Back in mid-2008, I was contacted by Ian Graham after he saw a post on Startup Ottawa about my software startup. Before the end of the week, we had agreed that LavaBlast Software would become The Code Factory’s operational software provider. I had never visited a co-working location before but I instantly knew it was a great idea in today’s business market. Having launched a distributed software startup some 18 months earlier, the value proposition was clear to me.
Today, I feel The Code Factory is a great place for completely different reasons; I’d like to share this realisation with you. When The Code Factory launched, I thought a co-working location was a great way to keep costs down in a lean software startup because small businesses avoid paying a huge amount of rent by sharing the facilities. However, it turns out that co-working locations are much more than an extra rung in the garage to office building ladder.
First realization: co-working locations are not only for businesses
Because of its shared co-working space and individual tables, The Code Factory allows individuals to share the space. This means consultants and professionals share the space with businesses. Some are just starting up but others have decades of experience under their belts. They don’t aim to run a 50 person team one day, they’re happy as things are and are simply looking for a nice place to meet with clients and avoid working alone all day. Additionally, individuals provide stability to the space because they won’t outgrow it as other start-ups do.
Second realization: co-working locations are ideal places to make new contacts
Thanks to The Code Factory, I have met hundreds of people. Some run businesses like mine, others are professionals and some are simply looking for a cool place to have lunch. I was not expecting such a diverse clientele from a software co-working location. I’ve talked about business, strategy, marketing, currency exchanges, software engineering, law, accounting, government lobbying and many other subjects with other members. I’ve built bidirectional relationships with tons of people in the Ottawa-area just by dropping by The Code Factory.
Today, I understand that the true essence of co-working locations is not about being “a place to work”. It’s about meeting other people.
If you haven’t met Ian Graham yet, drop by for a coffee.
Thank you very much Jason.
- Ian Graham