Project Asterisk: The Intention

I just got married. My wife has taken the wheel on our way to our honeymoon destination in Orlando, so I'm taking the opportunity to keep up this blog-writing streak. My best friend and former boss, Gregg Hilferding of GreenBar, performed the ceremony. We didn't really have an official wedding party, but if we did (and if he hadn't gotten his officiant's license) he would have been my best man. As such, he was the one I was hanging out with before the event while we waited for the event to begin.

Incidentally, he also happens to be one of the business owners that I hope will be a cornerstone of the Green Asterisk Coworking Space. He has a lot of experience in coworking and a lot of good advice to give. So, while we were waiting for the ceremony to begin, I picked his brain a little.

He told me that one of the problems some coworking spaces have in the beginning is that they begin as a collective of startups that each individually want to start up completely different businesses and none of them want to actually do the business of running the space. Sometimes that problem is solved by bringing in a third party to manage the space, which may work for a while until that third party realizes that this isn't actually what they had in mind and begins to shirk their responsibilities. And, of course, the people who had this idea in the first place are the ones that suffer the consequences.

So I started off this journey learning about coworking spaces that have the space in mind first and decided that's not the way I want to do it. This model has the community first, but no one in the community wanted to be the landlord. They had their own things going on and would have loved to reap the benefits of using a coworking space with their friends, but didn't actually want to start it themselves because they were too busy. Again, this little piece of the puzzle has served to bolster my conviction that I'm on to something. Because I want to be the landlord.

I happen to have a lot of friends in the startup community. And it wasn't until now that I thought I had any great idea for my own startup. Now my idea is to startup a startup that helps startups startup. So, now I am in that community of startups that want to cowork together, but instead of no one wanting to take responsibility for the space, I'm the one taking responsibility for the space. It is, in fact, my intention to find, maintain, and host this space.

So, it takes the community first, but the space, though it comes second, is an imperative part of the equation. And the manager is an important part of the space. You need a manager that is invested not only the success of the coworking space they manage but also in the startup community as a whole. And that's what I intend to be.

Gregg and I also talked a bit about whether or not it would be a good idea to hire my wife as the assistant to the manager, but that's a whole other blog post.