Interview with the inventor of coworking
" Worker and Collective Farm Girl " is a new type of paired antique sculpture, and creating a new type is incredibly difficult. In any case, this is the best world sculpture of the early 20th century. Not to mention the cultural component. This is a monument to women's emancipation, urbanization and the cultural revolution of the 20th century.
However, contemporaries saw this monument for granted, something that had been lacking for a long time - this perception, of course, levels its sensationalism. But how are revolutionary ideas born that change the very structure of their space? It seems that Newton said that you can see further only by standing on the shoulders of giants.
Mukhina and Iofan stood on clearly whose shoulders. Their statue is literally assembled from two famous examples of ancient art: from Nika of Samothrace"And the statues of" Tyrannibits ". As a result, Mukhina managed the impossible - after 2000 years to supplement the ancient sculpture with a new type.
But the statues are visual, they are easy to notice. Ten years ago, another new type was born, a type of work organization called “ coworking ”, and it seems to me that the history of its appearance deserves attention no less than the “Worker and Collective Farm Girl”, in any case, there was no longer anyone left in the network who did not hear this word.
That's why I decided to track down its creator, Brad Newberg.- and interview him. It turned out that he spent three years on his invention, experimenting with collecting enthusiasts in coffee shops for work, but when nothing came of it, the notorious Arthur Clark helped him find inspiration! In the 1970s, Brad read some kind of an interview with a science fiction writer, where he predicted that in the future, where everyone would start working remotely, there should definitely be places (in libraries, of course) where they could sometimes gather to “have their own community”.
So science fiction has become a reality thanks to the perseverance and determination of one startup. It's time to give him the floor.
You launched the very first coworking in 2005, and now, 9 years later, in 80 countries around the world there are already 2500 of them. Only in Russia there are about 100 of them. Do you feel that all this is your thing?
Coworking has always been a self-organizing thing. As soon as I launched my own, from the start I told everyone to steal my idea and develop it to my taste. So now coworking in Russia is the brainchild of those who create them. By the way, 100 coworking is an impressive number!
Post-industrial economy, hyperinformation society, anarchist revolution - how do you see our future and what do you expect from it?
Predicting the future is always difficult, predictions are just probabilities that may never happen at all.
We here in the States are convinced that in a maximum of 30-40 years, anthropoid robots and artificial intelligence will take on a monotonous activity: long-distance transportation, work in factories, and so on. In general, our society is rich, but there are huge sections of it that are constantly finding themselves without work. Modern financial schemes are created like this: you get your salary once a month, and it covers your needs. It shares work and survival.
20-30 years later, some work in the service sector will still exist: restaurant workers, housekeepers, and so on - they will not go anywhere. In many countries, these positions are very well protected by law; they are trying to transform them from the lower to the middle class. The use of robotics in these areas is too complicated and expensive, it is much easier to give these people decent guarantees and provide them with the opportunity to live at the middle class level.
Global financial transactions will have a small Robin Hood style tax. This money will begin to drip into the global fund needed to help traders in the event of a market crash. The fund will “take away” this function from governments, and this is what is important. The second reason why this is necessary is to compensate for market injustice. This money could be invested in the development of those countries that are now left behind by serious powers.
The Internet will launch a process of rapid and anarchic formation of groups. Fast wireless networks will allow you to communicate with people anywhere in the world without interference and in high quality. In-depth and interactive training programs will be available online that will allow people to self-study in any areas and areas. This is a hyper-information society, where it is important not to search for the necessary information, but rather to block excess noise.
The reality surrounding us is filled with distracting elements, so that society will begin to create technologies that allow it to exist without them. For example, something like meditation will become an essential skill. Some public spaces, such as restaurants, will be able to send visitors' devices to sleep mode - to relax in the company of friends and at this time to use the phone is simply impolite.
Here are a couple of my ideas. In fact, I can develop the topic endlessly.
Is co-working a lot for startups, or will large corporations join the movement soon?
I believe that this is still for non-profit spaces and small companies. That is, a corporation can sit in coworking, but I would not want them to dominate. I am for the separation of spaces.
What are the benefits of coworking? For example, I have difficulty concentrating in the circle of strangers. It’s easier for me to work at night and alone at home. What needs to happen to make coworking as comfortable as my sofa?
Coworking should be comfortable and enjoyable for work. It should help you focus and perform tasks efficiently. He should take you away from everything that distracts you at home, bring you with interesting people. Good coffee, delicious food during breaks, all this is necessary. Coworking should be a combination of quiet places for privacy and convenient places for socialization and work.
How did your first coworking come about? Was it an abstract idea or a consequence of necessity?
I worked as a live coach and wondered what I should do next. I decided that I want to open my own business. As I pondered what this should be, the idea came to my mind to create a community with which I could consult. So the word “coworking” appeared and the first place itself. It turns out that this was a consequence of necessity - that which I would like and that which did not exist.
How were things in the first year? Can you show the coworking photos of that time?
The first space was the Spiral Muse coworkingin San Francisco. The first couple of months things were not going very well - few people came. Then people got into it. Many came and were fond of this idea, but could not join - then I asked them to steal the idea and finish it to my taste. Now, of course, all this looks just like gatherings with friends in an apartment, but the first steps are always modest.
And what was the second? What was it like watching your idea spread around the world?
The second was the Hat Factory in a loft in San Francisco. I made it with the help of 10 volunteers. It was very pleasant to watch a large group of people imbued with an idea and helping to realize it. As you can see from the photo, everything began to look much more serious.
Do you have any favorite and least favorite coworking? In general, are you interested in an industry that you yourself invented?
My frequent visitor is the Workshop Cafe in downtown San Francisco. I really like this coworking. In San Francisco, all the coworkings are good, but abroad, too, are full of great examples.
But not all coworkings became successful, there are a lot of examples with failures. During the Massimo Carrara conference in Italy in 2011, it was mentioned that Italy is the first coworking country in Europe, there were 58 of them. Now there are about 25 of them. It turns out that more than half closed in 3 years. Does this mean that making coworking successful is really difficult?
I am sure that you need to know a lot of things to make coworking successful. You must create a place in which different people will be comfortable working. You should have enough money for expenses and, of course, you should have a profit. I think this movement has just figured out how to make this model successful.
There are several types of coworking:
Convenient workspace. The owners of this spend a lot of effort and time on design, create bright, spacious rooms. This is the future of coworking in the USA and Australia.
A place where people from the creative industry meet and exchange ideas. This is the most common model. One difference is that while Americans and Europeans are trying to make spaces unusual and create the likeness of art galleries, everyone else makes simple and clean rooms, more like offices.
A place for business meetings. In such institutions, the main income is rented meeting rooms for negotiations. This model is especially popular in Britain and the United States.
In Russia, the most successful coworkers try to apply all the models at once. What do you think are the main features of a good place?
I think that each location is different from the other and requires its own approach. Of these three, closest to me is number 1, but each of them will come in handy in its place.
Socialization, networking, meetings - it's all great. But for an ordinary freelancer, the most important factor is price. Own workplace can cost from 150 to 1000 euros, when regular access, without your own chair, costs 100-400 euros per month. But, in general, this is normal practice. What about yours? What are the prices there?
In my first one-time visit, it cost 20 bucks, and a month it cost $ 150-200.
How can you measure the quality of coworking? Are there any criteria? Speaking of DI Telegraph, what are its advantages and disadvantages? What tasks should we set ourselves?
Coworking is successful if it gives people a community in which they can work freely for themselves. If coworking created an established community and enabled people to freely perform creative work, he coped with his task.
Well, let's hope that DI Telegraph turned out to be quite a creative place - go check it yourself .
A lecture on the architecture of Boris Dubin “The Perfect Body and Modern Society” in the DI Telegraph coworking, from which you could learn a lot about antique sculpture and its role in art.