Today marks a big day in coworking history: it’s the 5 year anniversary of coworking!
5 years ago today, Brad Neuberg sparked a movement when he coined the word “coworking” and started Spiral Muse in San Francisco. From the start, coworking was crafted as an open model, and one that required participation in order to succeed. Since Brad’s initial start with Spiral Muse, a community of coworking advocates has grown and flourished across the globe. Spaces have opened – each with their own identity and goals – all connecting back to one another through the open-sourced Coworking Wiki. Theory, practice, and advice has flowed freely at the Coworking Google Group, growing from a small handful of participants to a whopping 2700 voices. Spaces across the globe connect their members by participating in the Coworking Visa Program. And we’ve only just gotten started.
There are more people than I could ever possibly list who have contributed, shared and queried the Coworking Google Group, thus creating the coworking community we now have. They have contributed selflessly, advised wisely, and questioned thoughtfully throughout the years, enabling each of us to strengthen our work in the coworking world.
These folks have not only contributed to the growth and success of coworking overall, but to the growth and success of our coworking space here in Seattle. It has been over three years since the idea of Office Nomads hatched between Jacob Sayles and I. When we first got talking about what it is we wanted to do, it was discovering the term coworking that enabled us to clarify our goals and to feel a sense of belonging in a business venture that had previously felt uncharted. Coworking became our compass. Being able to identify as a coworking space gave us meaning, a platform to launch from, and a community to provide us with the support we needed.
During those early days of building and then opening Office Nomads, the coworking community was our sounding board, our advisers, and most importantly our great friends. There will never be enough words of thanks to each member of the coworking community.
So here’s to you, coworking. We raise our glasses in true salute. Off to another great year!
That right there deserves a starfish high-five.
Well, everyone – it’s been a pretty darned significant week here at Office Nomads, as well as in the coworking world in general. A few exciting things to note:
- The acquisition of coworking.com by the coworking community. The coworking community received a great opportunity this week to collectively purchase the coworking.com domain to utilize as a tool for the coworking community. This has been a truly inspiring experience that both Jacob and I are honored to be a part of. The domain purchase has also kicked-off a continuing conversation on the future of coworking and how the larger community’s needs can be met. Read a nice long post on the matter by Alex Hillman of IndyHall in Philadelphia. See the initial website by visiting http://coworking.com. If you’re into coworking and want to see the overall conversation about the site and what it means for our community, check out the Coworking Google Group and hop into the conversation.
- Great response to our new membership rates! After only two weeks of our new Office Nomads membership rates, we’ve seen 11 new members at one of the new Part-Time rates. Whoa! We’re taking that to mean that y’all dig the new rates, so we’ll keep ‘em around. As always, if you’ve been meaning to come on by and check out what’s happening at Office Nomads, now’s the time to take us up on that free trial day. The office is full and brimming, even on a sunny Seattle Friday!
Jacob and I have also been brainstorming away with how to help coworking grow and thrive in Seattle. If you’d like to join in the conversation, please join us at the next Coworking Seattle meetup on Thursday, February 25 at Indie Ballard.
Have a great weekend everyone. I can’t wait to see what happens next week!!
Thanks to flickr user digicla for use of the starfish photo above under the creative common’s license.
If you’ve ever heard of coworking before, you know that the folks who lead up coworking spaces all around the world are a bunch of folks who like to re-think the way we use space.
Well, fresh from the coworking Google Group is a new string of conversation about the creative reuse of closed pubs throughout the UK. Apparently, pubs in the UK are closing at a rate of nearly 6 per week, begging the question – what happens with these spaces once they are vacated?
Similar conversations are happening all over the world when it comes to commercial real estate – whether it’s pubs, restaurants, or other small businesses, the unfortunate truth is that many small businesses are unable to keep their doors open. Obviously, saving them from closing down in the first place would be ideal, but in the end we will still lose some businesses during this tough economic environment. So what do we do with these empty spaces?
Coworking could be one answer (I know, I’m biased on this one). What if these spaces could be rented out relatively cheaply (to keep at least some minimal income coming in for buildling owners) for workers to fill in? Sharing costs of an office is one of the biggest perks to a coworking space for independents – these spaces could allow for that to happen in a wider variety of places than just traditional office spaces. They could also allow for more neighborhood-based work options for individuals who are able to telecommute instead of commuting traditionally all over the place.
Beyond coworking, crowdsourcing these great spaces could provide a way for a group of independents to salvage and save these spaces from becoming bland fill-in businesses (do we really need another cash advance/payday loan store on our corners?), and enable them to be reflections of the people who live in the neighborhood. Imagine co-owned woodworking shops, art spaces, community kitchens…the options are endless.
What would you do with a beautiful empty space like those photographed on the “Last Orders” photo set on Flickr?
Thanks to Flickr user camies for the use of this photo under the Creative Commons license.