Guest post by DeShawn Brown, CEO of Coworks
Our team returned from Seattle a few weeks ago, but it’s taken that time for me to put some thoughts down about the experience.
My colleague Phil Vanderwoude and I were thrilled to attend the GCUC NA conference as sponsors, particularly of the Fundamentals of Flex session. We had a great time chatting with folks at our booth (even if they just stopped by to steal TicTacs – we know who you are!) And the content sessions offered really practical as well as philosophical approaches to
Phil was particularly impressed by the session on space design, and the vast range of effort across spaces, from the high end luxury of Bond Collective to industrial minimalism of operations like the Loading Dock.
I paid particular attention to the discussions about making sense of data. Reporting and analytics are baked into the Coworks platform, so I was surprised to hear how some operators have to juggle multiple input sources to get a picture of their space performance. One panelist shared that she spent half of her day every day managing spreadsheets, because they have a management agreement that requires they know exactly how much they’re making across various membership options and forecasting. But their systems didn’t talk to each other.
That was validating to know we are solving the problem with our platform. (Want to see how it works?)
We both had fantastic conversations with people we’d hoped to meet, including Jerome Chang of Blankspaces Coworking, Sofia Stolberg of PilotoMail, and Nate Heasley from All Good Work.
Phil and I both agree that this GCUC felt like a homecoming or a reunion. The coworking industry continues to be robust and welcoming. But this also feels like something of an inflection point, where the spirit of coworking has to contend with an influx of investment, maintaining a sense of community and local advocacy in the face of a move toward enterprise-centric operations.
We’re excited to get together next time!
[That’s me, DeShawn Brown, at our booth at the Seattle GCUC event. Look at all those TicTacs!]