The topic of ‘hot startups’ is something everyone in the tech ecosystem is discussing right now, so we thought the coworking spaces they exist in should also be evaluated. An amazing new infrastructure of coworking has popped up in London, inspiring small companies with new perspectives, ideas, and creative solutions. We wanted to take a look and see how they’re helping the tech ecosystem to thrive.
Coworking spaces are not exclusively for startup companies, they are open to everyone. These trendy new workspaces should bring together entrepreneurs and companies that share the same values in one place. Yes, the core of it is the community. This is the place where all the big C’s happen: Connecting, Creating, Collaborating. There are more or less 75 shared office spaces in London, but how many of them are actually encourage a true coworking environment?
Why did we start daydreaming about coworking spaces?
All this started as a result of someone’s Facebook post a couple of days ago, asking us to come up with some ideas of what a London coworking space should look like. Or not! Great question pal, you answer that! We were all waiting for this for a long time. We love criticising, doh!
What would you want in a Co-Workspace in London?
So what do we want? Uhm… how about a jacuzzi, cocktails, or good books? Now stop it! Seriously?! Let’s focus here on the three C’s: create, connect, collaborate.
Our three rules of the dreamy coworking space
Rule number one: Create. We’re here to build companies, disrupt industries, and tackle big ideas. We need a space that fosters creativity, allowing us the resources we need to be productive, but also the ability to unwind and recharge.
Yoav Farbey of The Startup Magazine said his dream coworking space would “have an in-house barista, like there was at an advertising agency I visited recently, and lots and lots of natural light.” How is that not posh? We don’t judge him, but it’s definitely not that easy to get the barista. But the natural light is just a bless. Luxury or not, it’s something we all want. Because it makes us happy.
Don’t forget about a fast and reliable internet connection, some space to relax, meeting rooms, comfy chairs, a “dining room” or small kitchen, some space to have fun and play some social/video games, a few plants and a colourful design (green and yellow please). We need to stimulate our brains and fancies, and also get a bit of work done. Build us a space that nurtures creativity.
Rule number two: Connect. We want a place with smiling, genuine, friendly staff, ready to help with facilities and community issues. Listen to us and remember our names no matter how difficult it is (or how many we might be or what weird names we might have). Don’t make us feel as if we’re only paying clients. We want to feel we belong to this space. Charm us into not leaving! Connect!
Also, some people are shy and find it difficult to approach others. So organising and promoting social occasions and events it’s going to be so… sparkly.
Stef Lewandowski, Co-Founder at Makeshift shared that his “dream coworking space would have a ‘serendipity accelerator’ right at the center. Something (or someone?) that regularly suggests conversations, points out lucky coincidences and creates opportunities for collaborations with people who are in the room. Coworking spaces are all about bumping-into-ness and the greatest value is in being around your other co-workers and finding areas of shared interest.”
We’re talking here about spaces that can accommodate both early-stage startups as well as the more invested ones. This way, new companies can learn lessons on how to scale from those who have been there, while the more established companies can stay rooted in their foundation of experimentation and hustle. The more perspectives, the better.
How can we start making this happen…
Obviously, this all has to be reflected in the price we’re paying for the membership. But, we’re startup people! We’re scrappy. Sure, we love the free beer and luxury baristas, but those three C’s are the non-negotiables. When it comes to coworking, cultivating a community helps us to do our best work first.