Two of my favorite topics are the future of work and the future of living.
In 2008, three other freelancers and I started Conjunctured, the first coworking space in Austin.
There are different models to coworking. Our model was: charge $250 per month, share desks, be friends. For myself and others it also was a source of great consulting work, though the space itself was never significantly profitable. Conjunctured was open for eight years?—?I was involved only for the first two?—?and I’m proud that it was a catalyst in the Austin startup scene.
For the last few years I’ve watched WeWork grow. While I have not officed with them, it seems they have done the best job of commercializing coworking. To me, WeWork succeeded because they saw the larger trend: coworking is serviced offices for millennials—Regus being the status quo here.
WeWork is CB2 and free beer. While Regus is cubicles and bad carpet, though I hear they are improving.
Here are their CEOs side-by-side. Could they be any more opposite?
Coliving. My prediction is that WeWork can succeed again with WeLive, because WeLive is a remake of serviced apartments. They are month-to-month serviced apartments that urban millennials want to live in.
Again, small spaces, free beer, nice furniture and community vs bland hotel feel and bad carpet.
Below is a list of coliving companies in the US markets I know best. Besides WeLive, the second most notable to me is Common in NYC.
Some traits I think are important:
- Spaces are in buildings, not houses
- Own them if you can
- Build a community, but also build a brand
- No strange names, no URLs that aren’t .com
- Leverage an existing community
I would love to see a successful competitor from SF. I was quite sad whenCampus Coliving closed its doors last year, but I think there is room to try again and improve. (See Tom Currier’s new startup Sleepbus.)
Noteable coliving companies
San Francisco Bay Area coliving location
Los Angeles coliving locations
- podshare.co (?)
East Coast coliving locations
- *welive.com (NYC, DC)
- *hicommon.com (NYC)
- krash.io (Boston, New York, and Washington, DC)
- thecospace.com (NYC)
- commonspace.io (Syracuse, NY)
* added an asterisk if the company seems to be further along in growth
There is also another set of spaces/communities that are emerging. Nomadic communities who have houses around the world that one can travel to for a short period of time. Two notable companies doing this: