The future of coworking, and the rise of an indulgent nerd culture

3 minute read

Coworking is in danger of becoming mainstream.

Their numbers have grown dramatically every year since 2006 – in 2017 more than 1 million people will work in one. But their business model won’t scale and profits are low. Worst, their mainstream appeal may threaten their success.

Pieter Levels gives a bleak analysis of their business model – coworking spaces have low margins and don’t scale. Only 40% are profitable. He suggests looking at big pocketed corporates wanting to do remote work and get into the ‘free thinking’ vibe. These corporates would send teams to remotely build products and services in coworking spaces, and pay top dollar for it. But I doubt that this will work – it goes against the magic potion that makes coworking so effective. I don’t believe that just because a team of stiff corporates trade in their leather shoes for flip-flops and sunburns that they are going to transcend their old thought patterns and ways of working. Only immersion into a new culture can do that. 

The strength of the nerd community makes coworking great.

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Pivot with grace – designing agility into your startup

Every startup evolves – often unexpectedly. How do you manage this effectively?

How to transition from Free to Pay? How to take that thriving community and monetize it? How can you keep doors open to embrace all the potential but lock in what you need to move forward? And sometimes we just have an awesome business idea, something radically new. We don’t know how yet, but we feel it will work. In all these contexts, how to skillfully navigate this all the twists and turns so you can get to the best business? This article looks at one tool from design which can help improve your agility when you need to reconfigure your business.

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