Dear NextSpace Members, Shareholders, Friends & Supporters,
Welcome to 2014! By the power vested in me, I hereby declare 2014 to be “The Year of the NextSpace Effect.” Allow me to explain….
I’ll begin by saying that 2013 was the most important year in the short history of this company and this community. Our four original locations (NextSpace Santa Cruz, NextSpace San Francisco, NextSpace Los Angeles & NextSpace San Jose) continued to thrive. NextSpace Union Square and NextSpace Venice Beach (both opened in late 2012) grew into bustling collaborative communities. Towards the end of 2013, we opened three new locations: NextSpace Berkeley, NextSpace River North (hello Chicago!), and NextSpace Potrero Hill, including our groundbreaking NextKids concept. We now have nine locations and over 1,500 active members, making NextSpace the largest coworking community in the country.
During 2013, I spent a lot of my time talking about NextSpace to potential members, investors, and partners. And while most everyone understands our business, they all eventually ask the same question: What makes NextSpace special? There are hundreds of other coworking spaces around the world and thousands of other shared workspaces. Why should I join, invest in, or partner with NextSpace?
My answer is always the same: because of our team’s and our members’ ability to create and to benefit from the NextSpace Effect. The NextSpace Effect is the result of the amazing alchemical process that happens when you intentionally mix workspace + community. It occurs when our smart, creative, professional, resilient NextSpace members meet, mix, collide, and collaborate in large and small ways. The outcomes range from the simple (like when members share ideas, information, and expertise) to the headline grabbing (like when members found successful companies together). In whatever dose, the NextSpace Effect makes our members happier and more successful.
Over the past few years, we’ve casually collected plenty of NextSpace Effect stories with and from our members. Collectively, these stories are funny, inspirational, heart breaking, and instructive. But as a team, we’ve never systematically and intentionally gathered and celebrated the NextSpace Effect stories of our members. That changes now.
So, welcome to 2014 and the Year of the NextSpace Effect. Over the next twelve months, I’ve set a goal of working with the NextSpace Team and the NextSpace Community to gather and celebrate 100 NextSpace Effect stories. I’ll have more details soon about how we’ll accomplish this goal together. Meanwhile, to get us started, I’ve included the NextSpace Effect story of Rupen Patel and Taylor Stanley, two members at NextSpace Venice Beach (please see below). I think you’ll find Rupen and Taylor’s story emblematic of the creativity and resilience that are the hallmarks of the typical NextSpace member. What other stories will we create and tell together in 2014? What forms will those stories take? And what will we do with these 100 stories once we have them? I’m eager to work with all of you this year to find out!
The NextSpace Effect Story of Ruben Patel & Taylor Stanley, the founders of Appy, a simple tool for creating your own iPhone apps:
When I started working with Taylor, I was working on contract during the day and working on Appy in evening and weekends. Progress was slow. There were too many distractions working from home. When my contracted ended and we began working on Appy full-time, we were still working out of my apartment. Staying focused and on track was a constant challenge. We switched from coffee shop to coffee shop and back to my apartment trying to find somewhere we could work.
Taylor lives in Venice and she was familiar with NextSpace. She suggested we try it. We started with a Cafe membership and we saw the difference immediately. We got so much done the first day we were here.
We were getting lots done, but working on Appy full-time was a financial strain and we really needed another paying project. A few days later, we saw three or four emails on the NextSpace Biz List from fellow NextSpacers who were looking iPhone developers. We got two great leads and one paying client. We continue to work with that client as we finish their current iPhone app. And we’ve started building their new app for Android. As a small two-person shop, winning business has a lot to do with relationships and trust. The fact that all of us are NextSpace members meant that we had a built-in relationship established on being part of the same collaborative community.
This kind of trust works both ways: when we needed a great script writer for the Appy project, we found a fellow NextSpacer through the NextSpace Biz List. Again, because we’re all part of the NextSpace Community, we had a built-in sense of trust and collaboration.I work a lot and I make full use of the 24-hour access at NextSpace. I’ve done all night sessions here. Sometimes, I would sit in front of the “Get S#!t Done” poster or in front of a hypnotic art piece that said “Focus!” These little touches make a lot of difference. Working in a professional, supportive environment is important for us. We eventually upgraded from a Café Membership to an Office Membership and our productivity has shot through the roof.
Beyond that, and maybe most important, we feel like we’ve had a lot of moral support from the NextSpace community. That support has made it so much easier to startup a project like Appy with limited resources. We’ve already generated our first revenue with Appy. We’re ready to build a following and we’re expecting great results!