Are you a tech startup owner in Dublin? This is why you need to be part of a coworking community here.
This guest post is by Jacqueline DeMarco from CoCreate.
When American entrepreneur Brad Neuberg first opened the doors to Spiral Muse in San Francisco in 2005, he had no idea how coworking would impact the way we work barely a decade later – at least not by such a scale. In Dublin coworking spaces are the offices of the future and if you have had the privilege to visit one, you can confirm this is where techies rub shoulders in vibrant working environments.
During last year’s Web Summit, an event that brings together techpreneurs from across the globe, I had the opportunity to share with some young software developers from Dublin, majority of whom embraced the coworking idea.
Oscan, a game developer had this to say, “I’m really pushing to make some progress with a game I’m developing, but building momentum while working from home can be tricky sometimes; working and living in the same place, it can easily just fade away!”
I do empathise with Oscan about the whole idea of working from home as someone who has been a full-time freelancer for over a decade. I still recall when I first resigned from my 9 to 5 job to become a freelance graphic designer, I was so excited that at last I had managed to break the barrier and become my own boss – you know, like be the one to call the shots! But few months down the line, here I am feeling so unmotivated and with nobody to call me out on my laxity to meet goals. Somehow I found myself in a coworking community like many other freelancers have.
Tim, a Dublin based web designer quips in, “I have been a member of my coworking community ever since I figured I need to be somewhere around other developers with whom we share as much challenges” “There hasn’t been much in the way of choice either, but I’m happy – you know, there are the downsides but at the end of the day, it’s the best decision I have made in my career so far”.
Coworking is more than the desks and the chairs
According to Hubert Szyperski, managing director of CoCreate, coworking spaces are creating enormous opportunities for members to network, interact and learn from their neighbors in the communities.
“While our prices happen to be very friendly and a major attraction to our clients, I think that often plays in as a factor only when you compare us with other spaces in the neighborhood. But the decision by members to leave the comfort of their homes (which by the way is far much cheaper) and actually move into our coworking space is motivated by something else more fulfilling to their budding businesses, more than the extra bucks you can save from working from here or even our buzzing coffee available throughout the day”, he says.
True to Hubert’s statement; fast internet, loads of coffee and working flexibility are the most basic provisions of many coworking spaces – which is a great thing by the way. However, it is the community environment that makes the difference between a great space and “just a space”.
“The incredible community that we have formed in our space is the glue that holds members together”, says Hubert
Technology and knowledge conveyor
Seeing as every tech giant now wants to be part of the technological boom in Dublin, with Facebook, Google and Twitter with offices in Dublin and employing nearly 10000 people in Ireland alone, one thing is for sure – Technological transfer from as far as the Silicon Valley and the Alley valley is happening and now Dublin can boast of its own Docks Valley. We expect this technical know-how to trickle down to Irish startups through various programs like incubation, mentorship, acceleration and collaboration which coworking communities are playing a major role to facilitate.
These communities are going to be conveyors of new technology from leading firms to startups, and channels for innovative talent from the youthful Irish population through initiatives like meet-ups, fairs, exhibitions and symposiums which help creators to crowd-source professional feedback.
Only this year, January one of my clients came up with a somewhat huge demand regarding the interface of his website that I and my partner Cate were working on. At first we were like, wait! This is not practical! But then after prodding over it for two days, an idea popped up – Like a eureka moment, you know. We presented the User Experience (UX) design problem to our community and agreed with the management to schedule a presentation where members would present their ideas. When we finally sat down to start listening to the presentations, nobody had managed to offer a single complete solution, but we were ultimately able to connect the dots through each presentation and finally solve the problem. See? The power of collective thinking! The result? – A satisfied client and a fat cheque for me which I used on a Saturday dinner for the community members.
For a coworking community, it is not all about just work. Well, there is so much to achieve together as tech startups but there is still far more to achieve in having each other’s back and promoting personal growth. As a community you are encouraged to create moments and memories even as you cover major milestones in business. It is these moments out of which you will draw inspiration and motivation in the future even after you outgrow your coworking space and build a brand. Coworking spaces are introducing yoga classes, meditation and a pool of activities all aimed at the individual and group growth of the communities.
For all a coworking space can give, nothing beats a strong sense of community, whether it is just being there for a fellow member on a difficult day, recommending someone to a prospective client, crowd-funding for a new brand launch, or even introducing someone to someone they never thought they wanted to meet.