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Alex Hillman

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On Monocultural Coworking

1 minute read
by Alex Hillman

Single-demographic coworking misses the point – the thickest value of coworking I’ve seen is in creating a work construct where people who wouldn’t likely sit next to each other to work, find that possibility for themselves, and the possibilities derived from that opportunity are endless. But a room full of designers thinking like other designers, or a room full of realtors thinking like other realtors, miss out on that experience.

Developing these monocultural workspaces is a step in the wrong direction, and undermines the “possibility engine” and serendipity factor that coworking is so good at.

The rub is that a monocultural workspace do provide value. But I’m not convinced that it’s enough value to sustain past the idea of coworking being trendy.

The distraction of creating coworking that provides some value is inhibiting the ability to achieve FULL coworking value. It’s akin to the news and publishing industry being so reliant on advertising. YES, advertising is a multi-billion dollar industry – but it doesn’t generate enough thick value to keep the industries it supports afloat. The worst thing about advertising – and monocultural coworking – is that it works at all.

It just doesn’t work enough.


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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.