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This is an email response to a question from one of our fellow coworking managers, member concerns.  They were concerned about having multiple same-market companies in their space.  Ooooh competition!

Co-opetition.  Embrace it.
All our so-called competitive companies in our space have grown due, in part, to getting over the fear of competition and embracing the impactful strategy of co-opetition.

If coworking was just about providing a desk or private office for that one company to do it’s own thing, then this scenario would be an issue.  But coworking is about trust, openness, sharing, collaboration, selflessness, etc.  In that environment EVERYONE is safe as well as empowered, inspired and cheered on by what would be called in other places, competition.

The idea of coworking with those in your industry has also honed all our companies to do what they do best.  We talk to our so-called competitors and always find something that they do amazing, that we do mediocre. Now we have a partner.

Feeling threatened is different than feeling afraid.  When ever I hear someone talk about an industry being “cut-throat” I sigh and say, “so what!”  The question back to the owner is, “is that your MO?”  If it isn’t, than carry on and consider how this new company could help you and you, them.  If a competitive company does better than you in the exact same market and location, that’s your problem, not there’s.  There’s plenty of work out there.  Hustle for it, but don’t spend too much time guarding, spying and feeling threatened.

This principle is part of our initial tour discussion.  We not only talk about it, we celebrate it!  Once it’s part of your ethos, your future members will not be afraid of competitive companies, rather will be the first one to shake take their hand and buy them a coffee.