and problems encountered.

-Alex

···

The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Join the list: http://coworkingweekly.com

Listen to the podcast: http://listen.coworkingweekly.com

On Mon, Jan 5, 2015 at 2:36 PM, Stacy Kessler [email protected] wrote:

Hey Alex and Others,

Long time lurker, first time poster :slight_smile: I started Platform 53, a coworking space in Cincinnati, OH/Northern Kentucky this past September, so still really fresh, but have been doing research and pop-up coworking events around the region since 2012, hence the long-time lurking…

I just ran across this conversation thread and found it fascinating. I know most of the collection was done a few years ago and it didn’t sound like it was as helpful as hoped, but sounds like there’s still a lot of interest around it. I think understanding this topic is extremely important. I’m a market researcher by trade (both qual and quant), so if there’s a passion for picking back up the effort or digging into other coworking questions, let me know–I’d be happy to help and ready to start being more active in the broader coworking community.

Best,

Stacy Kessler

Co-Founder & Chief Visionary Officer

Platform 53

PS. Thanks for all you do for the coworking community, Alex. Love your dedication to having open conversations about coworking through this Google Group and elsewhere. Really refreshing to be a part of a collaborative industry after coming from the cut-throat corporate world.

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected].

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Hi Alex, Stacy & Others,

Stumbled upon this discussion thread while researching coworking. I recently started a coworking space called ‘Indieloft’ in Nagpur (India) and looking to promote it locally and build a strong community.

It’d be really interesting to understand why some of the other coworking spaces before us failed while we think we can make a go of it. I can already see how a coworking space might struggle if it doesn’t have a core group of startups/entrepreneurs/freelancers who are engaging and collaborating on a regular basis. What were some of the other reasons?

Really appreciate what you guys are doing to make this phenomenon successful globally.

Cheers,

Shailesh

/[email protected]//@indieloft//www.facebook.com/indieloft//

···

On Tuesday, 6 January 2015 10:18:29 UTC+5:30, Alex Hillman wrote:

Hey Stacey, welcome to the discussion! :slight_smile:

Hit me up off list, I’ll catch you up on what I’ve found so far and some leads that might be worth following. I agree that there’s a ton of value in better understanding the patterns in the mistakes made and problems encountered.

-Alex


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Join the list: http://coworkingweekly.com

Listen to the podcast: http://listen.coworkingweekly.com

On Mon, Jan 5, 2015 at 2:36 PM, Stacy Kessler [email protected] wrote:

Hey Alex and Others,

Long time lurker, first time poster :slight_smile: I started Platform 53, a coworking space in Cincinnati, OH/Northern Kentucky this past September, so still really fresh, but have been doing research and pop-up coworking events around the region since 2012, hence the long-time lurking…

I just ran across this conversation thread and found it fascinating. I know most of the collection was done a few years ago and it didn’t sound like it was as helpful as hoped, but sounds like there’s still a lot of interest around it. I think understanding this topic is extremely important. I’m a market researcher by trade (both qual and quant), so if there’s a passion for picking back up the effort or digging into other coworking questions, let me know–I’d be happy to help and ready to start being more active in the broader coworking community.

Best,

Stacy Kessler

Co-Founder & Chief Visionary Officer

Platform 53

PS. Thanks for all you do for the coworking community, Alex. Love your dedication to having open conversations about coworking through this Google Group and elsewhere. Really refreshing to be a part of a collaborative industry after coming from the cut-throat corporate world.

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected].

For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.

Sorry for being late in this conversation. I just wanted to add a few types/subtypes:
2.1 unsustainable but with unlimited funds (usually connected with some sort of govt initiative).

5 - coworking spaces as feeders for real estate. These are spaces that will never be sustainable, but the owner of the building doesn’t care because the owner is just trying to get these companies to grow to get an “actual” office.

···

On Sun, Jan 4, 2015 at 3:42 PM, Alex Hillman [email protected] wrote:

Turns out that surveys are terrible for collecting this kind of information :slight_smile: I’ve had to do a lot of more hands on work to find real, valuable information.

I’ve used some of my findings to help fuel other articles, like this one in the Philadelphia Biz Journal (I pubilished the full interview to suppliment the piece): http://dangerouslyawesome.com/2014/07/behind-the-scenes-of-a-front-page-interview-coworking-any-old-space-wont-do/

The issue is that demand for space is a red herring for success in coworking, and worse, it’s a magnet for opportunism.

Take a look at every corner of the “sharing economy”…and you’ll find the same thing. Utopian sharing quickly devolves into mass exodus. There’s a bigger problem in doing the research, though…and that’s collecting information from founders/leaders.

Founders and leaders of failed spaces (generally) won’t talk, and when they do, it’s platitudes or outright lies. Because let’s be honest, nobody likes facing their failures. There are, of course, a couple of exceptions and they’ve written about their experiences here on the Google Group.

The best sources of insight have been former members and former staff. The problem is that THEY generally don’t respond well to being approached out of the blue (I’ve learned first hand).

We see that coworking spaces are opening at accelerating rates, but what’s not as obvious is that the vast majority of them are dealing with high turnover and/or burn rates that make their business model completely unsustainable. Because of the nature of these businesses, it’s very hard to see the effects of these problems until “reality” sets in about 2 years after the start.

There’s clues before then (a mix of highly visible ones, and others that are much more subtle), but any coworking space younger than 2 years old really should be focusing on getting GREAT at one thing: knowing their members.

We’re going to see a lot more closings in the near future. I’d say that most coworking spaces open today fall into one of four categories:

1- they’re generally unsustainable, and will die within 2 years.

2 - they’re generally unsustainable, but somebody is pumping cash into them to extend the 2 year life expectancy. Some will right the ship, but many will not before the cash dries up.

3 - they’re growing sustainably

4 - they’re growing unsustainably

I’d say that 80%+ of coworking spaces I encounter fall into unsustainable categories 1 and 2. ~18% (maybe a bit less) are safely in category 3, and less than 2% in category 4.

-Alex


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Join the list: http://coworkingweekly.com

Listen to the podcast: http://listen.coworkingweekly.com

On Sat, Jan 3, 2015 at 3:32 AM, Farhan Abbasi [email protected] wrote:

Hi Alex,

Glad you did this survey in 2012. Any chance you still have the results?

Farhan
On Wednesday, 19 September 2012 09:19:57 UTC-4, Alex Hillman wrote:

Excellent suggestion on location data, and the little formatting fix. On their way.

I’ve got a dozen or so submissions overnight. Keep 'em coming people.


/ah
indyhall.org
coworking in philadelphia

On Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 8:45 AM, rachel young wrote:

Hi,

Thanks for starting this, Alex. I’m curious about the results too.

I suggest adding mandatory fields for City, Province/State, and Country so that you can easily search and sort by region. The two entries I just sent were from Toronto, ON Canada.

Also you copied the notes (“It doesn’t have to be a eulogy…”) from the second last question to the last question. Just a formatting thing.

r.

____________________
rachel young
rac…@camaraderie.ca

Find us in person:

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(647) 861-4350

Find us online:
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*Be in business for yourself, not by yourself! *

Continue the conversations you started on May 27

at FLCTO2 by joining the LinkedIn group.

*Are you a coworking commitmentphobe? *

Try the Coworking Toronto Passport Program

for a day pass to seven spaces for one price.

On 18 September 2012 22:46, Alex Hillman [email protected] wrote:

Thanks Chris. Great idea on opening up the closure dates to the future. I don’t expect to close the form so we can continue to collect data over time.

I’ve removed the “required” part of the date fields to allow for more flexible entry and updated the intro.

More suggestions and sharing welcome :slight_smile:

-Alex

/ah

indyhall.org

coworking in philadelphia

build amazing communities: masterclass.indyhall.org

On Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at 10:40 PM, Chris DiFonzo wrote:

Alex -

Props for starting this thread. I think the information will be valuable and hopefully help some current owner/operators succeed in spite of adversity.

I think you will get more responses, and perhaps salvage more existing cases, if you include owners/spaces that fear or outright anticipate failure in the next 12 months.

Btw, If you like we will tweet survey tomorrow.

Best,

Chris

On Sep 18, 2012, at 10:14 PM, Alex Hillman [email protected] wrote:

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:

https://indyhall.wufoo.com/forms/coworking-space-closings/

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 :slight_smile:

Thanks y’all.

-Alex

/ah

indyhall.org

coworking in philadelphia

build amazing communities: masterclass.indyhall.org

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Here’s an incomplete and in-no-particular order of things that I’ve seen kill coworking spaces. Many of them aren’t unique to coworking, but often take unique or different “forms” in the context of coworking.

  • Membership turnover

  • Hiring mistakes

  • Leadership burnout

  • Top-heavy membership

  • Losing a large ‘anchor’ member company

  • Overspending

  • Investor pressure

  • Poor partnerships

  • Over-reliance on sponsors

  • Identity crisis

  • Mismatched audience

  • Landlord disputes

  • Rent increases

I know for a fact there are others that I’m not thinking of off the top of my head!

-Alex

···

The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Join the list: http://coworkingweekly.com

Listen to the podcast: http://listen.coworkingweekly.com

On Sat, Jan 10, 2015 at 11:31 PM, Shailesh Deshpande [email protected] wrote:

Hi Alex, Stacy & Others,

Stumbled upon this discussion thread while researching coworking. I recently started a coworking space called ‘Indieloft’ in Nagpur (India) and looking to promote it locally and build a strong community.

It’d be really interesting to understand why some of the other coworking spaces before us failed while we think we can make a go of it. I can already see how a coworking space might struggle if it doesn’t have a core group of startups/entrepreneurs/freelancers who are engaging and collaborating on a regular basis. What were some of the other reasons?

Really appreciate what you guys are doing to make this phenomenon successful globally.

Cheers,

Shailesh

/[email protected]//@indieloft//www.facebook.com/indieloft//

On Tuesday, 6 January 2015 10:18:29 UTC+5:30, Alex Hillman wrote:

Hey Stacey, welcome to the discussion! :slight_smile:

Hit me up off list, I’ll catch you up on what I’ve found so far and some leads that might be worth following. I agree that there’s a ton of value in better understanding the patterns in the mistakes made and problems encountered.

-Alex


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Join the list: http://coworkingweekly.com

Listen to the podcast: http://listen.coworkingweekly.com

On Mon, Jan 5, 2015 at 2:36 PM, Stacy Kessler [email protected] wrote:

Hey Alex and Others,

Long time lurker, first time poster :slight_smile: I started Platform 53, a coworking space in Cincinnati, OH/Northern Kentucky this past September, so still really fresh, but have been doing research and pop-up coworking events around the region since 2012, hence the long-time lurking…

I just ran across this conversation thread and found it fascinating. I know most of the collection was done a few years ago and it didn’t sound like it was as helpful as hoped, but sounds like there’s still a lot of interest around it. I think understanding this topic is extremely important. I’m a market researcher by trade (both qual and quant), so if there’s a passion for picking back up the effort or digging into other coworking questions, let me know–I’d be happy to help and ready to start being more active in the broader coworking community.

Best,

Stacy Kessler

Co-Founder & Chief Visionary Officer

Platform 53

PS. Thanks for all you do for the coworking community, Alex. Love your dedication to having open conversations about coworking through this Google Group and elsewhere. Really refreshing to be a part of a collaborative industry after coming from the cut-throat corporate world.

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


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Hi Alex,

This all makes sense. But I am not quite sure what is meant by “Top-heavy membership”. Can you elaborate?

···

On Mon, Jan 12, 2015 at 1:54 PM, Alex Hillman [email protected] wrote:

Here’s an incomplete and in-no-particular order of things that I’ve seen kill coworking spaces. Many of them aren’t unique to coworking, but often take unique or different “forms” in the context of coworking.

  • Membership turnover
  • Hiring mistakes
  • Leadership burnout
  • Top-heavy membership
  • Losing a large ‘anchor’ member company
  • Overspending
  • Investor pressure
  • Poor partnerships
  • Over-reliance on sponsors
  • Identity crisis
  • Mismatched audience
  • Landlord disputes
  • Rent increases

I know for a fact there are others that I’m not thinking of off the top of my head!

-Alex


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Join the list: http://coworkingweekly.com

Listen to the podcast: http://listen.coworkingweekly.com

On Sat, Jan 10, 2015 at 11:31 PM, Shailesh Deshpande [email protected] wrote:

Hi Alex, Stacy & Others,

Stumbled upon this discussion thread while researching coworking. I recently started a coworking space called ‘Indieloft’ in Nagpur (India) and looking to promote it locally and build a strong community.

It’d be really interesting to understand why some of the other coworking spaces before us failed while we think we can make a go of it. I can already see how a coworking space might struggle if it doesn’t have a core group of startups/entrepreneurs/freelancers who are engaging and collaborating on a regular basis. What were some of the other reasons?

Really appreciate what you guys are doing to make this phenomenon successful globally.

Cheers,

Shailesh

/[email protected]//@indieloft//www.facebook.com/indieloft//

On Tuesday, 6 January 2015 10:18:29 UTC+5:30, Alex Hillman wrote:

Hey Stacey, welcome to the discussion! :slight_smile:

Hit me up off list, I’ll catch you up on what I’ve found so far and some leads that might be worth following. I agree that there’s a ton of value in better understanding the patterns in the mistakes made and problems encountered.

-Alex


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Join the list: http://coworkingweekly.com

Listen to the podcast: http://listen.coworkingweekly.com

On Mon, Jan 5, 2015 at 2:36 PM, Stacy Kessler [email protected] wrote:

Hey Alex and Others,

Long time lurker, first time poster :slight_smile: I started Platform 53, a coworking space in Cincinnati, OH/Northern Kentucky this past September, so still really fresh, but have been doing research and pop-up coworking events around the region since 2012, hence the long-time lurking…

I just ran across this conversation thread and found it fascinating. I know most of the collection was done a few years ago and it didn’t sound like it was as helpful as hoped, but sounds like there’s still a lot of interest around it. I think understanding this topic is extremely important. I’m a market researcher by trade (both qual and quant), so if there’s a passion for picking back up the effort or digging into other coworking questions, let me know–I’d be happy to help and ready to start being more active in the broader coworking community.

Best,

Stacy Kessler

Co-Founder & Chief Visionary Officer

Platform 53

PS. Thanks for all you do for the coworking community, Alex. Love your dedication to having open conversations about coworking through this Google Group and elsewhere. Really refreshing to be a part of a collaborative industry after coming from the cut-throat corporate world.

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

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twb
member, Workantile
@twbrandt

Too many full time members, not enough flex (or some variation on flex).

···

On Mon, Jan 12, 2015 at 1:54 PM, Alex Hillman [email protected] wrote:

Here’s an incomplete and in-no-particular order of things that I’ve seen kill coworking spaces. Many of them aren’t unique to coworking, but often take unique or different “forms” in the context of coworking.

  • Membership turnover
  • Hiring mistakes
  • Leadership burnout
  • Top-heavy membership
  • Losing a large ‘anchor’ member company
  • Overspending
  • Investor pressure
  • Poor partnerships
  • Over-reliance on sponsors
  • Identity crisis
  • Mismatched audience
  • Landlord disputes
  • Rent increases

I know for a fact there are others that I’m not thinking of off the top of my head!

-Alex


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Join the list: http://coworkingweekly.com

Listen to the podcast: http://listen.coworkingweekly.com

On Sat, Jan 10, 2015 at 11:31 PM, Shailesh Deshpande [email protected] wrote:

Hi Alex, Stacy & Others,

Stumbled upon this discussion thread while researching coworking. I recently started a coworking space called ‘Indieloft’ in Nagpur (India) and looking to promote it locally and build a strong community.

It’d be really interesting to understand why some of the other coworking spaces before us failed while we think we can make a go of it. I can already see how a coworking space might struggle if it doesn’t have a core group of startups/entrepreneurs/freelancers who are engaging and collaborating on a regular basis. What were some of the other reasons?

Really appreciate what you guys are doing to make this phenomenon successful globally.

Cheers,

Shailesh

/[email protected]//@indieloft//www.facebook.com/indieloft//

On Tuesday, 6 January 2015 10:18:29 UTC+5:30, Alex Hillman wrote:

Hey Stacey, welcome to the discussion! :slight_smile:

Hit me up off list, I’ll catch you up on what I’ve found so far and some leads that might be worth following. I agree that there’s a ton of value in better understanding the patterns in the mistakes made and problems encountered.

-Alex


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Join the list: http://coworkingweekly.com

Listen to the podcast: http://listen.coworkingweekly.com

On Mon, Jan 5, 2015 at 2:36 PM, Stacy Kessler [email protected] wrote:

Hey Alex and Others,

Long time lurker, first time poster :slight_smile: I started Platform 53, a coworking space in Cincinnati, OH/Northern Kentucky this past September, so still really fresh, but have been doing research and pop-up coworking events around the region since 2012, hence the long-time lurking…

I just ran across this conversation thread and found it fascinating. I know most of the collection was done a few years ago and it didn’t sound like it was as helpful as hoped, but sounds like there’s still a lot of interest around it. I think understanding this topic is extremely important. I’m a market researcher by trade (both qual and quant), so if there’s a passion for picking back up the effort or digging into other coworking questions, let me know–I’d be happy to help and ready to start being more active in the broader coworking community.

Best,

Stacy Kessler

Co-Founder & Chief Visionary Officer

Platform 53

PS. Thanks for all you do for the coworking community, Alex. Love your dedication to having open conversations about coworking through this Google Group and elsewhere. Really refreshing to be a part of a collaborative industry after coming from the cut-throat corporate world.

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

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twb
member, Workantile
@twbrandt

Good list Alex. I would add poor/non-existent succession plan for leadership as well. Have seen a few spaces in our area that start to falter when the original founder/leader decides to step away without someone of equal passion ready to step in to carry the baton.

Joel Bennett

Veel Hoeden Coworking

···

On Mon, Jan 12, 2015 at 12:54 PM, Alex Hillman [email protected] wrote:

Here’s an incomplete and in-no-particular order of things that I’ve seen kill coworking spaces. Many of them aren’t unique to coworking, but often take unique or different “forms” in the context of coworking.

  • Membership turnover
  • Hiring mistakes
  • Leadership burnout
  • Top-heavy membership
  • Losing a large ‘anchor’ member company
  • Overspending
  • Investor pressure
  • Poor partnerships
  • Over-reliance on sponsors
  • Identity crisis
  • Mismatched audience
  • Landlord disputes
  • Rent increases

I know for a fact there are others that I’m not thinking of off the top of my head!

-Alex


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Join the list: http://coworkingweekly.com

Listen to the podcast: http://listen.coworkingweekly.com

On Sat, Jan 10, 2015 at 11:31 PM, Shailesh Deshpande [email protected] wrote:

Hi Alex, Stacy & Others,

Stumbled upon this discussion thread while researching coworking. I recently started a coworking space called ‘Indieloft’ in Nagpur (India) and looking to promote it locally and build a strong community.

It’d be really interesting to understand why some of the other coworking spaces before us failed while we think we can make a go of it. I can already see how a coworking space might struggle if it doesn’t have a core group of startups/entrepreneurs/freelancers who are engaging and collaborating on a regular basis. What were some of the other reasons?

Really appreciate what you guys are doing to make this phenomenon successful globally.

Cheers,

Shailesh

/[email protected]//@indieloft//www.facebook.com/indieloft//

On Tuesday, 6 January 2015 10:18:29 UTC+5:30, Alex Hillman wrote:

Hey Stacey, welcome to the discussion! :slight_smile:

Hit me up off list, I’ll catch you up on what I’ve found so far and some leads that might be worth following. I agree that there’s a ton of value in better understanding the patterns in the mistakes made and problems encountered.

-Alex


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Join the list: http://coworkingweekly.com

Listen to the podcast: http://listen.coworkingweekly.com

On Mon, Jan 5, 2015 at 2:36 PM, Stacy Kessler [email protected] wrote:

Hey Alex and Others,

Long time lurker, first time poster :slight_smile: I started Platform 53, a coworking space in Cincinnati, OH/Northern Kentucky this past September, so still really fresh, but have been doing research and pop-up coworking events around the region since 2012, hence the long-time lurking…

I just ran across this conversation thread and found it fascinating. I know most of the collection was done a few years ago and it didn’t sound like it was as helpful as hoped, but sounds like there’s still a lot of interest around it. I think understanding this topic is extremely important. I’m a market researcher by trade (both qual and quant), so if there’s a passion for picking back up the effort or digging into other coworking questions, let me know–I’d be happy to help and ready to start being more active in the broader coworking community.

Best,

Stacy Kessler

Co-Founder & Chief Visionary Officer

Platform 53

PS. Thanks for all you do for the coworking community, Alex. Love your dedication to having open conversations about coworking through this Google Group and elsewhere. Really refreshing to be a part of a collaborative industry after coming from the cut-throat corporate world.

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected].

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Yeah I agree Joel. I counted that under “leadership burnout”, but it definitely should be a separate bullet on the list.

It’s something I see every day in smaller ways too. The only thing worse than failure is being trapped by your own success :slight_smile:

-Alex

···

On Mon, Jan 12, 2015 at 12:54 PM, Alex Hillman [email protected] wrote:

Here’s an incomplete and in-no-particular order of things that I’ve seen kill coworking spaces. Many of them aren’t unique to coworking, but often take unique or different “forms” in the context of coworking.

  • Membership turnover
  • Hiring mistakes
  • Leadership burnout
  • Top-heavy membership
  • Losing a large ‘anchor’ member company
  • Overspending
  • Investor pressure
  • Poor partnerships
  • Over-reliance on sponsors
  • Identity crisis
  • Mismatched audience
  • Landlord disputes
  • Rent increases

I know for a fact there are others that I’m not thinking of off the top of my head!

-Alex


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Join the list: http://coworkingweekly.com

Listen to the podcast: http://listen.coworkingweekly.com

On Sat, Jan 10, 2015 at 11:31 PM, Shailesh Deshpande [email protected] wrote:

Hi Alex, Stacy & Others,

Stumbled upon this discussion thread while researching coworking. I recently started a coworking space called ‘Indieloft’ in Nagpur (India) and looking to promote it locally and build a strong community.

It’d be really interesting to understand why some of the other coworking spaces before us failed while we think we can make a go of it. I can already see how a coworking space might struggle if it doesn’t have a core group of startups/entrepreneurs/freelancers who are engaging and collaborating on a regular basis. What were some of the other reasons?

Really appreciate what you guys are doing to make this phenomenon successful globally.

Cheers,

Shailesh

/[email protected]//@indieloft//www.facebook.com/indieloft//

On Tuesday, 6 January 2015 10:18:29 UTC+5:30, Alex Hillman wrote:

Hey Stacey, welcome to the discussion! :slight_smile:

Hit me up off list, I’ll catch you up on what I’ve found so far and some leads that might be worth following. I agree that there’s a ton of value in better understanding the patterns in the mistakes made and problems encountered.

-Alex


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Join the list: http://coworkingweekly.com

Listen to the podcast: http://listen.coworkingweekly.com

On Mon, Jan 5, 2015 at 2:36 PM, Stacy Kessler [email protected] wrote:

Hey Alex and Others,

Long time lurker, first time poster :slight_smile: I started Platform 53, a coworking space in Cincinnati, OH/Northern Kentucky this past September, so still really fresh, but have been doing research and pop-up coworking events around the region since 2012, hence the long-time lurking…

I just ran across this conversation thread and found it fascinating. I know most of the collection was done a few years ago and it didn’t sound like it was as helpful as hoped, but sounds like there’s still a lot of interest around it. I think understanding this topic is extremely important. I’m a market researcher by trade (both qual and quant), so if there’s a passion for picking back up the effort or digging into other coworking questions, let me know–I’d be happy to help and ready to start being more active in the broader coworking community.

Best,

Stacy Kessler

Co-Founder & Chief Visionary Officer

Platform 53

PS. Thanks for all you do for the coworking community, Alex. Love your dedication to having open conversations about coworking through this Google Group and elsewhere. Really refreshing to be a part of a collaborative industry after coming from the cut-throat corporate world.

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


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Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


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Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


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