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  1. #1
    Senior Member RDesignista's Avatar
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    Hi everyone,

    I wanted to share my experience with you and to possibly encourage you to co-work or join your local startup community. Been only there 3 days, but so far, so good!

    What is coworking?
    A coworking office is a communal place for freelancers to work at. This provides an alternative to working at home (too distracting) or renting an office (too expensive). One great thing is that you are able to bring clients here and meet in a professional place, rather than at your home or a Starbucks.

    Who works at the coworking office?
    As far as I know, anyone can purchase membership - it's like a gym. But it seems that it's mostly younger, web developers here. A lot of them are into startups. The setting favors freelancers as well.

    The benefits?
    Productivity, community, and access to utilities. I'm so much more productive here than at home. Less distractions. And it's encouraging to work hard when you see other dudes pounding at their keyboards nonstop. The community is also great. Although I'm a relative noob at what I do, I understand what people are doing. And furthermore, people are more than willing to share what they're working on. It's a great community. People that work on web stuff have a great community already online, and this coworking spot seems to be like a live extension of that. Finally, they have electricity, a bathroom, a refrigerator, a big desk (those lil coffee shop tables suck), a sink, a Skype room, a conference room.

    The Startup Tie-In
    I know this is a coworking spot, but somehow, it's tied in also as the local startup spot. I met a couple of people from out-of-state that are dropping in to work on their startups. I suppose that when you're web saavy and you're a freelancer, you will naturally gravitate towards startups. This place also seems to hold startup presentations, startup weekends, and is a collection of brilliant minds that are well-versed in web languages.

    How much
    Mine's is general admission for $75/month. No dedicated desk, but I get unlimited usage. I was hesitant to do it at first (I'm such a cheap bastard), but I figured that I would be more productive and that it would give me an opportunity to learn and network with other freelance web dudes like myself... cause I've been basically alone in this since I started. As far as I can see, it's been very well worth it. And don't forget, it's a business expense!

    -R

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  3. #2
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    Awesome write up.

    There's one in Cambridge MA that is $300 a month. It also has beds, showers, exercise equipment and games, free snacks and drinks, and lots of different rooms with different types of desks (from giant bean bags to really nice Herman Miller desks to a treadmill desk).

    My buddy has his office there, and he loves it. He's made a lot of contacts and learned a lot just by being in that space. If I ever did a startup again, that's what I would do.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    The one in my local area ( I know the guy who set it up ), has varying packages available, starting at 75 ... Allows you access during 9-5, use of Internet, group desk area, etc... 150 a month gets you a dedicated space for 9-5 - 7 days a week... 300 a month.. Dedicated office space, 24-7 access.

    I've only been there a couple of times as a guest, but have been impressed with the people that I've met there so far. I've been working from home for so long, but if I ever took on a new startup, I would definitely consider using the facility, if nothing more than to network and get ideas from these guys that are always working on the "something new"...

  5. #4
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Forgive me, Ron, but I'm skeptical.

    My primary problem with this whole idea isn't the cost (although I'm also a cheap bastard)...it's the word "startup". Every time I hear the word "startup" (before this post), it comes from people who start things or think of ideas for things and never get around to finishing them or at least making them something useful. They're a lot like those "creative, entrepreneurial minds" who come up with spaghetti ideas and whenever someone else does the real work and helps the creative mind catch lightning in a bottle, the creative mind takes all the credit. Then again, I also come from an area where the bar for accomplishment is basically on the "no child left behind" level, so maybe that's why I have this viewpoint.

    That, and I'm not personally a big fan of networking. I'd rather keep my "network" small and have a few people that really know their stuff that I can turn to on the rare occasions I need help and vice versa than have 100 contacts who are so into their own stuff that they don't have any interest in looking at the other side of things. If it works for you and you see a real, tangible benefit, hey, more power to you. I've just never found it to be of use, that's all.

    With all that said, what I'd be interested to see is how you feel about the group 6 months to a year from now. You're in a honeymoon phase with it. It's still new to you. You may be seeing a positive simply because it's new. But I'd like to know how you feel at this time next year and I'd like to know what you learned and gained that you don't think you would have otherwise.
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  6. #5
    Senior Member RDesignista's Avatar
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    I think my spot is the first coworking spot in Hawii. Definitely doesn't compare to Cambridge... but then again, we're pretty behind on trends here.

    Well, Game, I'm really just there to try the work environment. Despite everything I mentioned about startups, the place really is just a coworking office to me. I'm just mentioning that there are a lot of startup dudes there. And actually, the ideas I've seen so far are pretty cool. Not to say every single one is going to blow up, but it's obvious there has been a lot of thinking and planning done in between what they have so far and the inception of the idea.

    Still not sure if I'm going for month 2. I hope I can keep a consecutive flow of work coming. Otherwise, I think I'm being so productive that I'd force myself into having nothing to work on.

    -R


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