Cowork Rochester

Coworking at the 3rd Place

Posted in cowork, facilities by Erik on March 12, 2010

Today I coworked from The 3rd Place a facility in St. Paul (MN). This is the second coworking facility I’ve been able to visit. I won’t bother comparing them for everyone. Instead, I encourage you take a look at both locations, spend a day or two coworking at each, and decide which is the best fit for you. Remember, the first day is free at both.

I do, however, want to share a big thank you to Monkey Island and the crew who run The 3rd Place for everything. A massive thank you to Josh Becerra for taking the time to share his ideas on evolving coworking and his input into some next steps for Rochester. Last but not least, thank you to  Ernest Grumbles for presenting an excellent IP Secrecy and Collaboration presentation. Ernest, I’ll be sharing as many trade secrets as possible about coworking in Rochester as possible. 😀


If You Build It, They Will Come

Posted in coworking by Erik on February 19, 2010

Um, No. Community plays a huge roll in ultimately the determining success or failure of a co-working location. A building, no matter how well located, how cool and how hip can’t hope to succeed unless the community needs it. Brad Neuberg ended up closing his first c0-working facility because “nobody came”, but that is not entirely accurate. Many people did come and his idea spread to other locations. His ideas were remixed, spread and new facilities cropped up all around the country and the world. A community of space catalysts was born.

A post illustrating the differences between temporary and permanent co-working caught my attention today. The author described some of the features of a permanent location and a temporary event like a Jelly. What was missing, however, was the sense of community and collaboration, the human resources, that are present in both models. Anecdotally, I’ve learned that successful co-working facilities have grown out of communities. Both CoCo (MN) and The 3rd Place (MN) both started out as a less formal co-working group that meets regularly in Minneapolis.

In 2009, WebWorkerDaily posted an article about Justifying Coworking as an Investment. It highlights the decision process someone should go through when contemplating wether co-working will be a good fit for them. This paragraph from that article really hits the nail on the head:

If you are looking to build meaningful professional relationships, the kind that can’t come from email exchanges and the occasional lunch, then coworking presents a tangible benefit. If you need your company to have a public face, and one that exists in a brick-and-mortar sense, and you need that consistently, then coworking presents an attractive proposition. If your working hours are interrupted in consistent and unpredictable ways at your home office, damaging your productivity, then coworking could help.

So how might co-working take hold and get started in Rochester and other cities? By forming a community. Over the last few weeks I have learned that there are multiple communities of small firms and solo-workers already in place here in Rochester. I’ll be working to connect with these communities over the coming months.

Hat tip to CoCo for sharing the WebWorkerDaily article.

CoCo and 3rd Place Featured on WCCO

Posted in video by Erik on February 4, 2010

On Monday, WCCO, the local ABC affiliate in the twin cities, did a brief report on CoCoMSP and The 3rd Place about coworking. It briefly touches on the reasons why self-employed individuals are now working from some place other than their home.

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