It used to be the norm to spend the hours between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at your company’s office. It also used to be the norm that you’d spend years of your life doing the same thing, day in and day out, all at the same place. Not true anymore. In cities across the world, members of the so-called creative class have left the paradigm. Many of these entrepreneurial, free-spirited, and perhaps more motivated people can now be found tapping out their latest business plans in corner cafés and coffee shops. Believe it or not, many of today’s most popular mobile apps, Facebook games, and tech innovations either start or are entirely created over a cup of local coffeehouse java, indie music blaring over the speakers in the background.
But even the café crowd is behind the times now. Shared work spaces have started to catch on. They combine the traditional office setting with a coffeehouse feel. Some even offer free lunches (a must-have for early-age start-ups).
The concept is simple: tech entrepreneurs (and there are many) need a place to work that is somewhat professional (perhaps they’re interviewing or conducting meetings with VCs) but also an environment that feels a little like working from home or your friend’s spare basement room. Combine those needs with a desire for collaboration and you’ve got a co-working space. Some offer start-ups their own desk or cubicle, some offer space with desks to be used first-come, first-served. All charge a low-commitment monthly fee.
Is there one in your City? Here’s a short list I’ve found so far:
- Qwirk Columbus Corp. (Columbus, Ohio)
- PariSoma (San Francisco)
- Office Nomads LLC (Seattle)
- Change You Want to See Gallery (Brooklyn, NY)
- Dogpatch Labs (San Francisco, New York, Cambridge)
- Preferred Offices LLC (McLean, Virginia)
- Sandbox Suites (San Francisco)
- BlankSpaces (Los Angeles)
- Citizen Space (San Francisco)