So is coworking the ‘sharing economy’ version of office space?
Coworking is the open source version of office space.
Think of it like this.
Gyms love to overbook people and rely on more people buying a membership than will ever show up.
What a great business model that is.
The Gym model is transparent
It is even totally transparent – when you get all excited at the beginning of January and climb aboard the ‘new year gym train’ you already know you won’t go.
Every gym I have been a member of a staff member has told me how many people join and only come a few times or just before they are about to go on holiday.
So what is the relationship between sharing economy and is open source?
There is a little more to it but this is the gist – Open source relies on people taking part – then it kicks in – BIG. Think Wikipedia and Linux.
Your coworking works best when you are taking part.
Alex from Indy Hall explains it like this:
“Most models that are tied to usage of space, where more members -> less available space.
The Indy Hall model focuses less on the value of space and more on the value of the network.
The majority of the value that a member of the Indy Hall community doesn’t come from our staff or our space, it comes from the other members.
In this way, each additional member -> additional available value.”
Meanwhile back in London…
Here @Work Hubs in Euston Phil, Oli and I believe for the magic to happen the coworking space has to work hard to get people to show up, connect and break the ice, then get out the way.
The more I reflect upon it the more I am sure that too many people confused ‘sharing economy’ with ‘free’ and this bit with ‘open source’.
You are going to have to humour me while I work it out.
What I have got worked out it the pain and agony of fostering a community in your coworking are worth the effort.
The only thing is you can’t sell a community.