Bringing it All Together – Part 5

It was a dark and stormy night … wait … wrong story. Well, I’m sure it was a dark and stormy night SOMEWHERE in the world, but in Boulder it was crisp and cold outside.

Inside, I was having a conversation with Alyssa that changed my view completely on how to do what we were aiming to do. Before Alyssa and I spoke, the concept of creating a space for coworking had already been flitting around in my mind. What Alyssa said was basically this: “I have a company of 5 people. We work out of coffee shops because renting an office is too expensive. Even thinking about a coworking space is expensive for us when you add up the cost of membership for each employee.”

It started me thinking – how many people had I seen working out of coffee shops in Boulder? I’d certainly been around to a lot of them in the last few months, and they were almost always at 60-80% capacity. But what I immediately realized as Alyssa spoke was that 80% of those people were working! They would have a long-empty cup of coffee next to their laptop and be plugging away at their day to day. Sometimes you’d even see a large stack of papers next to them, occupying almost all of the table space and almost spilling over onto the floor.

I realized that Alyssa wasn’t a unique case. She was the paradigmatic small “nomad” company in Boulder. These companies were part of the reason that Boulder has such a large coffee shop culture.

I also realized that if any of these companies had had the same experience working in a coffee shop that I had, they were itching for something a little better. Something with the same atmosphere as a coffee shop – high energy, distracting but focusing, constantly in flux – yet with better access to comfortable work areas, power outlets, reliable and fast wi-fi, and maybe healthier food that goes beyond baked goods and the occasional sandwich.

Boulder had plenty of work areas, and plenty of coffee shops, but nothing that successfully combined the two into a high energy collaboration space that was both engaging and affordable.

The gears started turning and before I knew it, I had  a specific and complete vision of how our work area would be set up.

To be continued …

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