I find Benjamin’s definition of a poorly run coworking space to be interesting.
While I agree that a poorly run space that creates a shitty first impression will likely lead to a drop-off in interest, I disagree with such a narrow definition focusing on physical appearances.
I’ve been to some very dirty and disorganized spaces and loved them because of the people making a mess inside them. I’ve also been to some disturbingly clean environments where the sterility is haunting because no one is in there to make a mess in the first place. Dallas Fort Work won’t win any awards for decor or cleanliness, but that doesn’t stop the members from inviting in guests who come cowork for a day. Almost everyone comes back or checks out another coworking space following a recommendation.
I think what’s more relevant is the human touch points a prospective coworker comes across and whether or not they feel like they resonate with the movement. If they feel like they’re joining the future of work today, then it doesn’t really matter what the space they’re in looks like. This is where the coworking core values come into play.
If the human touch point embraces community, collaboration, openness, accessibility, and sustainability, then the prospective coworker should quickly understand that the space they’re in is but one version of a much larger thing. Once they get that, your coworking space, the coworking space down the street, the other 20 in your city, are all but drops in the larger bucket of coworking. It’s actually really helpful to use your local “competition” and your attitude toward them as evidence of movement > any individual space.
If you’re able to successfully communicate that larger message to a prospective coworker, they’ll realize that there are currently over 2,000 versions of this shared vision. At that point, they would be very foolish to turn away from coworking based off one data point, no matter if the space looks like it was put together for $5 or $5 million.
So in short, they’re only getting it wrong if they fail to mention the “competition”.
On Friday, January 17, 2014 3:21:55 PM UTC-6, Alex Hillman wrote:
The founder of one of my favorite breweries, Dogfish Head, did this awesome video about his philosophy about collaboration and it reminded me a lot of this community:
Enjoy, have a great weekend!
coworking in philadelphia