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Office Nomads presentation at coworking Europe 2010

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Jacob Sayles, from Office Nomads, Seattle, made a brillant presentation at the Coworking Europe Conference.

Jacob Sayles, from Office Nomads, Seattle, made a brillant presentation at the Coworking Europe Conference.

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  • THANK YOU

    Specifically the fast growth of coworking
    The focus here is on the big picture and I'm going to speak from my experience at Office Nomads over the past three years.

    I’m going to start out with a little history
    And then dive in and explore what is behind this amazing growth
    I’ll then talk about what we’ve done specifically at Office Nomads
    And where all this leads

    Who owns a space?
  • I thought I had invented it. Seriously! It’s not surprising, it’s a great idea!

    I had been dreaming about it for years before I discovered coworking. My vision was more along the lines of a coffee shop that was focused on productivity. When I discovered coworking I realized I didn’t need the coffee shop.

    This all came out of my career as a software developer. I always chose startups because I love the excitement and the small, tight community of individuals….

    Since then I’ve been very passionate about coworking and I jumped in with both feet.
    I’m excited to share what I’ve learned.
  • 2005 - Brad Neuberg penned the term “Coworking” in 2005. Don’t under estimate the power of the word.

    He worked with a group of people including Chris Messina and Tara Hunt to start a live/work space called The Hat Factory in San Francisco

    2006 - Chris and Tara went on to start a dedicated work space called Citizen Space.

    Together they started the Coworking Google Group and worked to spread the word.
  • In Early 2007 when I started really exploring this idea I had been dreaming about, a friend tipped me off that some folks down in San Francisco were doing something that sounded similar.

    I met Susan Evans a few months later and interestingly enough SHE thought she had invented it. I brought her up to speed and we were able to open our doors at Office Nomads soon after.
  • The idea has evolved into a movement and has grown exponentially and spanned the globe

    And the fact that the movement has accelerated despite the downturn in world economies shows that it’s an industry with tremendous strength, adaptability and opportunity
  • It’s simple. Coworking works because people need it!

    So what do people need?
  • We surveyed the members of Office Nomads and asked why they joined.

    The two biggest reasons by far are to increase productivity and because they were feeling isolated

    Let’s explore that by taking a look at some examples we’ve seen at Office Nomads

    And then we can look at how a coworking space can meet those needs.
  • Trevor is a resident nomad. Here he is with his daughter Sparks.

    He’s a computer programmer with a pretty interesting path.
    He was a researcher at Xerox Park and has worked for large corporations and small startups and he discovered he really needs to be independent.

    The trusted network and open, collaborative culture at Office Nomads feeds his entrepreneurial spirit and allows him to live the life he wants to live.

  • Robyn and her husband Chris lived in NYC when he was in medical school and She got a job as an urban planner for a firm in New Jersey.

    They wanted to get back to Seattle and Chris landed his residency at the University of Washington.

    Her company didn’t want to lose her because she is a rockstar so they agreed to let her work remotely.

    It didn’t take long to realize she couldn’t stand working from home but she was pretty committed having moved across the country.

    Her company really didn’t want to lose her and they agreed to cover her membership at Office Nomads.
  • These stories, and the millions more just like them, contain some common themes.

    They wanted a more personal and connected lifestyle and they are now enjoying the amazing benefits that brings.
  • What we are not hearing are a lot of stories like “My business is so much better because I didn’t have to buy my own laser printer!”

    Shared resources are certainly a large benefit but not the point that it can drive a movement as energized as this.

    It’s the personal stories, the feeling of being isolated and the need for more productivity that is driving this
  • It really is that simple

  • As more and more people realize this and understand how to prioritize their energy, and focus it where it really matters,

    we’ll see more and more successful coworking spaces

    Which will lead to more and more successful entrepreneurs and small businesses

    Which gives rise to an industry that embodies these values and has a powerful impact on world economies.
  • So how do we do it at Office Nomads?

    How do we prioritize our energy so that we are most efficiently addressing people’s need to be more productive and their feelings of isolation?
  • Office Nomads is simply a platform.

    We created a simple structure and then work hard to stay out of the way.
  • We prioritize simplicity in everything we do
  • The design of the office
  • Our pricing plans
  • Our daily operations

    Signing in, meeting rooms, etc
  • We have clear intentions
  • We are not in the printing business. We have a modest B&W multi-function laser printer and it’s included in the membership.
  • We are not in the phone business. We add little as a middle man or reseller and we all have cell phones anyway
  • We are in the coworking business.
  • We promote a culture of trust

    We are heavily invested in the culture of Office Nomads
  • Our community of members trust and respect us because we trust and respect them
  • Our members are smart and are going to make the right choices for themselves.
  • It’s important to note that we are members.

    We are not sitting in a corner office playing the roll of “the person in charge”.

    We are small, independent business owners, just like all our members, and we enjoy the same benefits of collaboration, inspiration, and support they do

    We bring our own passions and interests to share
  • Rather then having “Board Meetings” we hold regular State of the Nomad meetings where we invite all our members to talk about where we are as a company and solicit feedback.

    When we needed more feedback we pulled all nomads who had been with us for over a year to have a move involved discussion about our business plan and our progress
  • We had a room in the back of our space we called “The Cave”.

    We THOUGHT some folks would like to have a quiet area a little apart from the rest of the space.

    Turns out, everyone liked sitting up front where all the people were. I guess if they liked isolation they wouldn’t have made the choice to work at a coworking space
  • We opened the wall up and now everyone likes working back there.

    Our members have helped us build Office Nomads from the very beginning.
    We opened our space just three weeks after getting the keys to the building and worked together with our members.
  • We even changed our pricing structure to respond to customer feedback.

    We were originally TOO simplistic and people wanted more ways
  • People wanted more ways to be involved and join in

    We created memberships for people coming in 3, 5, 10, or 15 days/month
  • We regularly participate in the international google group
  • We open our doors to members of other coworking spaces around the world through the Coworking Visa program and encourage our members to stop in and say hello when they are traveling
  • We started a group in Seattle aptly called Coworking Seattle to unify the movement locally and promote the growth of the industry at home
  • We invest our time in ways that are beneficial to the entire community.
    We are starting the Coworking Database project to help organize the global list of spaces
    We have open sourced Nadine, the software we use to run Office Nomads.
  • That’s how we’ve done it at Office Nomads

    We created a platform that is simple enough to not get in the way
    We are continually evolving with feedback from our members
    And we participate in our local community, and the global coworking community

    We didn’t need to manufacture anything. We have been able to attract amazing people simply by being attentive to their needs.
  • We are taking everything we have learned over the past three years and putting it to the test as we prepare to open a second coworking space in Seattle.

    This introduces new challenges.

    The highly personal business model we’ve developed doesn’t lend itself too well to the traditional cut & paste, grow grow grow mentality.

    We are excited to this on and learn from it.

    It’s a difficult thing to bottle up and reproduce.

  • It’s important to understand where small and personal has advantages to BIG.

    It’s a lot easy for us to ask for help from the people who will become our members.

    And that is just what we are doing.
  • We put our intention out there in the form of a page on our website
  • We have a few supporting documents to clearly explain what it is we are trying to do, and what it will take to make it happen
  • There is a survey on there asking what neighborhood people would like us to move into and we are gathering feedback.
  • Why have I spent the last four years completely transforming my life and my career?

    Because I believe in coworking. I see the need for it.

    I needed it.

    I wanted to live a more personal, connected life surrounded by an amazing community

    And that is my life today I’m happy to say.

    And most of all
  • It’s a heck of a lot of fun and I would certainly recommend it to anyone!
  • Transcript

    • 1. Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation Coworking
    • 2. Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 3. A Simple Idea: Coworking • 2005 – “Coworking” – Brad Neuberg – Chris Messina – Tara Hunt • 2006 – Hat Factory – Citizen Space – Google Group Brad Neuberg at The Hat Factory San Francisco, California Office Nomads: Individuality Without IsolationPhoto: Business Week
    • 4. 2007 – Seattle, Washington Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 5. A Global Movement Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 6. So what is fueling this growth? Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 7. Coworking works because people need it. Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 8. What do people need? Feeling isolated 40% To increase productivity 40% Business connections 7% Other 4% Social connections 3% Hired by a Nomad 3% Decrease overhead 3% “Why did you become a member at Office Nomads?” From Office Nomads Member Survey, May 2010 Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 9. Trevor “I didn't want to sacrifice my independent career just because I was hitting productivity walls.” Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 10. Robyn “Everyone thinks that working at home is ideal, until you do it. I was going crazy not having anyone to communicate with.” Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 11. Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 12. Common Themes These stories illustrate basic human needs that were not getting met working from home, at coffee shops, or in a corporate environment Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 13. Common Themes Shared resources are certainly a huge benefit of coworking but not to the point that it can drive a movement as energized as this. Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 14. Coworking works because people need it. Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 15. Where This Leads • More successful coworking spaces • More successful entrepreneurs and small businesses • The industry of coworking Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 16. How Do We Do It? Office Nomads: Individuality Without IsolationPhoto: The Seattle Times
    • 17. We Created a Platform • Simple structure • Clear intentions • A culture of trust Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 18. We Created a Platform We prioritize simplicity in everything we do Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 19. We Created a Platform We prioritize simplicity in everything we do • Design of the office Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 20. We Created a Platform We prioritize simplicity in everything we do • Design of the office • Our pricing plans Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 21. We Created a Platform We prioritize simplicity in everything we do • Design of the office • Our pricing plans • Daily operations Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 22. We Created a Platform We have clear intentions Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 23. We Created a Platform We have clear intentions • We are not in the printing business Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 24. We Created a Platform We have clear intentions • We are not in the printing business • We are not in the telephone business Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 25. We Created a Platform We have clear intentions • We are not in the printing business • We are not in the telephone business • We are in the coworking business Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 26. We Created a Platform We have promoted a true culture of trust Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 27. We Created a Platform We have promoted a true culture of trust • Our community of members trust and respect us because we trust and respect them Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 28. We Created a Platform We have promoted a true culture of trust • Our community of members trust and respect us because we trust and respect them • Our members are smart and are going to make the right choices for themselves Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 29. We are Continually Evolving • We are members • Open communication • Remain responsive Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 30. We are Continually Evolving We Are Members! We are independent business owners like all of our members, and we enjoy the same benefits of collaboration, inspiration, and support they do Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 31. We are Continually Evolving Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 32. We are Continually Evolving Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 33. We are Continually Evolving Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 34. We are Continually Evolving • Original Pricing Structure – $475/month for dedicated desk – $25/day for daily use only Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 35. We are Continually Evolving • Current Pricing Structure – $475/month for Resident Members – $50/month for Basic Members (3 days/month) – $75-$225/month for Part-Time Members (5, 10, 15 days/month) – $25/day for non-members • Original Pricing Structure – $475/month for dedicated desk – $25/day for daily use only Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 36. We Invest in the Larger Coworking Community Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation SXSW 2009 – Austin, Texas
    • 37. We Invest in the Larger Coworking Community • International Google Group Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation Coworking Discussion SXSW, Austin, Texas
    • 38. We Invest in the Larger Coworking Community • International Google Group • Coworking Visa Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation Coworking Discussion SXSW, Austin, Texas
    • 39. We Invest in the Larger Coworking Community • International Google Group • Coworking Visa • Coworking Seattle Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation Coworking Discussion SXSW, Austin, Texas
    • 40. We Invest in the Larger Coworking Community • International Google Group • Coworking Visa • Coworking Seattle • Collaborative projects (CoworkingDB, Nadine) Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation Coworking Discussion SXSW, Austin, Texas
    • 41. Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 42. Applying What We’ve Learned http://officenomads.com/grow Office Nomads: Individuality Without IsolationPhoto: The Seattle Times
    • 43. Applying What We’ve Learned We are starting by asking Seattle what they want and where they want it http://officenomads.com/grow Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 44. http://officenomads.com/grow Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 45. http://officenomads.com/grow Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 46. http://officenomads.com/grow Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 47. Why am I doing this? Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 48. People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing – Dale Carnegie Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation
    • 49. Keep in touch! • http://officenomads.com • jacob@officenomads.com • @jacobsayles and @officenomads • http://coworkingseattle.org • http://wiki.coworking.com/CoworkingDB • http://wiki.coworking.com/NadineProject Office Nomads: Individuality Without Isolation