The more the merrier!
When we started thinking about bringing Coworking to West Seattle in 2012, we did some research on our competitors. We thought about attending free days in their spaces to scout out the ins and outs, spying.
Little did we know about the Seattle Collaborative Space Alliance yet, that we joined shortly after we opened the doors to the Office Junction. To our surprise, no spying on competitors was necessary. We are very fortunate to have great community leader in our Coworking spaces in Seattle that took a collaborative approach to what could be a competitive environment.
Coworking spaces preach the benefits of collaboration and sharing information and resources, so it makes more then sense that we, the operators, do too.
The picture above is from one of the very first SCSA meetings I attended. Next to me are Susan and Jacob who founded and operate Office Nomads together, one of the most communal and awesome Coworking spaces I have ever visited, also one of the oldest in Seattle. These guys took Stefan and me under their wings from the get go and are still very supportive to us and all of the other Coworking space owners and operators that came after.
We share a well of knowledge and also communicate our failures and successes, as well as our personal life stories, and many of us also became friends. Some would think 'Isn't this dangerous? They can steal your business.', but most of us know, it isn't. It's way more beneficial to all of us to be part of a support group while many of our spaces will have some of the same members over time, but we believe, our job is to guide every member to the right fit and they should make up their own mind and find which space will feel the best to them, so we don't have to compete. Every space has it's own spice, set aside a different location, style and membership. We even encourage people to tour many of our spaces with our Space Travel Program so they can find out which space feels right for them.
I really love being part of this community. It's finding support to give all of our members support and knowing I can sync notes and find feedback anytime. No competition.
Christine and Stefan, Co-Founder