Loosecubes, Friday, February 3, 2012

This is our first company office with co-working spots, versus a pure co-working space.  Quite a different dynamic.  The co-workers are put in an area to the side, while the company works in the main space.  3 out of the 5 co-working desks are used all of te time, so there’s really only 2 guest spots.  On Feb 3, we were the guests.

Pros:

  • Monitors available at the co-working spots
  • Nicer chairs (though not enough. one of us almost had to work on a stool
  • There’s a tent for a conference room!
  • Bright space
  • Bike parking
  • Fast internet (Download 41.91, upload 54.25 pr speakeasy.net, what!)
  • Nice views, we’re on a high floor so you can see over the buildings
  • Not as close to the bridge (a huge concern in DUMBO because the subway is loud)
  • It’s only $5 a day.  Dude!
  • Decent bars nearby

Minuses

  • Because it’s a company, they aren’t as welcoming and inclusive in the co-working experience.  They set us up pleasantly enough, but it’s not the same energy of “omg, yes, be part of our community please!”  like other places. It’s also not the point to the space either.  Although, since they’re focused on co-working for their business, we were surprised at the insularity.
  • Sitting with a company can be loud.  They have a lot of meetings.
  • Not terribly quiet, any confidential conversations can be heard by everyone
  • Not too many cheap lunch options

Highlights:

  • The tent.  It’s cool.
  • Having a documentary film maker come in and ask us if we wanted to talk about butts.  yes, like the one you are sitting on.  Apparently they’re doing some documentary about anal sex or something.  We all had a good laugh about that.  Definitely office wide bonding moment.

This is a great space to try for a day but not necessarily to settle into for good.  There are 3 folks who work here on an on-going basis, but they pretty much keep to themselves.  The split between office and co-workers is clear.

It is however a great space to overhear others talking about the concept of co-working.  Very cool on that!  We had hoped for more of that though.  They really sounded like any other tech startup talking about resumes and wireframes.

marthadenton Posted by marthadenton

The Grind, Meeting Edition, October 3 & 7
So, Laurea and I have been busy little working bees, as we’re sure you little bees have been as well.  Laurea was fortunate enough to book a workshop this week at Grind Space so she got to really take advantage of the fancy conference room action.
I needed a conference room last Monday evening and the only space I could find was Grind Spaces.  So, only makes sense we update you on what it’s like to run a meeting at The Grind, yo!
Some background on my meeting:
One of the 8 million projects I work on is Ignite NYC  (www.ignitenyc.org), as the presentation guru.  That means that I chase the speakers to get their slides, make sure they are in the right formate, load them on the presentation machine, run the machine during the event, and oh yeah, coach and rehearse all the speakers.  The rehearsing and coaching is really the most time consuming but also the most rewarding (I love seeing people improve.  Shameless plug for my services:  www.thepresentationschool.com)
Anyway, to do that I need a monitor for the presentation machine, water, a clicker, reception to have food delivered (presentation deliverers gotta eat), work space for presenters to work away like crazy people on their slides, WiFi for file transfer, and privacy so everyone can give presentations.
The conference rooms here were perfect for this!  At the beginning of your meeting, the lovely staff brings you ice water in a pitcher, glasses to drink it out of and they set up your machine with whatever cords you need to get your meeting going.  They’re also super accommodating with coffee, tea , directing folks to you, and receiving deliveries of food at reception.
People who got there early had a lovely area to sit and chat in.  I felt pride in bringing the oh-so-impressive speakers to such a cool, beautiful and professional space.  It was also super easy for everyone to come in, no hassle with security stuff.
Our meeting went smooth outside of the items I left at home (let’s call my bed a bad co-working place, it eats my Flip camera and power cords – no wonder I’m hunting for a new space).  Everyone felt comfortable, we had plenty of space to move around the room, had no technical difficulties once we were up and running.  AND I had the added bonus of being able to write on the wall so I was able to put some high level tips up there for people to focus on while talking.  
Really a great place to have a meeting!  BTW, it’s $35/hour for members.  First come, first served.  I liked it so much, I’m talking to them about using the room regularly for Presentation classes.
*Note image above is me being a ninja and taking a picture of Laurea in her meeting in the conference room.  She wasn’t in the know hence the “mer, what are you doing Martha?”  look on her face.  Ha!

The Grind, Meeting Edition, October 3 & 7

So, Laurea and I have been busy little working bees, as we’re sure you little bees have been as well.  Laurea was fortunate enough to book a workshop this week at Grind Space so she got to really take advantage of the fancy conference room action.

I needed a conference room last Monday evening and the only space I could find was Grind Spaces.  So, only makes sense we update you on what it’s like to run a meeting at The Grind, yo!

Some background on my meeting:

One of the 8 million projects I work on is Ignite NYC  (www.ignitenyc.org), as the presentation guru.  That means that I chase the speakers to get their slides, make sure they are in the right formate, load them on the presentation machine, run the machine during the event, and oh yeah, coach and rehearse all the speakers.  The rehearsing and coaching is really the most time consuming but also the most rewarding (I love seeing people improve.  Shameless plug for my services:  www.thepresentationschool.com)

Anyway, to do that I need a monitor for the presentation machine, water, a clicker, reception to have food delivered (presentation deliverers gotta eat), work space for presenters to work away like crazy people on their slides, WiFi for file transfer, and privacy so everyone can give presentations.

The conference rooms here were perfect for this!  At the beginning of your meeting, the lovely staff brings you ice water in a pitcher, glasses to drink it out of and they set up your machine with whatever cords you need to get your meeting going.  They’re also super accommodating with coffee, tea , directing folks to you, and receiving deliveries of food at reception.

People who got there early had a lovely area to sit and chat in.  I felt pride in bringing the oh-so-impressive speakers to such a cool, beautiful and professional space.  It was also super easy for everyone to come in, no hassle with security stuff.

Our meeting went smooth outside of the items I left at home (let’s call my bed a bad co-working place, it eats my Flip camera and power cords – no wonder I’m hunting for a new space).  Everyone felt comfortable, we had plenty of space to move around the room, had no technical difficulties once we were up and running.  AND I had the added bonus of being able to write on the wall so I was able to put some high level tips up there for people to focus on while talking.  

Really a great place to have a meeting!  BTW, it’s $35/hour for members.  First come, first served.  I liked it so much, I’m talking to them about using the room regularly for Presentation classes.

*Note image above is me being a ninja and taking a picture of Laurea in her meeting in the conference room.  She wasn’t in the know hence the “mer, what are you doing Martha?”  look on her face.  Ha!

marthadenton Posted by marthadenton

Martha’s Take on The Grind Sept 16
PIC:  Laurea Working Liquid at The Grind.
So, the second location in our journey was The Grind.  You can only go there by being invited by other “grindists,”  in our case Jalina and Marcus from TEDxHarlem.  
Our first impression was “wow!  this is beautiful and fancy!”  The furniture is really nice and eco-oriented.  The tables are large, the chairs are really nice and there are outlets in the various tables.   It feels like a professional buzzy office that designers work at.  More importantly, this feels like the co-working space that you go to when you are ready to take yourself seriously.
Folks that work in the space work in all sorts of industries, not just tech like so many other co-working spaces.  And everyone is enthusiastically conducting business all day.  It’s totally ok to speak loudly, either at your table, in the phone booth, at one of the tables near the coffee or anywhere in the various private conversation booths.  There are also fancy couches to sit in if you want a more causal conversation, or 2 blinged out conference rooms with white board walls, pin walls or digital monitors for presentations.  2 of the walls are all windows.  There’s a professional lobby.  It’s fancy.
Right now it’s $500 a month or $35 a day.  They stay open until midnight, or until you’re done.  The receptionist desk is quite chill and the people are super friendly.  We really felt like we could walk up to any table and make friends and collaborate with people who are on the same level as we are.
Pluses:
We felt like adults here.  This is a big people space, many of the folks around us are in their 30s and 40s.  Some people were in suits.  
It’s a space we felt like we could bring any clients to, including our super corporate ones (of which I’m fortunate to have)
There are magazines in the bathroom stalls.  A small thing, but a fun thing.  I enjoyed looking at Italian fashion models while I did my thing.
There are monitors around and about if you need one.   A huge plus for someone who designs, like me.  It’s a huge part of why I stay in my house sometimes (my super fancy time 27” monitor is a huge pull)
Candy at the receptionist desk.  A small touch, but a great touch.
Intelligensia coffee  it’s their first location.  Talk about feeling like a cool kid with touches like that!
Approachable  – despite the awesome fancy collaborations (it’s behance, breakfast, magic+night and cool hunting supported), it feels like everyone wants to know everyone
Regular happy hours with fun talks.  There’s one this Thursday we may hit because we like these kids.
Location.  It’s Flatiron, right in the midst of all of the hot stuff going on right now.
Facilities are as nice as any fancy ad agency I’ve temped in.  There are mugs and glasses to use on site.  
Fantastic design.  As someone who’s studied interior design, it’s important to me.  It’s important to you, too.  You’d be surprised if you don’t care already :)
Drawbacks:
The price structure.  $500 is a big commitment.
Not a place for perpetually single Martha to pick up dudes.  They’re seemingly married.  
Highlights of the day:
Seeing a picture of Jalina with Deepak Chopra
Meeting friends of Marcus who are innovation strategists (cool!)
Cheap Indian lunch around the corner
Checking out the portfolios on the wall
The afternoon sun beaming into the space
The views down Park Ave South
Magazines in the bathroom
A lovely conversation about monkeys 
Having hip friends, one of them emailed me 2 days ago telling me to check this space out.  I was all “Laurea and I are hip and cool, we’ve been there, done that, love that, gonna blog that!”  My cool hip friend, Jesse, did have a contribution I wanna share with you, though.  This video:  http://www.psfk.com/2011/09/members-only-coworking-space-grind-opens-in-nyc.html

Martha’s Take on The Grind Sept 16

PIC:  Laurea Working Liquid at The Grind.

So, the second location in our journey was The Grind.  You can only go there by being invited by other “grindists,”  in our case Jalina and Marcus from TEDxHarlem.  

Our first impression was “wow!  this is beautiful and fancy!”  The furniture is really nice and eco-oriented.  The tables are large, the chairs are really nice and there are outlets in the various tables.   It feels like a professional buzzy office that designers work at.  More importantly, this feels like the co-working space that you go to when you are ready to take yourself seriously.

Folks that work in the space work in all sorts of industries, not just tech like so many other co-working spaces.  And everyone is enthusiastically conducting business all day.  It’s totally ok to speak loudly, either at your table, in the phone booth, at one of the tables near the coffee or anywhere in the various private conversation booths.  There are also fancy couches to sit in if you want a more causal conversation, or 2 blinged out conference rooms with white board walls, pin walls or digital monitors for presentations.  2 of the walls are all windows.  There’s a professional lobby.  It’s fancy.

Right now it’s $500 a month or $35 a day.  They stay open until midnight, or until you’re done.  The receptionist desk is quite chill and the people are super friendly.  We really felt like we could walk up to any table and make friends and collaborate with people who are on the same level as we are.

Pluses:

  • We felt like adults here.  This is a big people space, many of the folks around us are in their 30s and 40s.  Some people were in suits.  
  • It’s a space we felt like we could bring any clients to, including our super corporate ones (of which I’m fortunate to have)
  • There are magazines in the bathroom stalls.  A small thing, but a fun thing.  I enjoyed looking at Italian fashion models while I did my thing.
  • There are monitors around and about if you need one.   A huge plus for someone who designs, like me.  It’s a huge part of why I stay in my house sometimes (my super fancy time 27” monitor is a huge pull)
  • Candy at the receptionist desk.  A small touch, but a great touch.
  • Intelligensia coffee  it’s their first location.  Talk about feeling like a cool kid with touches like that!
  • Approachable – despite the awesome fancy collaborations (it’s behance, breakfast, magic+night and cool hunting supported), it feels like everyone wants to know everyone
  • Regular happy hours with fun talks.  There’s one this Thursday we may hit because we like these kids.
  • Location.  It’s Flatiron, right in the midst of all of the hot stuff going on right now.
  • Facilities are as nice as any fancy ad agency I’ve temped in.  There are mugs and glasses to use on site.  
  • Fantastic design.  As someone who’s studied interior design, it’s important to me.  It’s important to you, too.  You’d be surprised if you don’t care already :)

Drawbacks:

  • The price structure.  $500 is a big commitment.
  • Not a place for perpetually single Martha to pick up dudes.  They’re seemingly married.  

Highlights of the day:

  • Seeing a picture of Jalina with Deepak Chopra
  • Meeting friends of Marcus who are innovation strategists (cool!)
  • Cheap Indian lunch around the corner
  • Checking out the portfolios on the wall
  • The afternoon sun beaming into the space
  • The views down Park Ave South
  • Magazines in the bathroom
  • A lovely conversation about monkeys 

Having hip friends, one of them emailed me 2 days ago telling me to check this space out.  I was all “Laurea and I are hip and cool, we’ve been there, done that, love that, gonna blog that!”  My cool hip friend, Jesse, did have a contribution I wanna share with you, though.  This video:  http://www.psfk.com/2011/09/members-only-coworking-space-grind-opens-in-nyc.html


marthadenton Posted by marthadenton

Martha’s take on New Work City on Sept 9

For our very first trip on our co-working journey, Laurea and I hit one of the very first co-working spaces in New York, New Work City.  It was super easy for me to get to from North Park Slope via the N train (one whole stop!)  

It’s located on the second floor of a Chinatown commercial building.  To get into the space, you go down an aged metal hallway and up a flight of stairs, pretty old skool NYC stylee.  when you get in, you are greeted by a nice receptionist who takes you on a tour of the space and answers your various questions.  You can make copies, print, use a conference room, and drink free coffee.  

The seating areas seem to be split between the more populous back area and the the quieter and brighter front areas.  People seem to sit in the front to be more shut off or quieter from others, the back seems to be more social.  Big chatting meetings seem to happen in the center of the floor.

There are 2 one-holer bathrooms that are clean and have nice soap and paper towels.  Plenty of toilet paper so there is no awkward moment of yelling out to the other co-worker bees that you need some TP for your bunghole.

Desks are easy to move around, chairs are basic but better than folding chairs.  The space is easy to reconfigure and they do for classes, happy hours and other social outings.  They are really cool about social groups.  So if you want people to go to the gym with, be at the office at 9 am with or anything else you can think of, you’ll find those peeps here.

There seems to be more of a programmer vibe, meaning it’s a bit more casual, bit more dude.

Pros:

  • It’s ok to talk
  • There are attractive men bopping around, some even with accents 
  • Organizers are open to hearing about what you do and collaborating (I hope to teach some classes here)
  • Down to earth vibes
  • The big ass window in the front lets in a lot of natural light
  • Is in the midst of an NYC cheap lunch mecca
  • Desks and chairs are easy to configure in all sorts of arrangements, awesome for big events
  • Flexible billing plans

Cons

  • It’s not the sort of space you can take any client to, you can really only invite your more casual clients here
  • Bathrooms are really close to the receptionist desk

Yup, I’d go back.  Is it our final home?  Not sure.  Partially because we’ve just started exploring and there’s just too much to see, first!

Odd thing from the day:  I bought a bottle of water that I thought was in a black plastic bottle, turns out the actual water is black.  Too weird not to share.

****

Update!  I just had a meeting with one of the founders and their education director.  The training programs they’re in the process of developing are something to really take note of.  There’s a huge community orientation to it.  If you take a training there, you’ll get to have office hours with the trainer for re-enforcement of whatever you’ve learned.  New courses will be showcased in a Meet up style so you can get a sampling of the importance of that skill and a sense of the instructor.  They already host 8 Meet Ups so they’ve got a sense on how to use the space.  

Instructors are selected by quality of courses and if they jive with the whole New Work City vibe, which is now more focused on entrepreneurs, not just tech.  Super cool!!!!!

marthadenton Posted by marthadenton