Here’s my story of how I joined a coworking space and why I would totally recommend it.
An honest account of my experience with working from a coworking space.
I would I was bitten by the startup bug when I was in college, so I dropped out and came to Delhi. I joined an agency, started and sold a blog, learned all the SEO and Digital marketing I could. Worked with big-time clients. Things were going all nice and smooth. Then I got bored, wanted to shake things up a little. So I started my own startup (my first failure). Your first startup failure does teach you a lot. For the rest of your life, you will say to yourself that it was the best mistake you ever made. (Failed entrepreneurs reading this will know exactly what I am talking about). But if you vividly remember the struggle that follows the failure you will never wanna repeat it. Anyway, like the saying goes it’s all good long as you live to fight another day. That’s what I did.
After a couple of months of wondering and struggle, I got a really good and high paying job with a New York-based company called Outgrow. It was a great company with a great product. What happened with that job is a different story but it was during this job that I first started working from a coworking space- The 91SpringBoard Co-working Hub in Gurgaon.
That’s what this article is about
I just wanna share my experience so far of working from a co-working space and why I feel that it’s totally worth it. Here are a few things that I got over the last 5 months.
1. Learning from other’s experience
No matter what field you are from, if you are a startup junkie like me, you know that you can never learn enough. There are close to 300 people here working on 60 odd startups in different stages. All you need is the ability to talk. And if you do that effectively the people here willingly reveal their ‘trade secrets’. Two incidents that I specifically remember are
- Our product was ready for a beta launch, we were really anxious about the best way to find the target audience and how to approach them
Sure enough, I found someone who had been there and done that. And I met in at a half hour notice. The second day we were talking to the right people and getting feedback.
- We wanted to go the ‘accelerator route’, we weren’t sure.
There was someone at the hub who had attended Startup Chile and had successfully gotten his startup acquired (inner chef). He not only gave us tips but a plan on how to chose, filter and woo the right accelerator. We are already in talks and about to close the deal with one accelerator.
There are numerous other occasions when I did not miss a chance to pick people’s brains but these 2 were specifically helpful and created sweet results.
2. Hands on beta testers
When we did a beta launch, we needed people to do the basic UX testing before we went out to talk to actual potential customers. I found people whom I could literally force to use our broken first UI and they did oblige without resistance. It’s like having an internal team. Only they are not married to the idea/product so their opinion is unbiased.
3. Easy collaboration and outsourcing
With startups, there is a lot of trivial work for which hiring a full-time guy is not an option. Especially in the early stages. Things like the landing page design, implementation of a blog etc. These are things that are really needed, you wanna do as much of it on your own as possible but since you are doing them for the first time. You get stuck. You need an expert. Usually, the only option is freelancers. If only freelancers were reliable and effectively communicating and monitoring was not so god damn impossible. In a co-working space, it’s like an in-house team of freelancers.
I remember one of my ex-clients from my web-development days needed some help with her site. I don’t have my WordPress team anymore, but I found someone in the hub who has. Problem solved! I even made a cut in the deal for introducing the two and supervising the communication.
4. The network effect
If you are an extrovert, joining a co-working space is like adding 300 people to your contacts book, everyone doing fairly well in different fields. If you can only connect the dots, opens up a whole new world of opportunities. There’s a lot more you can do with all those contacts. There’s a good chance there will be someone for whatever you need in the startup space. If you are not sure, just leave a message in the group.
5. Job hunting at rocket speed
If you are into startup stuff, good at what you do and you talk to the people around, job hunting can be a breeze. You can just leave a message in the group. Not only is it likely that you will find a job, chances are your potential employers already know you and what you do, you can get referrals and work from the same office space even after leaving your original company.
6. The best place to hunt for co-founders
Did I mention that I came in contact with my co-founder because of this space?
I was working with Outgrow as a growth hacker when we met at the cafeteria. The conversation started with the normal ‘What do you do? What’s your company about’. I gave him a few tips on how to launch and market what he was building. Eventually, we grew close. I started taking interest in his product. We even gave it a test run as an ‘Interim cofounder‘ before we were fully sure and I was ready to come on board full-time.
Those are few important things that really make co-working awesome. At least for me.
7. The fun part of co-working
- Beyond the Office – You can play TT, Fooseball, Carrom or hang out at the cafeteria for as long as you want. Especially great when you are down and don’t feel like working.
- This place is open 24*7 LITERALLY, So it’s totally ok to be the only person in the whole building working on a Sunday morning like I am right now.
- Minimum internet downtime- The speed is good enough to do anything you can imagine. But it’s India, so yes internet does go down. But the team is just a WhatsApp message away. I have never had more than 10 minutes with no/sluggish internet.
It’s not a ‘balanced review’ of coworking or coworking spaces. So I am not sorry if you are sad that I did not mention any ‘cons of coworking’. It’s just an honest account of my experiences thus far.
I just wanted to share my experience of working from a co-working space and it was not my intention to promote or anything. But I quite like the place I work from, and you are welcome to come join here too.
Offcourse you can tell the guys I referred you, that way we both get a 20% off on our next month’s bills. Yes, they do have a referral program. Even for this!
Anyways, If you wanna come meet me sometime you are most welcome.
Here’s the address
Maruti Industrial Area,
Sector 18, Gurugram, Haryana 122015
Just in case you ACTUALLY plan to come over.
DISCLAIMER: I was not paid or influenced in any way to write this article. I am just a raving fan!