It was 2012 when I first came in the coworking space of the Science and Technology Park of Gran Canaria in Tafira. It’s been a long time since then, said Herbie from Yesland a while ago.
Guido from Comparadentistas, Santi Tuecohuella, Alberto and Hector from Smartbytes, Silvia and Patri from Etnonautas, Julio AnimaciónTv and this humble. What a team.
We were all cut from the same cloth, the Tecnobeca, a program for entrepreneurs organized by the SPEGC from which also came Yaye from Recomendar, Leire and Mikel Jukenplay, Luis Center of Rock, Fran Streetarter and many gladiators more willing to take on the world with a shield and a sword when entrepreneurship was not yet a fashion but a necessity in the hardest moment of the crisis that hit Spain. Greetings to all fighters.
I think there was no other coworking space in the city. I don’t know if it was before or after Paletexpres opened in Salinetas, but I remember that there was no other coworking space yet in Las Palmas de G.C. Maybe an incubator center.
We paid less than 50€ per month/person. It was great as we were all beginning with our startups and had to reduce costs as much as possible. Awesome.
Five years later, entrepreneurship is a now a business rather than an attitude.
All around this social phenomenon there is now a fair, a circus with monkeys. It’s something like football, it’s still football, but it’s not the same. Those who know what I’m talking do know what I mean.
Real entrepreneurs are working. Not in the circus.
Giving hard because no one will help them. Nobody will come and give a pat on your back until you make it. Once again: Until you make it. The life of an entrepreneur is hard and thankless. You lose your sleep, you sink, you occasionally have highlights and suddenly, you have another setback.
Five years later, there are coworking spaces everywhere. There is even an association of coworking spaces. Now it seems that if you don’t work in a coworking space you’re not cool.
Prices have gone up, hover between 100-150€ per month. It is no longer a new trend. It is a business. It seems that it no longer focuses to entrepreneurs but rather more to positioned freelancers and digital nomads. So they have raised the prices. Something like what happened with rental prices in Guanarteme.
Twists of life. I ended up managing, among other incubator buildings, the Coworking B of SPEGC. A public coworking that unlike others, was created with the real aim of helping Gran Canaria’s entrepreneurs and foster the participants of the acceleration programs organized there. Not to make money. I liked the idea when I was offered the challenge of dinamizing the Technology Park of Gran Canaria.
There was not a master degree, there was not a course which explains you how to manage a coworking space or how a technology park must be dynamized.
Nobody taught me how a collaborative workspace should be runned. I had to learn it all basing on intuition, logic and, of course, also from my own mistakes.
But soon I realized that, like most things which involves many people, the most important thing is empathy, communication and interaction with others.
It is not like a simple real estate service of offices, which also is, as it is a deal in which one part offers a decent work space in consideration for a payment done by the other part.
Cleaning service, fast internet, nice decoration and equipment, comfortable furniture. These are things that should not even be mentioned. These details should, of course, be in good condition.
A coworking space has a human factor, an interconnection between its members to be properly maintained and pampered.
A coworking space is like a garden of orchids, of delicate plants. It is not enough just to water them. They are not cactus. You must pay attention to small details. Attend each of the coworkers as a member of a community, not as a simple tenant.
And this is when, as a coworker, you produce in your work. It is proved. You produce more. When you are in a pleasant environment in connection with items that bring you positive energy instead of stealing it. When you feel at home and even better than at home.
In coworking spaces people have to rotate because people evolve, because life without changes or progress is not life. And that’s what sets us apart from orchids and cacti. We move.
I’ve had the good luck to be present in some of the events and programs organized on these issues, as Coworknet, where some of the most representative coworking spaces of Europe met together to talk about their experiences, to expose data, statistics and survey results. In short, information of interest from people who know about the subject and from which I’ve been fortunate to learn a little more.
It is proved. There are evidences, rates, surveys, statistics. Working in coworking spaces is an evolution in optimization of the results of people’s work. It has made freelancers leave their caves (homes) and work in community. But the important thing now is not to distort the essence, not to turn it into a brief fad. It has already become a lifestyle which, thanks to the Internet, new social tribes like the digital nomads have appeared in our society.
In coworking spaces occur many sensational things that I have witnessed and of which I feel fortunate to have been present. And many more I have left to see.
I have seen how people without resources have reached things that are priceless.
I have seen strangers helping one another selflessly.
I have seen people who arrived separately joining and forming teams to unite forces and create a business together.
I have seen how shy and introverted people who hardly believed in themselves, suddenly got on the top when they were given the opportunity to talk about their dreams in public.
I have seen beautiful things. I have witnessed (I can’t define them another way) miracles.
Pictures can not express those moments, even these lines or pictures can’t explain the things happened in the Coworking B.
And everyone goes looking for life as they can. Some better than others, as in all sectors, but what happens in a coworking is worthy of study and analysis. And I am not talking about rates or statistics.
I don’t know if I’ll be witness one day to see the rising of a superstar in entrepreneurhip from Coworking B.
What I know is that I already feel part of a galaxy of people who have given me more than they think when they thank me for the little things I can help them with.
I don’t know if in all public and private coworking spaces, it happens the same. I hope so. Otherwise, I consider myself lucky to I have lived these magic moments and I am proud to have contributed a little to make these miracles take place. Amen.