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The future of Coworking in Orlando

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Is it time to re-kindle the Coworking / community space / incubator / art gallery / teaching space discussion again? It seems whenever I mention "coworking" or "collaboration space" to someone, they seem to be very excited about supporting such a venture...

Wikipedia:

Coworking is an emerging trend for a new pattern for working. Typically work-at-home professionals or independent contractors or people who travel frequently end up working in relative isolation. Coworking is the social gathering of a group of people, who are still working independently, but who share values and who are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with talented people in the same space.

There have been lots of discussions about Orlando Coworking in the last 3 and a half years - we've even had some spaces open (and close) the regular hangouts have actually started to feel like we are running them, but with a lot less of the control than some folks would like.

Colab has made it very clear that they would rather be a business, than a space "of the people, by the people and for the people". Why? For example, taking over total control of the website, re-branding, and promising to open up Colab USA franchises, for one. As far as I can tell, John's business model is to sell the private offices, and creating community is a nice bonus. Hmmm, OK.

Apartment E aka The Office Art Gallery aka Magnolia 5000 - used to be up on Robinson St above the old B&S Daily Market and Kinko's. This was a really great idea, and even a decent space. They have recently closed their doors. They had parking, and some foot traffic during Third Thursdays Art Walks.

Blank Space is part coffee shop, part ping-pong hangout/bar, part office for Jefrë, the artist who owns it currently. However, a first-hand account from a friend said: "I was planning to meet someone there, and the Blank Space was unexpectedly closed". Parking would be an issue here, and having never met the proprietor, I can't say much more.

Stardust has been a fantastic home to our Tuesday coworking for most of the last 3 years, and we have no reason to stop going. At the same time, I have trouble holding a conference call out of Stardust, which is a strike against for me. I really like that so many people casually walk by - folks we know, old friends, or just curious bystanders.

I have a question for you:
What would the worst possible coworking space look like? What policies would the worst coworking management put in place? What would be the worst hours for a collaborative space? What would be the one thing that's missing from the worst coworking space?
Please don't name any individual people or current places. The goal here is to come up with the least ideal space, so we can strive to be the opposite of that.

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1 comment

ryanprice's picture
ryanprice wrote 7 years 32 weeks ago

As the fallout of the

As the fallout of the coworking.com domain purchase by Alex Hillman and the rest of the coworking community was taking place, a person named Jacob Sayles had this to say about "real" coworking vs. executive suites:

Jacob Sayles via a discussion titled "Clarification" and the Global Coworking List:

deep pockets don't scare me. If deep pockets could provide what people are looking for when they walk into Office Nomads then Office Nomads wouldn't need to exist. Instead we see the look on the eyes of people when they come in and realize they don't have to work alone anymore. We see strong friendships develop in the space, people going to each other's weddings and helping each other move. Big executive suites don't know how to do it, and they are too big to be ABLE to do it. The only reason we are able to do it is because Susan and I are in the space every day. I strongly believe it is not something that can scale beyond the personal touch given by the individuals poring their hearts into each space. Deep pockets can't match that.

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