Cohere Bandwidth: What IS or What COULD Be?

Thank you card CB

It’s hard to pick a song of the week when you don’t have audio on your computer! I picked this song by Post Paradise purely off of the title, lyrics and this line in particular, “If I’ve got strings and I’ve got friends then I’ve got means to all my ends.” <—that pretty much sums up how we feel about Cohere Bandwidth. We’ll continue to collect people and ideas (and maybe some instruments) until it becomes clear what we should do.

We STILL haven’t been able to do a detailed analysis of the focus group info partially owing to the fact that we just completed one last night at the horrifyingly (to me) late hour of 9pm. What we do have is these awesome thank you cards that the musicians signed for all of our pizza  sponsors. We also found out that Krazy Karl’s has AMAZE-BALLS pizza for a great price. After buying 8 large pizzas and 2 cinnamon breads we still have some sponsor money leftover for our next social event; a “Photo Band Reunion” where we all bring a picture of ourselves from band in Jr. High or High School. Braces anyone? Stay tuned for that.

I would also like to share an excerpt from an email that we wrote to help clarify our direction. We got a little lost in our first focus group and got too focused on WHAT IS rather than what COULD BE regarding shared space for musicians.

—Cohere Bandwidth’s process is more in depth and our vision is larger than a simple shared rehearsal space where you pay to play. We’ll be gathering people and ideas together, dreaming big and building passion BEFORE we look for space. This process could take months and that’s okay because the end result will be mind-blowing (we hope!).
We ask for your patience as we will put in the majority of our effort into gathering your thoughts, ideas and opinions before we find that useful container that is a physical space. We promise that this time consuming and extensive process will be worth it.—

Cohere Bandwidth: Forgot to Focus

 

We’re overwhelmed with the amount of info we gathered at our first focus group for Cohere Bandwidth Shared Rehearsal Space so we need a little bit of time to process and condense that for you.

We got so excited about the first focus group last night that we all forgot about the “to-do” to take photos. Whoopsies. Luckily Julie has footage of almost everyone so please enjoy these photos of some of our awesome local musicians who attended.

nick-byskippy

Nick Duarte of Post Paradise Photo credit: On The Fly Photography

Better Than Bacon

James Yearling and Mike Desantis of Better Than Bacon Photo credit: Chris Surface

Ian Meynaus

Ian Haygood and Menyus Borocz of Wire Faces Photo Credit: Summit Studios

We’re sad that we don’t have photos of Mike Sherry, bass player and Mikus, bass player for 20×111 but 20X111’s song is above for your listening pleasure.

Read all of the Cohere Bandwidth updates here.

We have another focus group on Wednesday, May 8th from 7p-9p. If you want to join us email Ian now. Free pizza and beer!

 

 

Cohere Bandwidth: Survey Results for Shared Rehearsal Space

Will Work For Bandwidth

Read all of the past Cohere Bandwidth updates here.

The survey is closed and we had a great response from the community. I’m going to channel my inner grad-student and go all scholarly on you. Hang on to your vintage hats.

ONE BILLION people were asked to complete a survey about their current conditions and preferences for potential shared rehearsal space in Fort Collins, Colorado. Responses were requested via email, Facebook and Twitter. We requested that respondents be “in a band” or “a musician” in Fort Collins, Colorado.

The goal of the survey was to find out the current reality for musicians and their rehearsal spaces including satisfaction and cost. We also wanted to gather preliminary data on importance of common rehearsal space amenities, location and to find people to participate in focus groups.

63 musicians completed the online survey. Click on any of the graphs to see larger images.

The average age of those who took the survey was 32 years. The youngest was 18, the oldest; 52.

Surprisingly, the majority of respondents are satisfied or very satisfied (32 total) with their current rehearsal space. Based on our initial talks with band members, we assumed that there would be FAR more unsatisfied rehearse-ers. 20 respondents were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their current space.

How Satisfied

We also really need to know how much people are paying for their rehearsal space. The vast majority pay NOTHING. We assume that this means they are rehearsing at home. <—-this sounds familiar. Freelancers, anyone? A shortcoming of our research is that we can’t correlate satisfaction with how much they pay. Right now we assume that those who pay the most are the most satisfied but this is an excellent focus group topic to find out more.

Per month fee for space
We never want to assume that people want to share. Especially when thousands of dollars of band equipment is in the equation. So we asked. To our delight, 78% of the musicians we surveyed are willing to share. Sharing FTW.

Would you share
It’s often not terribly important to get hung up on physical amenities this early in the process BUT with the recent thefts of band equipment we knew we needed to at least ask about security. We also heard that many people rehearse without a bathroom (yikes), heat (brrrr) or soundproofing (sorry neighbors). We researched a bunch of other shared rehearsal spaces online and tossed in some of their common amenities (vending machines) just to see what would happen.

Security, clean electrical, cost and locked storage won. Vending machines failed miserably as did discounts to business services and having an included PA in the space. We’ll dig more in to these things in the focus groups.
Amenities

It was important to communicate how different the price of real estate is in different parts of our town. We indicated this in our survey by using dollar signs. The Mulberry/Industrial area is the most affordable and this got the majority of responses followed by the Old Town as the most expensive area. This leads me to believe that we might have two very different groups of musicians in our group. It will be important to delve further in to this topic at the focus groups.

Location

 

Conclusion: we are stoked. The focus groups are set up and Ian is taking RSVPs from those survey respondents who expressed interest. BTW, 60% of people who took the survey gave us their email addresses which we think is very, very neat.

Read all of the Cohere Bandwidth updates here.

And another shout out to our awesome and generous focus group pizza sponsors. Visit their websites today. Did I mention that they are all Independent business owners in our town? Yeah. They’re cool like that. Oh, they are ALL either current or alumni members of Cohere. How fucking sweet is that?!

Amanda Miller, The Place Setting Company

Molly Hoff, The Freelance Bean Counter

Carson Block, Consultant and Edgewater Juke

image credits: Angel Kwiatkowski

 

 

Cohere Bandwidth: Focusing in Fort Collins

Focus Groups

Things have slowed down a bit this week as we closed the survey with over 60 responses and planned the dates for the focus groups. We had a great response to our call for donations and would like to give a ceremonial VIP ALL ACCESS PASS to the following music friends:

Amanda Miller, The Place Setting Company

Molly Hoff, The Freelance Bean Counter

Carson Block, Consultant and Edgewater Juke

Focus Groups are being held:

  • May 2nd at 4:00pm
  • May 8th at 7:00pm

We will be providing free beer and free pizza for all attendees thanks to the above sponsors!  Please feel free to email me with any questions you may have and let me know which of these two dates works best for you.  PLEASE RSVP to Ian by April 17th.

And now I will leave you with this largely uninformational yet fun chat that Julie and I had about thigh highs, sea horses and break-away mom jeans as well as a small joke at Ian’s expense which only he will get…

me: I am stir crazy/snowed in.
8:09 PM Julie: Don’t go all The Shining on your baby
 me: I think the husband  sensed something and came home early from work today so everyone is alive and the axes have been locked away.
 Julie: Excellent.
  I have been out more than I wanted to be. I’m on my third pair of wool socks.
8:10 PM me: yowza  they last longer if you wear shoes.
 Julie: I thought I might have to kill someone while dragging the trash cans to the “curb”.
  All the snow comes in through your boot tops when it’s up to your thighs.
8:11 PM BUT. I’m home now. Still working but in warm sweatpants
 me: In this case, thigh-high isn’t as sexy as it should be.
 Julie: Srsly
  So. I think we need to set a time to think about focus group questions but I can’t remember whether we have or when or what or who
  I need FOCUS so bad it hurts
8:12 PM me: we haven’t
  I think I need to analyze before that happens. I’m way behind due to the nanny not coming in today.
 Julie: OH, right. Anal.Ysis.
  But, you can’t analyze until survey closes which is … Friday?
8:13 PM me: I believe so. I analyze next week. It won’t be hard at all to come up with focus group questions. I HAVE actually done this part before!
 Julie: Oh, thank Gawd. I keep forgetting that it’s not your first rodeo. Just mine.
  And I hate horses, did I ever tell you that?
me: we need a metaphor for us two.
8:14 PM I’m blind, you’re in wet socks? I got nothing.
 Julie: Hmmm.
  I’m sure there is something.
8:15 PM me: How can you hate horses? What about sea horses?
 Julie: I LOVE sea horses. ALOT.
  Actual horses are large and high-strung and bug me
  In metaphor land: if this were a band, I feel I would be the tambourine player.
8:16 PM Largely decorative, with no real purpose, but enthusiastic and hopefully, someone that inspires the crowd to clap along or something
  You and Ian are the actual experts
8:17 PM Julie: Cowbell requires far more confidence
me: At best, I feel like the guy in a wrestling match who does the LET”S GET READY TO RUMBBBBBBBBBBLLLLLLLEEEEEEE thing.
  and then steps back to safety while shit gets real.
8:18 PM Julie: Except: you also spring off the ropes back into the ring when you remember that you really DO know the things
8:19 PM me: I would like to be wearing some sort of breakaway pants in our metaphor. Maybe I pull off my mom jeans and underneath are skinny black pants or something.
 Julie: THAT. just made me laugh out loud
  Like the pants that are so skinny the get stuck on your calf if you itch your leg?
  (that was hilarious)<—-joke
8:20 PM me: OMG, yes. OMG. YES.
 Julie: These are the dangers of cool.
8:21 PM That’s why I go back to the tambourine. I’m pretty sure that just requires a twirly skirt, maybe some clogs
 me: clogs that squeak? check.
 Julie: I love this zany chat; it’s just what I needed.
Julie: Got it. Will do!
8:37 PM me: Nighty night!
  Can I be the wolf tonight? Warmer fur?
 Julie: Of course. I’ll be Michele Pfeiffer. No fur or fat. Sounds neat
  xo

image credit

Cohere Bandwidth: People Before Place

Field of Dreams

No Place <<<— here is your local song of the week by The Holler!

Unless you like baseball and see ghosts and live on a farm you are unlikely to find success building a collaborative shared space without a robust community in place. I see coworking spaces struggle when they believe that, “if you build it, they will come.” A better matra for fledgling community efforts would be, “we will build it as we grow (and we don’t really need a physical space right now or ever).”

Removing your attachment to finding a physical space is really, really hard. We’re conditioned to look for A PLACE for ourselves at every turn: your first bedroom, treehouse, dorm room, first apartment, house, office building, coffee shop. People like containers that house things. It’s natural but hella hard to remember when we get a call about every 6 hours from somebody claiming that they’ve been wanting to start a shared rehearsal space and already have a building etc etc.

We could easily fall in to the trap of finding a “great” space that works for US (us being Julie, Ian and me) but as Julie constantly reminds us, “are we putting the musicians first?” Afterall, the space isn’t about US, it’s about THEM and until THEY tell US what THEY need, we have no business looking at buildings for THEM, WITHOUT THEM. I’ll stop shouting at you now. If you want more detail on this please buy the ebook I co-authored about the importance of people before place.

Here are the other less philosophical things that happened this week.

  • We continue survey deployment and have already exceeded our goal of 50 respondants! Woohoo. This means we can start analysis sooner than we thought.
  • Focus group planning is in the works. Ian is gathering email addresses and checking dates/times.
  • We need 10 pizza/beer sponsors to keep everyone lively at the focus groups. If you feel inspired by this project and can spare $20 please email Angel at fccoworking@gmail.com.
  • Julie and I haven’t had our zany weekly chat yet but we have pancakes tomorrow so I’ll let you know if any hilarity ensues.

Bookmark this link to see all the Cohere Bandwidth updates together. http://coherecommunity.com/blog/tag/cohere-bandwidth

image credit

Cohere Bandwidth: Widely Announced, Lovingly Received

Cohere Bandwidth Love

Telling you everything is a lot of work–but worth it. Here’s what has happened this week. Catch up with last week’s post.

Last Wednesday Julie invited me to a meeting that the Coloradoan hosted at Avo’s to see how they could further support the local music scene. A few of the attendees were Stacy Nick, the entertainment writer for the Coloradoan, Merry from Bohemian (music events), Andrew from KRFC, Alana from Fierce Bad Rabbit, Dani with Spokesbuzz and Hans Mueller with FOCOMx. There were other attendees, don’t feel sad that I’ve not mentioned you.

I went merely to listen and see what was going on in the music scene because I already admitted that it’s a community that I don’t know at all. Throwing caution to the wind, I announced our plans to work on Cohere Bandwidth as a shared rehearsal space in Fort Collins.

Stacy requested to interview me about Cohere Bandwidth the following day, which I did, which was fun. She is nice and lovely. Meanwhile, I filled Julie in and then Julie and Ian (of Wire Faces and our helpful intern) also contributed to the story.

ALSO meanwhile, Julie and I had a late night google chat to tidy up the survey to distribute to musicians on their current reality and desires. Here are a few excerpts of our chat. We couldn’t publish the chat in its entirety because there was ALOT of swearing. ALOT. I did leave some swears in here for you. To show that even smart articulate women swear in the safety of one another’s online presence even when both parties are aware the the chat will likely be published in a blog post.

9:35 PM
me: herd. I can’t believe I’m working right now. Usually I’m watching netflix at this hour.
me: I think that Ian is going to incorrectly think that I’m some kind of shit kicker badass!
9:38 PM
Julie: Ian’s mind is getting blown this semester; he just didn’t realize how much.

Also: you are a shit kicker badass

me: I feel deeply that i need cowgirl boots. Also, I’m getting hung up on the age collection question. surveymonkey is not helpful.
9:40 PM
Julie: You don’t have cowgirl boots? That’s a travesty. If this thing fucking works, I am making it my mission to buy you cowgirl boots as a opening day bonus. You can kick the fucking front door in at christening time.

me: gently as I will have paid out the nose for that door.

Julie: :)

9:41 PM
me: Go in there and look at the age one. It’s going to be way time consuming to type all the dates in if we want it that granular. What if we just ask them how old they are? and they type it in? It’ll be slightly harder to analyze but I might be okay with that.

Julie: I just wanted a “select your birthdate” spinner … but age type-in is same thing, really
9:42 PM
me: there isn’t a spinner that I could find. that would be helpful

Julie: What the fuck is wrong with those people and their FREE TOOL. Assholes.

me: ah success. found the turquoise theme colors

Julie: Yes!

me: I was SO worried.

9:58 PM
Julie: Do we need to tell them in the intro who “we” are or leave that to the emails/social media postings/etc.

me: We have room for 3 more questions. Good point–that might be helpful. Then they’ll know we’re not strangers. Well, you’re not a stranger. I probably am. yes, add it.

Julie: OK.

Later, possibly the same night or early the next morning Julie sent this little wonder email to me. Any entrepreneur needs emotional fuel to keep them going and Julie provides it.

“http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-amen-md/lean-in-and-why-womens-br_b_2974570.html

Huff Post today. Naturally. With collaboration listed among the greatest strengths in the female brain.

The Estrogen Den is the new Bat Cave.” -Julie

The Coloradoan story ran Friday night online and last Saturday in print. Stacy, if you’re reading this I want to make sure that you know how absolutely lovely and well-written this story is. Never has the Coloradoan so accurately captured the spirit of one of my projects. Love. Love. Love. BAND MEMBERS: TAKE THE SURVEY PLEASE! <—-deadline is May 1st.

Within moments of the story going online, I got a phone call from Pho-Co, a local collaborative arts and recording studio and they want to talk with Julie and I about–you guessed it, collaboration. We met on Tuesday. They were really fun and we like them A LOT and their project is going to be amazing. Watch out Linden Street! THEN, I got a facebook message from Kirk Alberts offering to help out with graphic design and from Carson Block, just offering to help. Everyone has been put to work distributing the survey. Also, my friends Andrea, Kristin, Don and Christi posted nice words about the project and most importantly, my mom thinks it’s cool.

I would also field calls from Jody who has an empty building and Mike Sherry who is already on the runway with his project to bring a shared rehearsal space to south Fort Collins. Stay tuned for more on that.

In the spirit of musicality, I tasked Julie and Ian with finding a music selection for each blog post that matches the spirit of our efforts each week. I told them the theme this week is LOVE and here is your appropriately matched song by Justin Roth WITH bonus love scene footage. As you watch the video please keep this metaphor in  mind: as I have already admitted, I have no connections with the music scene in Fort Collins. The music scene seems hot and sexy to me. In this video, I AM THE BLIND GUY. Musicians, YOU are the hotty in the black lacy underwear. You will have to help me find the bed and pretty much lay right on top of me so I can find you in “the dark” but make sure you are wearing a lot of bronzer so I can smell you. Until next week.

Justin Roth

image credit: danielle scott

BAND MEMBERS: TAKE THE SURVEY PLEASE!

Cohere Bandwidth: Shared Rehearsal Space for Musicians–Or Not

Cohere-Bandwidth

I’m not even sure where to begin with this post. So I’ll just dive right in and hope that you can hang on to me as I plummet in to the depths of this announcement.

I’ve been dabbling with the idea of opening another Cohere location for over a year. We started and stopped, almost found what we needed and then my gut told me to bail late last year. It was a painful thing to let go but I knew I should wait for the next great idea to “pop.”

Last December, this POPPED.

Naturally, I would stay awake at night tossing this story around in my head-alternating between the excitement of feeling that I could contribute to the problem (lack of safe shared rehearsal space) and terror (lack of ANY knowledge of the local band scene).

Luckily, one of Cohere’s tenured members and one of my dearest friends Julie Sutter happens to know EVERYTHING about the local band scene and she GETS coworking and ME <

I broke the news to her over a pancake breakfast that I wanted to work on shared rehearsal space. She was instantly on her phone texting her music friends and getting traction for the idea. I hadn’t even swallowed my bite of food.

I’ll stop to interject that Julie has been involved with Spokesbuzz since it started helping local bands get national attention and Spokesbuzz just happens to have their world headquarters at Cohere.

The above announcement is all fine and well. New coworking spaces and their communities get announced like every 2.4 seconds these days. Nothing really fancy there. What IS fancy is that I’m going to tell you EVERYTHING about the process of building a new community AS IT HAPPENS. Yes, Beth and I wrote a couple of coworking ebooks for you about starting coworking communities but that was done AFTER we had gone through it. It’s one thing to remember how you did it and edit it down and make it consumable. It’s another thing to bring you along on the journey in real time where you can really see how complex and often joyous and painful it can be. The number one question people always ask us veterans of the coworking scene is, “how do you create community?” Well, my dear ones, watch for these blog posts to come on Fridays. Not every Friday mind you, I’m not a superhero. I’ll tell you pretty much everything that happened each week or two that will move us closer to or further away from our goal of creating a shared space and community for musicians in Fort Collins.

I say “closer to or further away from our goal” because there are 7 gabillion variables and my gut intuition that will let us know if we’re on the right path or if Cohere Bandwidth will never come to fruition. The fun part is the process. I hope you’ll join us no matter the outcome and learn something along the way.

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