What does coworking has in common with the craft brewing movement?

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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bws2R7Jq7Uo

Enjoy, have a great weekend!

-Alex

···

/ah
indyhall.org

coworking in philadelphia

I love this.

My favorite quote: “You’d think of them as our competitors, we consider them brother in arms.”

I constantly struggle to explain this to people about coworking and how the existence of other coworking spaces is always a positive thing.

Excellent share Alex!

···

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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bws2R7Jq7Uo

Enjoy, have a great weekend!

-Alex

/ah
indyhall.org

coworking in philadelphia

I would love to hear from folks on this list as to why they feel new coworking spaces in their vicinity is a good thing, as opposed to a possible threat.

Imagine I was an investor in your space. Would you tell me as an investor there are financial benefits to having a competing space open nearby? How so? Does the market increase? I understand how it may create a hub in your area and thus attract more companies in the future, but what if a competitor opens in a different area of your city but is still a viable alternative for your customers? Is it because there's plenty of demand to go around?

I LOVE the brotherhood we have, but even brothers have rivalries and though it's good to be friendly, sometimes they can impact your financial health - so just want to hear from folks their perspective.

Have any of you been impacted by a competitor negatively or positively?

Farhan

The top competition for coworking spaces isn't other coworking spaces.

The top competition for coworking spaces are:

1) Lack of awareness
2) Complacency

In every city on the planet, there are more people who don't know about
coworking than there are people who are familiar with it *and* seeking
it. A person who needs coworking but doesn't know about coworking is a very
hard person to reach. More coworking spaces in an area means a greater
chance of discovery of the concept, which means a larger potential market.
Good for everybody.

The biggest threat isn't a coworking space across the street, it's the
person who works from home and doesn't know you exist.

There are pretty consistent reports of a region's individual coworking
spaces growing as more spaces open in the area. *To that point, Indy Hall's
growth has only accelerated as more coworking spaces were added to
Philadelphia* (we grow by 10%+ month over month pretty consistently now,
with a pretty low churn rate).

What we've seen is that more and more potential members do their homework,
try out multiple places, and find the community that they enjoy the most.
If someone doesn't enjoy Indy Hall, I hope that there's another coworking
space that they find that they DO enjoy.

Are there cutthroat competitive people out there running spaces?
Absolutely. Are they having an impact on spaces that focus more on the REAL
competition rather than the self-defined "competition"? No. Finding real
data about coworking space failure is VERY hard, but I've done a lot of
private inquiry and have never discovered competition with another
coworking space to be the reason for failure or even stunted growth.

With all of that said, if you're competing on facilities and amenities,
you're participating in a race to the bottom. The challenge that I think
many coworking space founders DON'T do is figure out what makes them
different beyond the desks.

-Alex

···

--

/ah
indyhall.org
coworking in philadelphia

On Sat, Jan 25, 2014 at 9:35 AM, Farhan Abbasi <[email protected]> wrote:

I would love to hear from folks on this list as to why they feel new
coworking spaces in their vicinity is a good thing, as opposed to a
possible threat.

Imagine I was an investor in your space. Would you tell me as an investor
there are financial benefits to having a competing space open nearby? How
so? Does the market increase? I understand how it may create a hub in your
area and thus attract more companies in the future, but what if a
competitor opens in a different area of your city but is still a viable
alternative for your customers? Is it because there's plenty of demand to
go around?

I LOVE the brotherhood we have, but even brothers have rivalries and
though it's good to be friendly, sometimes they can impact your financial
health - so just want to hear from folks their perspective.

Have any of you been impacted by a competitor negatively or positively?

Farhan

--
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Craft Brewing is one of the industries we’ve studied and it does share a lot of attributes with coworking. So does the food truck industry and most other early stage industries we’ve looked at over the past decade.

The common features across these nascent industries is they tend to be much more open, collaboration and cooperative than traditional industries. But we’re starting to see the same attributes becoming more common in the traditional industries.

A great example of the broader shift is the recent move by Square and Intuit to cooperate - at least one level - in the payments space. These two companies had been,and will continue to be, highly competitive with one another. But both realized the benefits of linking Square’s payment system to Intuit’s Quckbooks accounting system.

Even just a few years ago I don’t think I could have pointed to many examples like Intuit and Square. Today there are a lot. I think the rest of the world is starting to catch up with coworking in embracing these concepts.

I also think coworking has had an impact in terms of showing the world alternative ways to work.

So kudos to you guys and gals!

"More coworking spaces in an area means a greater chance of discovery of the concept, which means a larger potential market. Good for everybody."

This, 100%. In the 16 months since we opened our space, I've had a constant struggle keeping my "lizard brain" in check whenever I hear about new coworking options in town. I think it's natural to view other coworking options as competition, but Alex is absolutely right that they're actually allies. I've made a point to try to meet up with managers of other coworking spaces in town, and more often than not we come away from these meetings recognizing that there are different spaces for different needs, and it makes so much more sense to work together to help independents find the space that's right for them (do they need private offices? Land lines? Conference space?) rather than race to the bottom on price or dump money into amenities that are there purely to attract new members.

Another thing to ask yourself is "Where are my new members coming from?" We've had a grand total of one member gained from conversion from a different coworking space. The other 96% of our members had never been in a coworking environment before. There are so many potential members out there, it really doesn't make any sense to worry about "competition" with other spaces.

Andy Soell
The Salt Mines
http://saltmines.us

What I like to explain to others is this: “There are many restaurants next to each other, because everyone needs to eat. So there can be coworking spaces near each other because everyone needs to work.”

In other words, if your assumption is that your coworking space can cater to every demographic and need, you’ll surely fail.

Just focus on what you do.
JEROME CHANG

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

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




···

The top competition for coworking spaces isn’t other coworking spaces.

The top competition for coworking spaces are:

  1. Lack of awareness

  2. Complacency

In every city on the planet, there are more people who don’t know about coworking than there are people who are familiar with it and seeking it. A person who needs coworking but doesn’t know about coworking is a very hard person to reach. More coworking spaces in an area means a greater chance of discovery of the concept, which means a larger potential market. Good for everybody.

The biggest threat isn’t a coworking space across the street, it’s the person who works from home and doesn’t know you exist.

There are pretty consistent reports of a region’s individual coworking spaces growing as more spaces open in the area. To that point, Indy Hall’s growth has only accelerated as more coworking spaces were added to Philadelphia (we grow by 10%+ month over month pretty consistently now, with a pretty low churn rate).

What we’ve seen is that more and more potential members do their homework, try out multiple places, and find the community that they enjoy the most. If someone doesn’t enjoy Indy Hall, I hope that there’s another coworking space that they find that they DO enjoy.

Are there cutthroat competitive people out there running spaces? Absolutely. Are they having an impact on spaces that focus more on the REAL competition rather than the self-defined “competition”? No. Finding real data about coworking space failure is VERY hard, but I’ve done a lot of private inquiry and have never discovered competition with another coworking space to be the reason for failure or even stunted growth.

With all of that said, if you’re competing on facilities and amenities, you’re participating in a race to the bottom. The challenge that I think many coworking space founders DON’T do is figure out what makes them different beyond the desks.

-Alex

/ah
indyhall.org

coworking in philadelphia

On Sat, Jan 25, 2014 at 9:35 AM, Farhan Abbasi [email protected] wrote:

I would love to hear from folks on this list as to why they feel new coworking spaces in their vicinity is a good thing, as opposed to a possible threat.

Imagine I was an investor in your space. Would you tell me as an investor there are financial benefits to having a competing space open nearby? How so? Does the market increase? I understand how it may create a hub in your area and thus attract more companies in the future, but what if a competitor opens in a different area of your city but is still a viable alternative for your customers? Is it because there’s plenty of demand to go around?

I LOVE the brotherhood we have, but even brothers have rivalries and though it’s good to be friendly, sometimes they can impact your financial health - so just want to hear from folks their perspective.

Have any of you been impacted by a competitor negatively or positively?

Farhan

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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I agree with Alex. However, I would add a third item to his list of challenges: 3) Other poorly run co working spaces.

The biggest battle we fight is one of awareness. So, a great Coworking space across the street from yours will only help your business - but a poorly run space (disorganized, dirty, without a clear mission) is the biggest danger of all. If a person has a bad experience in a poorly run Coworking space, not only will they be lost to the "cause" but so will their friends/network as they spread the poison of their bad experience.

This is why I do not hesitate to answer questions from any Coworking space operator who asks for my help. They are only competition if they get it wrong.

Benjamin

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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bws2R7Jq7Uo

Enjoy, have a great weekend!

-Alex

/ah
indyhall.org

coworking in philadelphia

“So in short, they’re only getting it wrong if they fail to mention the “competition”.”

So, so, so well said Oren. Thank you.

-Alex

···


/ah
indyhall.org
betterwork.co

On Mon, Jan 27, 2014 at 8:42 PM, [email protected] [email protected] wrote:

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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bws2R7Jq7Uo

Enjoy, have a great weekend!

-Alex

/ah
indyhall.org

coworking in philadelphia

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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Love the post Alex. BTW, could you share your experience on cohousing, we just purchase a residential property in cincinnati for SoTechie Spaces. It will be our second property there. The first one is commercial. Cheers. Thanks for your commitment to the community.

@Jason_Juliano

Hey Jason - I’m overdue for an update on where our cohousing experiment - it’s been a very interesting couple of years :slight_smile:

I’ll share the update here soon!

-Alex

···

/ah
indyhall.org
coworking in philadelphia

On Thu, Jan 30, 2014 at 10:33 AM, Jason Juliano [email protected] wrote:

Love the post Alex. BTW, could you share your experience on cohousing, we just purchase a residential property in cincinnati for SoTechie Spaces. It will be our second property there. The first one is commercial. Cheers. Thanks for your commitment to the community.

@Jason_Juliano

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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This story goes emphasis on a grander scale what we’ve been able to do with Denver Coworks, our local alliance. We openly work together and keep each other posted about our availability, our intentions and goals in community building, and future plans. Over the last year we have a strong understanding of each other, direct people to the help them find what they’re looking for, and put on events to bring our communities together. It has make each space stronger and certainly built awareness of the movement.

From the public perspective Denver Coworks looks like one organization with a lot of themed spaces focus on building a different communities. This was not intentional but it evolved to appear so because we only included fairly like-minded coworking spaces in a similar way that Dogfish Head collaborates with other like-minded craft brewers. We acknowledge each other, proud of what everyone is doing, and looking for new ways to work together. Most importantly it builds up a level of trust and camraderie between ‘competitors.’

The Colorado Coworking Passport is the most recent example and that started by a discussion of two alliances in Boulder and Denver trying to figure out how we can work together. To keep with the craft brew analogy it’s like buying a twelve pack with twelve different crafts bottles. Keep exploring and you can also come back to your favorite.

I’m loving to see this discussion because i recently failed in opening a coworking space in my hometown and decided to start crafting my own beer after that. Thank you for finding some logical connection between those two :slight_smile:

Having experienced both in a short time I can think of some common ingredients to both business: collaboration, diy culture, global thinking / local action, defying business as usual, having a fulfilling work and having fun!

···

Niva Silva

linkedin / lattes / facebook

2014-01-30 Craig Baute - Creative Density Coworking [email protected]

This story goes emphasis on a grander scale what we’ve been able to do with Denver Coworks, our local alliance. We openly work together and keep each other posted about our availability, our intentions and goals in community building, and future plans. Over the last year we have a strong understanding of each other, direct people to the help them find what they’re looking for, and put on events to bring our communities together. It has make each space stronger and certainly built awareness of the movement.

From the public perspective Denver Coworks looks like one organization with a lot of themed spaces focus on building a different communities. This was not intentional but it evolved to appear so because we only included fairly like-minded coworking spaces in a similar way that Dogfish Head collaborates with other like-minded craft brewers. We acknowledge each other, proud of what everyone is doing, and looking for new ways to work together. Most importantly it builds up a level of trust and camraderie between ‘competitors.’

The Colorado Coworking Passport is the most recent example and that started by a discussion of two alliances in Boulder and Denver trying to figure out how we can work together. To keep with the craft brew analogy it’s like buying a twelve pack with twelve different crafts bottles. Keep exploring and you can also come back to your favorite.

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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