Coworking: Why You Should Look At Collaboration Spaces
Control Group Partner Scott Anderson is a founding member at LMHQ and thinks an events-based space like this is valuable, and companies are interested, because both big and small companies need room to socialize. They can participate in events that show off thought leadership and get media attention, find and vet new hires in New York’s competitive tech scene, and hold in-person business meetings that build trust and rapport. “On the internet, scale is huge, but to get innovation accomplished, you need face-to-face meetings sometimes.”
He also sees the space as an opportunity to advance human-centered design. “We should be using human input for the right things and let computers do the rest. This space could advance human design. Companies want that now.”
John Paul Farmer is the Director of Technology and Civic Innovation for Microsoft. That position didn’t exist two years ago. Recently, tech giants like Microsoft have seen the importance of putting roots down in local entrepreneurial communities. It gives them more opportunities to discover new people and ideas, as well as connect what they are doing to more relevant players. “There’s policy gridlock right now, and it’s why places like New York are doing so well. There’s leadership that bridges the private and public sector. Being on a corporate campus is detrimental. So that’s why I’m here.”
Lower Manhattan is a unique place to foster a collaboration space. The Downtown Alliance conspicuously avoids using the term “The Financial District” – likely because the neighborhood is changing so much and so quickly. The business center that was once dominated by FIRE industries –finance, insurance, and real estate—but is now transitioning to a focus on what LMHQ Director Daria Siegel calls “TAMI” companies (tech, advertising, media, information). Siegel rightly observes “Lower Manhattan is redefining itself right now.” The Downtown Alliance has poured over $1 billion into the transportation system and business infrastructure, and proximity to Brooklyn is making it easy to attract the young talent of that borough.