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Coworking Day

3 minute read
by Alex Hillman

Last week, Cadu de Castro Alves of Bees Office in Rio de Janeiro (!!!) noticed that it was nearly the 5 year anniversary of when Brad Neuberg announced coworking at The Spiral Muse in San Francisco.

My how we’ve grown since then. Thanks go out to Brad for not only trying something, but then sharing. He took his idea and what he’d learned, and shared it. And so it began.

Other than some Tweeting, I unfortunately didn’t get to do much to celebrate this year, but plan to change that in years to come. That doesn’t mean I didn’t take some time to reflect on what it meant for Brad to recognize and propose a simple solution to a problem that many of us have experienced first hand:

Traditionally, society forces us to choose between working at home for ourselves or working at an office for a company. If we work at a traditional 9 to 5 company job, we get community and structure, but lose freedom and the ability to control our own lives. If we work for ourselves at home, we gain independence but suffer loneliness and bad habits from not being surrounded by a work community. From Brad’s first writings about coworking, it was clear what this was about:


Most recently, Coworking Seattle (one of the first, if not the first, regional organization of coworking efforts) wrote a definition that is among the best I’ve seen for coworking:

Coworking is about making the personal choice to work along side other people instead of in isolation. Look familiar?

It’s on days like this, through ideas like this, that I’m reminded how lucky we are to have people paving the way for us who wish to recognize that we DO have the ability to choose, from where we work to who we work with, and we’re total dummies if we’re not taking advantage of those abilities.

I’ve spent more time involved in coworking than I did in college, and I’m 100% confident that my life has improved more from being involved in this network, this community of people, than anything else I’ve experienced in my 27 years.

I’m thankful for those who I call mentors, colleagues, and friends through this process: Brad Neuberg, Chris Messina, Tara Hunt, Geoff DiMasi, Tony Bacigalupo, Matthew Wettergreen, Jacob Sayles and Susan Evans. This short list is barely representative of the number of people I’ve learned from, though.

Every day, in some ways more enjoyable than others, I learn something on the coworking google group. When I joined, that group was less than 100 people. Today that group is subscribed to by over 2700 people from around the globe.

And the members of Indy Hall, who saw their own story and vision in mine, and decided to join us on this crazy ride. From one crazy voice to over 100, the stories told by Indy Hall members about this time in our lives are stories to be cherished, as I’m confident we’re doing something unique, remarkable, special, and amazing.

And like Brad, we’ll continue to share. Our successes, our failures, our ideas, our opinions, and our insights.

On this August 9th, and every August 9th from here on out, I look forward to reflecting and remembering the history of where one of the most important groups of people in my life came from.

Thanks Brad. Thanks Everyone.

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Alex Hillman I am always thinking about the intersection of people, relationships, trust and business. I founded Indy Hall in 2006, making us one of oldest fully independent coworking communities in the world. This site is packed with the lessons and examples I’ve learned along the way. You can find me on Twitter, too! 🐦 Say hi.