The short version:
Bo Abrams and Jim Dowd needed office space with good wifi, meeting rooms with current technology to meet clients and a location that was well designed and conducive to getting work done. They discovered dozens of friends also wishing for a work environment that offered professional services and the community to go with it.
And so it began.
The long embellished version:
Once upon a time there was a family that lived in a little house. One of the people (we’ll call him “Dad”) decided on a lovely spring day to start his own company. Everyday Dad would wake up and go to the living room couch with his coffee after his children left for school and type away on his computer, except when he was making calls. At first the family was so happy to see Dad on the couch. Before this he had worked 80 hours a week and got home after everyone went to sleep.
“Yay! Dad’s home!” everyone said. However, the sight of Dad on the couch quickly became less fun. Dad wanted everyone to be quiet, except when he wanted to chat.
The tween son said, “How are we supposed to know if you are working or just hanging out on Facebook?”
The spouse said, “Here, I made you a hat so we will know when you are working.”
The teenage daughter said, “Dad, it’s annoying to have you here all the time.”
So, the dad found himself an office; a tiny room up four flights of stairs in a rickety, historic building with only intermittent heat. It wasn’t as big or as nice as the bathroom at the Mobil station nor did it have WiFi, but, back home, the daughter could sing again, and the son could play trumpet again, and the spouse could sit on the couch with the dog without being glared at.
Everyone would have lived happily ever after, except the dad’s business began to grow. While this was a good problem to have, the dad’s office space couldn’t accommodate his needs.
The dad was driving back and forth to Boston and Cambridge for meetings, and starting to consider setting up shop closer to his clients. Yet the business wasn’t profitable enough to sink money into an office with a conference room and wireless and a good coffee setup.
So, the spouse began inquiring about office space on Cape Ann, and discovered the lack of affordable rentals for a budding start-up.
Researching solutions, the spouse discovered coworking. The concept was perfect for evolving workspace needs. Soon she was having conversations about coworking with friends, family and other community members. She found only one problem; there was no such place on Cape Ann.
Then one day, while visiting Ithaca, NY, she needed to get some work done, and discovered FIVE different kinds of coworking spaces in the city. She went to each space and worked.
From that point on, the spouse visited every coworking space she could find, interviewing the managers, owners, employees and, most importantly, users. She became obsessed (in the best possible way), and began studying coworking in earnest. She attended conferences. She collaborated with researchers and entrepreneurs. And eventually, she formed a working group to bring the vision of coworking to Cape Ann.
The rest of this story is yet to be written… Become a part of it!