Startup from a cafe (Moscow time)
(contains useful google map)
In this post, I will try to highlight the topic “where to work”, which is quite relevant for a startup at the beginning of the journey, based on the feelings of one's own skin.
In mid-June, I sent away the “office” position and, together with my other technologist, sat down for the long-overdue idea of a startup (we will soon praise the results in a separate post).
Knowing that a smart startup should spend money only on strategic assets, we immediately refused the thought of an office. Work from home is also far from the most interesting option, you need to allocate a workspace and calm down your home, otherwise productivity will be so-so.
Therefore, we pretended to be students in Silicon Valley and decided to sausage the code and interfaces from the cafes. Here is what happened.
Progress is an amazing thing. Once a computer was the size of an office. Now the office is inside. Our entire company is just two people and two MacBooks. But this does not stop us from doing an Internet project for the English-speaking market. Except for a small detail - without a chair and a socket it turns out badly. :)
An Internet project, especially at the start, requires immersion for several hours in a row, so only coffee shops with self-service were considered as suitable places (where waiters would not look askance at you). There are three networks in Moscow working on this principle:
- Coffee bean
- Costa coffee
In general, all three networks are very similar in terms of the quality of personnel selection, the quality of the coffee itself and the price level. But Starbucks is a little ahead in terms of a variety of snacking options. But since we strive there not for food, but for work, we will move on to one of the most burning questions - about
We can say with confidence that in Moscow there is no shortage of free Wi-Fi points in cafes. But if you, like us, want to work for several hours without interrupting the waiters (here it is worth remembering the dangers of interruptions ), expect disappointments. So, in order.
- The entire Costa Coffee network boasts the presence of Beeline_WiFi_FREE points, but despite the presence of the word “free”, the points are paid. Apparently, politics played a role in managing the network of Rosinter, which at best provides Wi-Fi access with scratch cards (in Il Patio), and most often - nothing at all.
- Starbucks also decided to be principled in a tough form and did not give the
countrywifi coalanywhere and never, even for money. Moreover, it was only with them that I met a hint that they were not against working visitors .
- But Coffee Bean - well done (even though it’s a Russian network) are not greedy with the Internet. True, access is not everywhere (on our map it is Pokrovka and Sretenka). Here I immediately warn you - the presence of Wi-Fi contributes to the daily influx of people with laptops and competition for the territory (more details below).
In order not to lose flexibility in choosing places, we eventually switched from native Wi-Fi to Yota. I was pleasantly surprised by the simplicity of sharing it on Wi-Fi on Macs - in 3 clicks. In addition, Yota turned out to be a good way to meet girls: “There is no free Internet here, but I can share mine.” :)
Concluding the review of places, we can distinguish a certain top-3 by the sum of factors (proximity to the center, metro, occupancy, etc.)
1. Starbucks in Kamergersky
The very center of the city, there are always few visitors.
2. Costa Coffee on the Cannon.
On the second tier there is a very comfortable sofa, which is rarely busy.
3. Coffee Bean on Pyatnitskaya
Few visitors, comfortable tables.
What are the difficulties
Sometimes no luck with neighbors. Some people just can't talk quietly. We fight with noise-canceling headphones .
The crisis. The people around earn as much as they can, and once we missed one of the iPhones.
Rosette war. Especially rampant in Coffee Beans on Pokrovka and Sretenka, due to the high density of laptops per square meter of space. The best thing about Starbucks is that there are a lot of outlets.
Dead connection. In the same Coffee Bins, local points often do not cope with the flow of comers. In some places, Yota does not catch well.
A snack can fly into a pretty penny. Intelligent work without regularly raising blood sugar levels depresses very quickly. Therefore, it is necessary to lighten the wallet relatively often.
What are the pros
Productivity is much higher than at home, at least due to a change in context (while you are in home slippers, the brain is simply not able to build neurons into “working” chains).
Communication. Face to face, it’s easier to understand and agree. This is especially valuable at the start of the project. The main thing is not to abuse it.
Team spirit. The view of the person laying out nearby motivates less to engage in nonsense. At home you are alone with yourself and all productivity rests only on character.
Immersion in the world. Sometimes random meetings, observations, overheard conversations help to find new questions, approaches and solutions. Within the walls of an office or apartment you are very divorced from reality (which partly leads to attempts to solve non-existent problems).
You can work productively from a cafe, we have proved this, having made great progress this month from one wireframe to ready-made layouts and code in alpha. (It’s too early to show, we will be releasing to a private beta in about 5-6 weeks.)
In the same spirit, we will continue until there is confidence in the imminent profitability of the project - then we will expand to move to coworking.
If you were curious, you should follow us on Twitter . Well, or at least on the blog .