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Is WeWork valuable besides just being an office space?

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Contemplating different shared spaces, WeWork's talks a lot about their community, but I never hear anything about it besides on their own website. Do others feel there is a sense of community or online space to connect with one another through WeWork? If not, that's fine, I wouldn't expect them to have one like FounderDating but was just wondering since they tout about it so often.


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Eric Levenson
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Eric Levenson Entrepreneur
CEO and Founder at First Call
So I joined WeWork solo after founding my company earlier this year (April). There is something besides offspace for sure, its not amazing but its valuable. Here is my honest take: - There are all sorts of business in there and people are open to chatting about your business so it helps to be a sounding board and you get to bounce ideas off of other startup founders - The downside to this of course is that there are a lot of freelancers in wework so if you are a startup just getting going you can feel like a lot of them are trying to sell you on their service (lawyers, graphic designers, etc.), this was a little over the top at the beginning as I felt like I was being pitched frequently but it died down pretty quickly once they saw i wasnt that gulliable - The network is also valuable for getting early adopters. You can give wework members free stuff and they are always open to testing new products so that helps. For my business i found a group of "secret shoppers" through wework that have been testing my product in the field and making sure my partner merchants except it. It was great to find people that live all over NYC to help with this and didnt take much effort (i just posted on the wework message board). So there you have it. I would say its worth it but not a main selling point. I signed up and continue to use wework mostly because of the location and for the price its actually nicer than other options i saw in NYC.
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Entrepreneur
I spent a year and a half at a WeWork in SF (the original one) and thought that in fact the only value they had was was the "community." The actual office space was trendy, over-hyped and left a constant aftertaste of a in-crowd in my mouth. Wifi was frequently down. (Other locations may be different.) The big guys of the office space business have caught up since then and you can get a very competitive deal from them these days. But I did meet many quality people there, which you probably won't in a more corporatized co-working space. Of course, as noted by Eric, you need to filter stuff, but the pool is solid. In fact, I am considering joining the one in Berkeley on a guest basis just to get access to their happy hours. HTH.
Linda Marshall-Smith
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Linda Marshall-Smith Entrepreneur
Marketing Consultant, Ambassador, Silicon Beach at CoFoundersLab
I have only one experience with a WeWork. It was in Hollywood, and that was only for a 2-day seminar held there. The AC died the first day, and it was unbearably hot, but they got it sorted by day two.

Co-working spaces in general, however, are beneficial to start up founders. It's relatively low overhead for office space, that comes complete with conference and meeting rooms, and yes, a community that is for the most part in the same boat as you, starting up their companies. Kindred spirits. I agree with Eric and Igor that this community is great as sounding boards and early adopters. Additionally, you will get the benefit of learning from their mistakes as they will learn from yours, and can even work together to find solutions that will help many. That 'water coolor' factor is valuable and very important.
Shingai Samudzi
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Shingai Samudzi Entrepreneur
Founder & CEO at ProjectVision
I have space at NextSpace, a WeWork competitor. For the most part, they all seem to be the same - more freelancers than startups, the typical Millennial office space gimmicks, happy hours - but as stated it's better than working alone out of your garage because you have access to a lot of smart people who can offer a good sounding board. The overhead is very small, so from that standpoint, the ROI is pretty good.

The ROI diminishes rapidly, though, once you start building up your team beyond 3 or 4 people, and need dedicated space. It's good for pre-seed or pre-money startups, especially from a mental health standpoint for the founders.
Eric Van den Broek
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Eric Van den Broek Entrepreneur
Co-founder of Mutinerie and Copass
Disclaimer: I created a coworking space in Paris called Mutinerie and Copass, a global network of independent coworking spaces that you can access with one membership. But the idea behind that was that genuine and cool community is really hard to scale and industrialized the way Wework is trying to do. Wework certainly offers a nice and trendy infrastructure but I usually find myself more comfortable in local communities and coworking spaces where its more of a family atmosphere and genuine relationships that often end up being good for business. That's kind of the reason why we started Copass. It's a way of having the benefits of a large network while keeping the community spirit genuine. But I'am biased
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