Personal thoughts on a question we’re pretty sure some folks are thinking, but are too polite to ask.
“Congratulations on selling your business!” is a comment I still get from people.
That’s understandable. In most cases, when a quirky local company changes its name, it’s because an acquisition has taken place. And we know how that story goes. All semblances of local flavor are squeezed out of the business as it conforms to new corporate standards.
Except in our case, it’s not what happened. We haven’t sold a single thing. Rather, we own some shares in a cool new franchise concept, which hopefully will enjoy some success. But that’s a long ways off. So, until then, we still work for a living…at our local business, that happens to share the name of the franchise business. More on why that happened.
So, to the central question: have we become a big, dumb corporation? Or have we at least become more “corporate?” We’re a few things, but hardly that. In fact, we sometimes get the opposite feedback: that we’re a little too hippy-dippy and people want a more “professional” setting (whatever that means).
If anything, we’re going local like never before. By that, I mean that we’re spending more time talking about and training staff on how to help members have a deeper coworking experience. Which, as you know, has little to do with office space or real estate. It’s about humans connecting with other humans and mutually creating more opportunity.
In fact, despite the intense demand for private suites, we remain a coworking-centric community. Which means 40% our spaces are devoted to commons areas – casual, open seating areas where members are free to work, meet and converse. It’s where ideas and opportunities spread. By contrast, many truly corporate coworking providers might have as little as 5% of their space dedicated to coworking. Great if you don’t want to interact with anyone, but hardly coworking.
Thinking about how to grow your venture? If so, come join us some time for some old-school coworking at Minnesota’s first and strongest coworking community.”
This is part of a series of posts that answer questions we suspect some people have in their heads but are too nice to ask. Other posts: