Coworking 2.0

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= may refer to the business maturation of coworking


Discussion

Is there a value shift after 'business maturation' of coworking?

By Jessica Stillman:

"folks like the owners of Office Nomads increasingly have company from the likes of NextSpace and pariSoma, says King. These new-breed spaces were founded with more traditional business plans and with both monetary as well as social goals in mind. And just as the first-wave feminists looked askance at some in the second wave and the third had issues with both its predecessors, this influx of new voices into coworking is stirring debate in some quarters.

“We had a coworking owners meeting a few months ago in Los Angeles,” King says. “It consisted of sort of the old guard and the new guard. The people that start a movement like this lose control of the movement if it’s successful and they don’t like it because it was their baby. That’s what’s happening with coworking. The original founders of the movement have effectively lost control and it’s very frustrating for them.”

As the term coworking morphs and spawns hybrids, from jellies and makers’ spaces to startup incubators and internal collaboration spaces created by corporations to spark innovation (and even to the horror of some, gets adopted by community-less purveyors of flexible spaces such as Regus) arguments are erupting about exactly what sorts of spaces get to wear the coworking label.

But for King, the expansive future of coworking is big enough to accommodate a wide range of models. “I do think coworking is in the sweet spot of multiple trends that are converging,” he says, citing the rise in contingent and independent work, tech trends and companies’ ever-present desire to drive down real estate costs. “This will be the year where the size of the industry starts to accelerate more rapidly,” he predicts, but it will diversify as it grows. And that’s OK with King.

Citing the difficulty his firms faces in even counting coworking spaces (about 700-800 in the U.S. is their best bet) due to the heterogeneity of the movement, King concludes: “Coworking is always going to be on a spectrum of which they’ll be sort of this far end, purist view of the world that actually fits the traditional definition of coworking all the way down to jellies at libraries with a lot of stuff in between.” (http://gigaom.com/collaboration/get-ready-for-coworking-2-0/)