Brick & Mortar
Coworking Space, 2012-2014
Ahead of its time, or another example of a time when I let enthusiasm beat out having a solid business plan?
Brick & Mortar was Moscow's first coworking space. My business partner Chris Aberle and I wanted to create a space to help encourage entrepreneurial and artistic endeavor.
Here's the thing any coworking guru will tell you: the number one thing you need to do when starting a coworking space is to gather the community first. Community first, then you find a physical location. In larger markets you may be able to survive with an "if you build it, they'll come" approach - but then you may just be renting premium office space, not really fostering creative community. We were so excited about the concept that we may have jumped the gun a bit.
We moved physical locations no less than four times in two years. It was exhausting.
Good things came out of the experience, though. I got to know some remarkable people - photographer, storyteller and Instagram pioneer Branden Harvey, brilliant programmer Mark, and writer extraordinaire Thornton Sully. Chris and I also proved that our friendship could withstand multiple failed business partnerships. The last Brick & Mortar space became the first space of ConsignCloud, and a year or so after we closed our coworking space another serial entrepreneur started a much more successful one.