Monday, January 31, 2011

The Attack of the Collaborative/Co-Working Spaces Continues: General Assembly

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Last week the NYTimes did a profile on General Assembly a techie start-up co-working space that has the feel of a university. A gathering space for New York's tech entrepreneurs. Check out the General Assembly site here.

My colleague and friend Engin Erdogan is an interaction designer in New York and paid a visit to General Assembly last week and described it like this:
"Co-working space meets startup training in real time. They describe it as, space is infrastructure, like hardware. Programming (educational opps for startups) is software. When you bring them together, you have a loosely guided place where there is bunch of synergy between people working with similar constraints, lots of opps for exchanging knowledge. They are selective about their startups (e.g. funded ). "

With so many of these shared real estate resources going online in the last year it is easy to imagine a not so distant future where entire central urban districts are filled with small hubs that support a myriad of different tribes. Large corporations no longer have a need for the adjacency and density of urban real estate. But small ventures thrive on this environment and the more they pool together to share resources and a common synergy, the more they thrive. The city will be owned by the small and nimble business in a matter of decades.

Thanks to Engin for sharing his experience at General Assembly.

More to come from other co-working/collaborative environments in SF and NYC in the days to come.