Coworking in Loveland, Colorado

The Loveland arm of the Cohere Coworking Community started on June 29th with just three of us. Now we threaten to bust right out of our private room in Daz Bog. We alternate between 2 and 7 coworkers.

From left: Dusty, (Angel), Heidi, John and Megan

When coworkers 8 and 9 start to show up regularly we’re going to need some new digs…preferably a donated space in the downtown area that has magically quick and reliable internet. I’m accepting all reasonable offers at this time.

The coworkers who brave the musical selection whims of the Daz Bog employees are just as diverse as you’d want them to be. They harken from graphic design, on-the-road event promotion, spatial mapping, software development, copy writing and me, the ring leader of this technically creative circus of awesome.

Are you working from home and pining for socialization with two legged friends? Join us every Tuesday at the downtown DazBog in Loveland between 11a-5p. No need to RSVP, just show up! We cowork in the back room of the coffee shop. It’s fun, it’s free and we’ll be here.

Entrepreneurial Amnesia

Many coworking communities have started in coffee shops all around the world

Bringing coworking to Loveland has been an adventure. We’ve roved around looking for fast, reliable and secure internet. We’ve picked up shop and moved mid day for greener pastures.  We’ve celebrated milestones and then suffered disappointment when things didn’t work out after all. I’ve asked myself several times if I can really do *this* again.  Can I?

It seems like a hundred years ago when the Fort Collins crew was crammed into that reception area at RMI2  for free coworking.  I have to think hard to remember how every Tuesday morning I would arrive twitter-pated to start the day and explore the concept of coworking with my new little circle of friends.  I’d drag tables and chairs together and arrange them in some sort of semblance of a “real office” and then wait for the first freelancers to start arriving.  We did this for just 5 weeks.  Five weeks was all it took to grow a little community of coworking addicts in Old Town.  6 weeks after that Cohere opened.  Ah, Cohere.  Our (near) perfect little slice of historic Old Town with exposed brick, original hardwood floors, sunlight everywhere, sweet high back chairs and fun furniture. Comfort.  Bliss.  Sweet productivity and calm all at once.  Hasn’t it always been this way?

Flash to today: in the back room of Dazbog in downtown Loveland.  Four freelancers, 8 cups of coffee and the weirdest collection of music playing over the loud speaker (think The Beatles, funk and Bruce Springstein together at last).  Don’t misunderstand me.  Dazbog has been great.  The owner has been flexible and helpful (the free snacks didn’t hurt)!  But we’re in a coffee shop.  You’ve all heard me talk about the horrors of freelancing from coffee shops and yet here we are again.  We’ve found about the best possible coffee shop situation.  To have a private room with a door, windows and a caffeine source 12 steps away is really, truly delightful.

I have to keep reminding myself that our beginnings in Fort Collins really were humble and not the perfect, flourishing community that we are today.  Remember dragging those tables around?  I mean, really dragging that stuff from the way back of the building? Remember those not so comfy plastic chairs?  How about trading off and on for power with the only outlet?  Remember that?   What about the day we browned out the internet connection because there were 14 of us in a room built for 6 on an internet connection that was probably meant for 4?

In discussing the current coworking situation in Loveland today, we realized that the reason the U.S. economy needs entrepreneurs is because entrepreneurs can’t remember what it was like to start the first business.  Much like child birth (or so I’ve heard), I just can’t remember if or how much pain there was when I started Cohere Fort Collins. I can remember the facts of having to move furniture back and forth but I don’t really remember the irritation or exhaustion of it all.  I remember having a hundred things to do each day but I have no idea what I was feeling other than excitement.  I think that this is the ONLY reason that entrepreneurs carry on.  We take the risks, we take the plunge, and we’re never, ever looking over our shoulders into the past to remember how it was the last time. We just can’t remember the pain.

So we lost our free internet connection in Loveland today and will remain in the coffee shop for many more weeks.  So we’ll be cold and need to wear jackets while we cowork. So we’ll be distracted by the weird music playing.  So what? The most important part about coworking is being together.  Just being together.  We did it at RMI2, we’ll do it at Dazbog and we’ll keep doing it until we crash their internet and use up all of their chairs!

Sure, I don’t really remember the pain of starting Cohere the first time around. I’m sure to forget the little quirks that Loveland has held so far.  But when we open in Denver next year, I’ll be just as excited and just as blissfully unaware of the past points of pain as I am today.

Cohere’s Week

Cohere blows my mind almost daily but this week, in particular, stands out.

Tuesday: was the first day for Loveland Coworking.  Due to popular demand, Cohere sent Angel and member Cali to downtown Loveland to see what’s going on down there and if they might like coworking.  Do they ever!  We had 3 Lovelanders cowork for the first time with another 3 expressing interest in subsequent weeks.  This may not be an earth shattering number of coworkers to you but Fort Collins started with only four.  As member Julie Sutter pointed out, “they were the right four.”  And that’s all it takes.

Later in the day, Cali and I got a sneak peek of the Rialto Bridge Project.  A mixed use platform to attract and engage artists of all kinds in the heart of downtown Loveland.  Meanwhile, we found out that we were actually talking with the owner of the building that houses Artlab Loveland.  A behind the scenes tour of this cool space was fun and informative.  We now know more about the history and economic development of downtown Loveland than most.

Wednesday: was the first day for Night Coworking at Cohere.  Again, by popular demand, Cohere decided to stay open very late every Wednesday night.  We welcomed two new members, Kevin and Kristin.  Fun aside, Kristin got her work completed a full 4 hours earlier than normal, so I would call that a win.  We also discovered that Alex really can eat a large pizza on his own which is impressive considering his compact stature.  Check out that new plan: Night Owl Lite.

Thursday: Angel secured a donation of wireless internet for the future location of Loveland Coworking.  To be announced soon. In addition to this, sponsors and a local caterer were secured for Freelance Camp Fort Collins with more and more registrations coming in daily.

An idea born in Cohere’s conference room takes hold: Beth’s Coworking Across America project is getting lots of good attention, sponsors and donations of discounted passes and other delights.  Follow her progress as she RV’s across America stopping at coworking spaces all over the country and blogging all the while.

Friday: It’s hard to tell just how awesome Friday will be and what delightful surprises it will hold.

Overall Learnings: When things fall together logically and easily, just go with it.  It is right and good and wonderful.

Night coworking coming soon

Freelancers don’t always work during the day or during business hours so Cohere is adding the Night Owl Lite membership plan.  This plan will work great for Work at Home Moms who can pass the little ones on to their partners at night and those who have full time jobs but do freelance/entrepreneurship on the side.

Details about Night Coworking:

  • Every Wednesday from 4pm-11ish
  • Includes way-fast wifi + coffee (bring your own beer if that’s how you roll)
  • Angel, the Curator, will be around to facilitate the awesome
  • Other Cohere members have committed to working Weds. night so you get the full benefit of the Coherents’ brains.

Price:

  • Free for members
  • Non-members = $10/night

Hope to see you for our first evening of coworking on 6.30.10.

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