I’m totally biased. I love coworking. And NextSpace. It has transformed my writing career and, at the risk of sounding a little Santa Cruz-y, my life. And I’m not alone. In the extended coworking community, there’s a steady buzz about the transformative effect coworking has on people. At NextSpace, this is dubbed the NextSpace Effect.
I wanted to find out more about how coworking, and NextSpace in particular, has impacted people on a business level, so I reached out to several NextSpacers to get their stories. First up is Pek Pongpaet from the NextSpace San Jose location. Here’s his NextSpace Effect story:
Please tell me briefly about yourself and your work.
My name is Pek Pongpaet and I'm originally from Chicago. I have an engineering background but transitioned into design mid-career. I was also a competitive martial artist specializing in kung fu. I competed in international competition in China in 2002 and won silver and bronze.
Three and a half years ago, I founded Impekable, a digital agency focusing on app design and development. We're now around 30 people spanning six countries with over 200 projects and clients like Google, HP, Twilio, Accenture and more.
How long have you been coworking at NextSpace?
I've been coworking at Nextspace San Jose for almost as long as I've had my company, which is about three and a half years.
What do you like most about coworking at NextSpace?
I like the people and the culture. This was especially important early on when the company was small. When I first started, it was just me for a while so it was important to have other people around me so I didn't go crazy.
Now that we have more people, we still enjoy the benefits of community especially our community manager, Julie, but we also like the central location, ease to transportation, and NextSpace Effect of meeting other NextSpace companies.
How has coworking impacted or informed your business?
NextSpace and coworking has led to many relationships both personal and business. One of my best friends, Chris Kennedy, I met at NextSpace. Our friendship revolved around our mutual interest in food, working out, and commiserating over our startups. NextSpace has also led to many business opportunities through its network.
NextSpace has a strong focus on community. How important is that community to you and/or your business?
Community is very important to us. Otherwise we would just be in some business plaza by ourselves in the middle of nowhere to save money. We enjoy being part of the community. It's good for the well being of our team to socialize with other people. Our team looks forward to the happy hours as well as the Walkabout Wednesdays.
Beyond the community, what business benefits are there to coworking at NextSpace?
One of the big things Impekable has benefited from coworking is the flexibility to grow. Over the last few years, our company has grown several times over. If we had to lock ourselves into a multi-year lease, we would have been in serious trouble since we would have quickly outgrown what we started with. We've moved offices within NextSpace twice now and it's been great that we've been able to do that fairly easily
Community is very important to us. Otherwise we would just be in some business plaza by ourselves in the middle of nowhere to save money. We enjoy being part of the community.
— Pek Pongpaet