April 25, 2019

Who shares an office with other indie businesses?

Jonny White @jonnywhite

Hey guys

I've found the BIGGEST help in growing my business has been sharing offices with other indy businesses just like mine. I was incredibly lucky to find mates who had businesses at similar levels and we took out a lease together on offices. It was very organic and the group changed over time, people left, people joined but it has always been one of the best things I've done for learning, growing, and creating amazing friendships. Happy to share more about this if it's interesting.

Has anyone else had a similar experience?

Is anyone craving to share space with a business like theirs? If so, I would totally recommend it. Go to a local meetup and try to find others see where it goes.

I've been thinking maybe there's a need for a co-working space exclusively for indy businesses. Would this work?

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    I often co-work with @kintulabs (we both live in Bangkok, near each other) either at his home or mine. It's great because he often has great insights for my business, and I try to be a good sounding board for his. It has even led to us launching some side-projects together.

    We were just talking about this at a midnight work session 2 days ago, about how meeting up with, and co-working with each other and a few other friends around here has had a massive impact on our work.

    The key is, knowing when to cut the small talk and focus for periods of time.

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      That's awesome. Thanks for sharing.

      True about cutting the small talk - it can be a distraction at times to be essentially hanging out with friends at work and no one telling you get back to it.

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    An indie hacking coworking space would be amazing...from experience, it would probably be hard to get off the ground, but maybe in some cities with more 'indie' traction it could work.

    I ran a coworking space around 10 years ago, I had such a good time doing it and made so many friends through it. There is a geeky/tech focused coworking space local to us, but mostly it is just freelancers...it's not quite the same.

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      Many people argue that co-working spaces just aren't that profitable and really hard to scale. How long did it take you to reach profitability?

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        Dunno. I left 18 months or so in, partnered with the 'wrong person'. Win some, lose some.

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      I had London in mind because I live here and there seems to be a good scene here from the meetups.
      I've worked in generic co-working spaces before but indie product businesses have very different challenges to agencies and funded businesses.

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        Wonder if meeting up to work somewhere with other indies would work as a way to get a little community/validation going. You're tempting me to see if I can start one locally now too. Stop, Rosie, stop! Haha.

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    Personally, I wouldn’t take on a lease. That’s a recurring bill your startup life line just don’t need. I would run a test by creating a small quarterly membership pilot where the fees pays for your co-working space rent. Sign on for a month to month lease at a local co-working space but accept only quarterly membership. That way you got rent money and consistency to build up a strong culture for the IndieHackers during that quarter. You can always update the coworking space w/ a new list of members that need access.

    Or you can start off small w/ membership and meet at the library or cafes or someone’s home/apt.

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