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Spaces Die. Coworking lives on.

11 Feb 2011
by Alex Hillman

Though I’ve known for a couple of weeks, Tara just announced publicly that Citizen Space is closing at the end of this month.

For the uninitiated, Citizen Space, created by Chris Messina and Tara Hunt, is one of the earliest self-identified coworking spaces and has been the initial inspiration for Indy Hall and many, many coworking spaces since 2006.

My emotions are mixed.

In one sense, I’m saddened to feel like I’ve lost my home in San Francisco, though SF has never been a place I felt could be my home.

In another sense, I’m glad, because I think that closings of even very well known and respected coworking spaces will unfortunately put a necessary lens of reality on coworking. It’s earned a great deal of hype over the last few years, and I don’t believe that coworking belongs in textbooks (and I do believe it will belong in textbooks) until both the good and bad aspects of coworking are explored more completely.

In yet another sense, I’m understanding. I completely understand and respect the decision made to end the era of Citizen Space. It marks nothing more than that – the end of Citizen Space. The things it’s accomplished, the people it’s touched, the examples its set, all live on.

I’ve said time and time again, coworking isn’t about space. So I can’t get too frothy about the closing of a space, even if it has sentimental ties for me.

Now’s not the time to get analytical about what could have been done to save CitizenSpace, or why it closed, though I have no doubt that the blogs will make quick work of publishing their opinions and pontifications.

To that point, I’m very impressed with the amount of peace Tara has expressed with her decision. Many leaders hold onto things for the sake of power and influence. Tara knows better. That’s why I respect her.

And why I’m pouring some out for my homie, Citizen Space.

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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.