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What do people look for in a co-working space?

I am looking into coworking spaces and I was hoping I could get some feedback about what makes a good/bad one.

6 Replies

Stephen G. Barr
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Stephen G. Barr Advisor
Independent Snowsports Journalist, USSA Masters Ski Racer, Advisor @ World Pro Ski Tour
I spend a minimum of 9 moths a year on the road travelling about 75k miles a year between Phoenix, Los Angeles, Orange County, SF Bay Area, Las Vegas and even the East Coast (Philly/NY) area and I have gotten pretty adept at being self sufficient and working from my in-car office but I have made a point of seeking out and working a day in just about every coworking locaton that's out there and they are all as different as they can get (excluding the corporate style Regus etc...virtual office locations). I am referring to the one location independant coworking locations. They all have the basic functional componants such as good coffee, wifi, conference room, individual work spaces etc...so that leaves the less tangible things and in those things the variety is across the boards each having their own "vibe" and or specialty. Some notable ones that I've encountered during my travels are:

  • Gangplank - Chandler, AZ - Hands down a tech geek haven. These folks are friendly but speak a language all their own, at least one this hustler is unfamiliar with. They are the Faberge Eggs of Eggheads and the place I'd go to first if I were looking for a technical cofounder!
  • Co-Hoots - Phoenix, AZ- Located just a stone's throw NW of Gangplank but a whole different vibe Co-Hoots is a creative/design hotbed in Downtown Phoenix with a layed back/family vibe of cooperative creativity with a definate "foodie" emphasis. If I needed a new logo designed or landing page built I'd go here.
  • The Beat - Emergency Arts - Located in the heart of #DTLV (Las Vegas) Some might say The Beat "Is" the heart of the downtown Las Vegas startup scene and a funky mix of coffee house, record shop and coworking space. More social space than quiet work space but the place to be in LV if networking is a priority.
  • Work In Progress- Two blocks from The Beat but this combination coworking space/incubator covers all the bases with great mentors with regular office hours, an entrepreneur in residence (hiya George!), daily events and great work spaces and even community dinners in "the garage",
*conference call will continue later*
Matt Jones
1
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Matt Jones Entrepreneur
CEO at Destination:Software
I enjoy Rackspace's because it isn't a Romper Room-frat party mashup like certain others. I want the space to be filled with experienced, grown adults who have scaled production software for large companies. I want a minimum of inspirational talks, or tech talks that amount to beginner's guides. If I hear the word "hackathon" I run the other way. It also has the advantage of providing hosting cost credits, and your tech support is literally upstairs.
Alison Emerick
0
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Alison Emerick Entrepreneur
Owner & President at Ease Living, Occupational Therapist
It depends on your goal. There are some spaces here in Detroit that are very quiet - good for those who just need a place to go and don't want to be chatty. The one I prefer is a real community where people interact and help each other out. It is quiet enough to actually work but not like a library.
Kevin Danaher
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Kevin Danaher Advisor
Co-Founder, Global Exchange & Green Festivals
You may want to check out the Hub in San Francisco and Impact Hub in Oakland, CA. Both are loaded with inspired and inspiring people. The Co-Founders of the Hub in SF, Kevin Jones and Tim Freundlich, are very smart and would probably be willing to share wisdom.
Benjamin Olding
0
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Benjamin Olding Advisor
Co-founder, Board Member at Jana
We were in 2 different co-working spaces when we started & there were only two things I found made one better than the other: 1) location and 2) the other people using the space. Every other perk or annoyance was very secondary to these two things.

If I had to rank location or people, I think people were more important (but do not discount the location).

If I were looking for a new space to work in, I'd try to network into it rather than search for it directly and judge what I saw from a single visit.

I wouldn't worry about their coffee or printing capabilities or the cost (unless it's way too high I guess). These have no impact relative to your ability to get into your office without too much hassle and be surrounded by people you respect who quietly work hard, independently. I wouldn't worry about what people were working on too much.
Ramon Suarez
0
0
Ramon Suarez Entrepreneur
Betacowork Coworking Brussels Founder
They all offer free tryouts. Take advantage of it and test them. The best feedback you will get is from the clients themselves. The most important thing is knowing what you want and then use that to see which is the best fit.
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