A few years ago I was working from home and going stir crazy. Around that time I started a mastermind group with Joel Van Horn and TK. We met for a couple months, they both quit their jobs, and promply started going stir crazy, too.
One night it occurred to us that we should get an office together.
After exploring private offices, we stumbled upon Projective space (http://www.projective.co/) (called something else at the time). It was dark, echoed like a bath tub and was full of angry Spaniards. We were only there for a few months before moving on to We Work Labs, but it changed the way I worked. I was hooked on co-working spaces.
My love went deeper than getting me out of the house, though. I was constantly meeting new people. There was always a sense of comradery, of entrepreneurship, and excitement. There’s a lot of tech in every co-working space I’ve been in, which of course appeals to me as a web developer. When I was trying to solve a particularly hard programming problem, I stood up and said, “Any programmers have half an hour to work through a problem? Lunch is on me. ” Five people stood up.
So when I decided to leave New York, it became not only “must-have” for wherever I wanted to move, but I quickly realized it was a barometer for the kind of city I wanted to live in. Sure, coffee shops are a good alternative , functionally. But if a local economy can support the kind of crazy people that make a co-working space thrive, it’s a place I want to live.
I’ve since settled in Nashville and keep at desk at CoLab. When I visited for the time in January, there were five co-working spaces. Now there are nine and counting, with a coalition of coworking spaces. This city is bursting at the seams, and it’s exciting. The mayor has established an Office of Innovation, and spoke about it at Barcamp a couple weeks ago. There’s a dedicated Entrepreneur Center, where I’ve gone to a meetup every week since moving here.
And the community here at CoLab is awesome. I’m so much better at ping pong, now 🙂
If you’ve never tried a co-working space, I highly encourage it.