There seems to be some misconceptions about what defines a coworking space. Many offices who find themselves with excess space are re-branding and calling their offices a coworking environment. This of course is not coworking. It’s not about a couple of people just showing up to the same space or a place acquire ‘cheap office space’.
Coworking spaces are more than just space, convenience, or a random unification of desks. They are places where economy is being produced, new sectors are being created, and unlikely people are creating interesting communities. As companies and individual entrepreneurs search for ways to create innovation, our spaces should be a haven for people with ideas. They should act as idea laboratories where people can experiment with new processes of developing and implementing ideas.
When we started the THECUBE in London, we had no idea that we were a coworking space. The vision we had was to create a space that would facilitate the process from idea to enterprise. As we progress to our first birthday we are realising the true potential of coworking as an industry and it stretches beyond the desk-space we provide. All of the coworking spaces around the world have a chance to create a significant impact in building an economy for their town, city, or country.
Idea Engineering Agency has put together four visions of how coworking spaces will help shape the economy:
THECUBE has created a process to make innovation leaner, faster, and effective for its members. People will be coming to coworking spaces with a lot of questions and we should be prepared to provide answers. With the creation of our Idea Engineering Agency, we are giving our members a leading edge against their competitors. Coworking spaces should be experimenting with processes of innovation and help create enterprises that are quickly sustainable in order to help create faster economy. It will be incredible to look back in five years and see how many jobs were created due to coworking innovation.
Coworking spaces have the ability to create a voice in their respective entrepreneurial communites and as such can begin to support the needs and wants of entrepreneurs beyond the space. We can act like a magnet to attract what would be unattainable resources for our members, like investment firms, sponsorships, and external partnerships. Being a voice and a guide for enterprise will move things faster and help influence change.
Coworking spaces bring together people of different thought processes, experiences, and talents. The interaction between people of such diverse backgrounds makes our spaces a breeding ground for strong idea communities, which will then lead to the creation of new sectors and industries. As we discussed in our article How To Build Economy, new sectors will help build a stronger economy as they will use the intelligence of people in new ways and create better jobs. Coworking spaces provide a faster economy force start-up businesses. One of the most important ingredients in building an economically sustainable business is contacts and community. We are creating tribes of people who are helping each other connect faster.
Coworking spaces can help change perspectives in regards to how a population views economy. For instance, we were in Orlando last week and we observed that people, who could very easily start their own business would rather opt for searching for employment. It seems that still in these type of cities people can only think of themselves as employees instead of people who may potentially have a good idea to turn into a business. So it is up to the coworking space in these cities to create events and conversations to begin to change conceptions on enterprise.