Coworking in Media PA!

Hello, I am Lisa Thompson.

A couple of you know me; I am starting a coworking facility in Media PA.   Currently the stage is set with a location that I am applying for right near the courthouse.   I don’t have it yet, but the landlord is very excited by the project so I expect some leeway there.  With the proximity to the courthouse, I expect the majority of my clientèle to be lawyers needing either meeting space or those from out of town.  The space is small to start out but there is room to grow.  I will announce more as it happens!

New Work City has a home!

Hey all! We’ve been very quiet for some time with a number of initiatives going on here and there – but one thing that I am happy to pass along has been the completion of a new coworking space for New York City.

NWC Signed Letter of Agreement

New Work City – a name created by the coworking community and efforts spearheaded by Tony – has finally signed for a space in New York at 200 Varick (right on top of the the Houston Street station on the 1 line).

Taking it straight from the horse’s mouth on the NWC tumblr blog:

That’s right! After a long year of figuring out the business model, building interest, and looking at space after space, we’ve finally arrived at 200 Varick Street!

We’ll be sharing the space with element^n, who have graciously given us a very flexible deal and a chance to get on our feet.

The building has lots of other young, creative companies in it, and will be a great environment. The entrance, hallways, and elevator have all been recently renovated and look great (there’s even an LCD screen in the elevator!).

The neighborhood is great, with tons of restaurants, cafes, bars, and little parks to explore. Adjacent to 200 Varick is SOB’s, a famous latin dance club. On the other side, Chipotle. The cafe downstairs, attached to the entrance, is Deb’s. It pumps in salsa music nonstop and has wifi.

We’ll be getting the first set of keys this week, and will be able to do tours in the next couple of days, but our official occupation date will be November 1st. There’s a whole lot to be done between now and then, including a trip to Ikea, signing up the first members, and, of course, a launch party.

Check out the rest of the post at the new blog:

Smart Worker

I recently read an article about a man who was working from Indy Hall in Philadelphia for a company in Vancouver. Teleworking is not new these days and even working for a company located elsewhere on the globe isn’t that earth shattering with the technology for communicating 24/7. What was brilliant about this man’s story was that he had figured out how to get his corporation to pay the $275/month membership fee for him to work their full time. It’s a win-win for the corporation and the employee. Let’s do the math:

I recently read an article about a man who was working from Indy Hall in Philadelphia for a company in Vancouver. Teleworking is not new these days and even working for a company located elsewhere on the globe isn’t that earth shattering with the technology for communicating 24/7. What was brilliant about this man’s story was that he had figured out how to get his corporation to pay the $275/month membership fee for him to work their full time. It’s a win-win for the corporation and the employee. Let’s do the math:

A corporation typically pays for about

  • 200 sq. ft. for each employee – cubicle + hallway + breakroom + cafeteria + restroom + dead space like lobbies.
  • $4.00/sq. ft (minimum/month) – Rent + taxes + utilities
  • 200 sq. ft. * $4.00 = $800/month per employee
  • $800/month per employee – $275/cost of employee working in coworking space = $525/month savings

Now a company that employs 1000 people, if they had just half of the space in corporate office and let their workforce telecommute 50% of the time they would save $262,500/month ($525 * 500 employees) and $3,150,000/year. $3 million per year is not small potatoes and a great way to cut back.

The employee also saves money on gas But more importantly this employee benefits in intangibles such as lack of commute stress, living where his spouse needs to for her career, the community created in a coworking environment, and as a result is happier and more productive for his company. We would all benefit from more people using coworking spaces (checkout a list of my favorites). Of course, as the owner of Cubes&Crayons that’s my favorite for coworkers with and without kids.  I love it when everyone wins!

Quick update from Cowo Milano, Italy.

Hi everybody! As summer steps in, coworkers seem to step out, here in Milano…

In fact, even if we are full booked at the moment (5 desks), we haven’t had much attendance in the office these past weeks, and I wonder if the season has something to do with it.

Furthermore, August is a month rather “slow” here in Italy (most companies/offices/stores close at least two weeks), so these days we are checking who’ll be around and who won’t for the rest of the summer.

To our pleasure, we have received a one-day visit from a blog-friend and are expecting someone from the US too (are you anywhere near here, Susan?).

Besides attendance and visits, we have improved the cowo site (blog, that is) with a list of coworking spaces in Europe and the rest of the world – thanks also to the excellent list provided in the cw wiki – along with few more “coworking resources” such as links to cw videos from Youtube and the wiki, cw photos from Flickr, cw blogs from Technorati… we are open to suggestions and of course ready to include your site, if you like. (Just leave a comment or write to me- max(at)

Last but not least, we are doing a networking effort with a linkedin group we called “friends of cowo-coworking” which counts, at the moment, 43 members from many countries.

The feeling we have is that coworking is taking its course, and we try to go along with it – developing it but also understanding it… it’s good to see people settling down in your place and feeling good about it, we consider ourselves lucky to have such little community, what we mean to do right now is to keep providing such a service and aventually find ways of imrpoving it, but without any rush.

I’d like to get into deeper considerations about cw, but I don’t feel ready yet, cowo is only 3 mos. old…

So, thank you for reading this, and ciao from Milano!

Coworking on NPR’s Marketplace


NPR’s Marketplace aired a short piece on Jelly and coworking on Monday, along with the above video.

I’ve always liked the synergy and compatibility between Jelly as a gateway to full fledged coworking, and that this story blends the two initiatives speaks to fact that on ramps like Jellies and Juntos (in Philly) are great ways to coalesce the ingredients to coworking communities.

Be Free Or Die

When we first discussed hosting events at group88, we thought that we would have some freebies mixed with paid seminars that provide many layers of apply-it-now knowledge. Now I’m rethinking it all. We want to have tons of events but I don’t want attendees to have to pay. I’m finding out that finding sponsors is not difficult, nor is convincing them to pay for sponsorships in a cool atmosphere with cool people.

Convincing people that, yes, they are more than welcome to attend our events, however, is a bit of a challenge. Our space is brand spankin’ new and the comfort zone has not yet been established. One thing that I’m quickly learning is that people are just too nice.

Our first event is next week (4/24) and is a discussion on “Low-Cost Video Production for Solos and Small Businesses” from a local TV anchor celeb and her new vid production company. We first promoted this event as $25 for non-members and $15 for members. Our result was: zero. Not one sign-up.

Today, after sealing the deal with cool social finance site Geezeo as our sponsor, I was able to eblast a “guess what? drinks are on us!” announcement. Response? Four sign-ups within two hours. And I only eblasted half my list.

What’s really interesting is that I got a phone call from someone who received the invite but was unsure if it meant she could really attend. This brings me back to my earlier point: people need comfort zones. Once they visit your space and have a good experience, you’re golden. Before that happens you need to make sure your online, mail and phone experience falls 100% into their comfort zone.

It’s no different than having new friends and going to their house for the first time. There’s always that adjustment time. I know we’re all e-hogs and find it easier to chat or email but, when it comes to making people feel comfortable, there is nothing better than a phone call. It’s the closest thing to meeting in person and helps create a comfort zone for your new friends instead of making them create it on their own. Then, the decision to join your community is not a decision, it’s an important event on their calendar.

Face Time: Building the coworking community

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Alex Hillman of Phildelphia coworking space, IndyHall, about finding your niche as an owner of coworking space and than reaching that niche. Coworking spaces vary greatly in their audience. While coworking is about openness and community, each space has its own character and appeals to different groups. Alex wisely pointed out that each space has to build its community in order to be successful.

The face time is absolutely key to the success of any coworking community. There have been several posts recently on the google group about advertising, running events and building membership. To create the community that gets people in the door, you absolutely must put in the faceup. Alex tells a great tale about all the meetups he went to for a month or two before he even signed a lease. In his words, he was looking for “cool, interesting people who might also work from home.” He spread the coworking idea, got interested members, and then signed the lease and got up and running. Of course, we all want successes like Alex.

Finding that niche that is the right audience for your group requires more than just connecting through blogs, online groups, and cyberspace, you need to talk to the people you think will use your space. And you may discover that you don’t always know who will use your space. I was confident our primary members of Cubes&Crayons would be entrepreneurs. As of today, our membership, with the exception of myself, completely lacks entrepreneurs. We have freelance workers in all walks of life from medical translators to biotech researchers to recruiters to professors. It had been a pleasant surprise to find that the common thread comes from the atmosphere we have created more than their careers. We provide a professional and inspirational coworking space. We have new members come in because they are impressed with how much they get done and how much they enjoy working at Cubes & Crayons. And of course, one of my personal favorites is the praise for the free gourmet chocolates available in our kitchen.

In building our community, although word of mouth has been tremendous and we have had some good press (more to come…look for it this weekend), the best marketing has involved simply a conversation. Whether I am talking about coworking to fellow volunteers at a board meeting or hosting a meetup or event at Cubes & Crayons, or going out to meetups and organization’s events, the best marketing is when I tell people about our site, my story, and/or our clients. People are interested in people. Forget that you are “selling” your service. It is about getting people connected to other people in a great community that somewhere has a common thread. We are hosting a blogging day on April 11th to encourage bloggers to come and blog in our space as well as share blogging stories and ideas with each other. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Coworking: A Generational Thing?

I recently read a post about coworking being a generational thing for the millenials.  True, maybe?  But for those of you hanging out in the coworking places, is everyone a millenial?  Not even close.  The founders of most of these coworking sites are smart entrepreneurs who are beyond the millenial age, at least chronologically.  Just look at the photos from events at places such as IndyHall and Citizen Space and you notice that coworkers have embraced a common philosophy regardless of birth age.  At Cubes&Crayons, we have coworkers, coworkers with young kids, and coworkers whose kids have long out grown our space.

What occurred to me is that coworking is generational if you change your definition.  Coworking is about this “generation” of people altering the perception of “professional,” “work environment,” “colleague,” etc.  It is about hip people writing their own ticket for work.   Coworkers are skilled individuals who are prepared to be part of the global community.  They are interested in programs that are developing like PACTFund, where they can exchange their skills with other people’s skills.

And businesses need to be aware of and adapt to this changing workforce. I have been researching this avenue quite a bit and as much as “coworking” is hip and trendy, it is smart and necessary in our changing economy.  When software engineers end up doing business with colleagues halfway across the world, what’s to motivate them to come into a traditional office?  Isn’t it more interesting for them to be in a coworking space where they can meet people in all walks of life?  Businesses will be getting educated if they want to survive and stay competitive.  It is just a matter of time before this “generation” of coworkers changes the way businesses do business.

Coworking with a twist

Cubes&Crayons, my brain child, launched a little over a month ago and is essentially co-working with a twist. We offer a fantastic co-working environment – lots of different offices and places to work, a lounge, kitchen, library and conference room, flexibility in rates. We also have childcare on site and down the hall for those who need a place for the little ones while they work. You drop off your kid, walk 5 seconds to an office and are blissfully at work. And if you don’t have kids, no worries. You never have to see them if that isn’t your thing. The children don’t disrupt the work, co-workers get all the great benefits of co-working whether they are parents are not. It has been absolutely amazing to see people enjoying this vision. I have met great people online and in person and am loving the adventure of it all.

Our campus is in downtown Menlo Park, near Stanford University, which is great for work and to grab food or do a little shopping. We don’t have as many just straight co-workers i.e. sans little ones as I would like, but that takes time. I am still working on reaching that community in the Silicon Valley. I know they can’t possibly all be sitting up in SF. Where are all you rails software engineers and web 2.0 people? Come network…can’t wait to promote the business you create while hanging out at Cubes&Crayons. Comments always appreciated on this…

So, this is the first of what looks to be a long and heartfelt blog. My six month old daughter is snoring on my lap as I write this and I wonder what she will think of all this as she grows up. Will co-working be the norm and not the exception by the time she and her 2 1/2 year old sister are in the work world. I hope so. Only way to work in my opinion. Keep you posted on all…

La Cantine, a new coworking space in Paris!


We are happy to announce to you that La Cantine by Silicon Sentier is opened since 30 january 2008.

This is a networked collaborative workspace which facilitates conception and emergence of initiatives, new uses, products and services by accelerating ideas, creation and networked & open innovation.

Additionally, La Cantine is openned up to international networks (co-working, art-oriented platforms, alternative venues, competitive clusters, specialized research labs, colleges and universities).

Both a place of exchange and a technological showcase, La Cantine is open to professionals, tech enthusiasts and everyday users. Its 200 square meters dedicated to ascending innovation welcome all contributors to digital life.

3 fully-configurable, connected spaces, equipped with high-speed broadband:

– a Café space dedicated to meetups, information, exhibitions and project testing

– a collaborative space dedicated to project development

– a brainstorming and meeting space

At La Cantine you can

Think: meet at the Café any time of the day to exchange and get informed

Work: rent a collaborative workspace for short periods at affordable rates

Test: test products and services in development to get feedback from La Cantine’s community of users and creators.

Discuss: organize or take part in discussions and make your point at various innovative events involving a wide audience

This new collaborative space in Paris is open to all co-worker in the world.

Silicon Sentier, the Paris-based digital start-ups association, initiated the project.

Partners of La Cantine : the Ile-de-France region, Orange, the Fondation Internet Nouvelle Génération and the Cap Digital competitive cluster.

La Cantine is located in a covered passage between La Bourse and the Grands Boulevards.

151, rue Montmartre, 75002 Paris

12, Galerie Montmartre, Passage des Panoramas

Tel : +33 1 40 13 64 40

Photos, program and information on:

To stay informed about La Cantine

[email protected]

Press contact

[email protected]

To submit an event

[email protected]