01 October 2011

Co-Workingspaces, It's About Time (I Guess...)

I guess I'm one of those who long for a place where creativity must be squeezed out to the max level and working from home is not really boosting it in the same way squatting at a signature coffee shop can be easily quite distracting specially in this part of the globe where most yuppies are just too nosy about the logo of your laptop. Adding the fact that it's just too hard to work if you're too f*cking paranoid on the people going in and out of the doorway for safety reasons.

Aspiring technopreneurs who has limited resource in terms of funding, office space, photocopiers, white boards, conference rooms can make use of a co-workingspaces. So when do we need a co-workingspace? Like right now? I'm currently writing this blog in a place that is used to be quiet in the wee hours of the morning until just recently it's packed with call center people, yapping here and there looking at me in a very, very strange way. While drilling down and browsing the web on existing co-workingspaces currently operating in countries like United States, I believe co-workingspaces can be applied in some part of this country (PHL).

In the Philippines, co-workingpaces are suitable for startups who are already committed in to something and are:

1. Working to exploit real, not imagined opportunities - This means startups has "customers" ready to buy-in once the finished product has been launched.

2. Working to cut cost but not on the quality of work - A small startup can spend a day in co-workingspace perfecting a product.

3. Working with remote team members - Not just startups but for freelancers who can bring their work anywhere

4. Anybody who can't live with a bedroom that smells like a pigsty after establishing a hermit kingdom in it.

5. Working on a really seriously cool project but is not ready to move in to the big office yet.


Typically a co-workingspace, the ones that might theoretically work in the Philippines should have the following amenities:

1. A blazingly-fast WiFi, a co-workingspace operator can partner with top broadband provider in the country.

2. Big tables with office chairs.

3. A pantry or snack bar

4. A friendly clerk

5. Optionally, free coffee only for expats (let's admit it, we can't give free consumables to Filipinos, it will become a food bank).

6. A photocopier

7. A boardroom with projector

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Laugh all you want but this is not a co-workingspace.

8. clean restrooms

An operator can charge like PHP800 to PHP1,000 for a day pass with a single chair, power outlet and unlimited internet access. Use of photocopier, boardroom and projector can be charged separately. Booking and upfront payment is required before anyone can drop by and loiter.

Again, will this work? I think expat startuppers have been looking for something like this around the block and if they can find one, more of those from the Bay Area, the East Coast might fly in and at the same time enjoy the beaches here, will trade our idiots with their geniuses.

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