Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Where the Coffee Shop Meets the Cubicle:

In the earliest stage of his startup Darius Roberts, 27, shared the de facto office of many a San Francisco techie: a coffee shop.

Working out of a Wi-Fi-enabled java joint in the Mission district was infinitely more pleasant and productive for him than flying solo in a home office at his Oakland apartment. And it provided the opportunity to meet other developers he might even be able to hire one day, as his Web-based car-sharing company, DartCar, grew.

But when Roberts picked up a flyer about a "community office space" called the Hat Factory, he realized there was an even better option. For $10 a day or $170 per month, the Hat Factory could provide him with a desk, standard office amenities, and access to a shared kitchen, private meeting room, and lounge. And something else—community spirit. "You can meet people at a coffee shop, but it's harder to have meaningful interactions," Roberts says. "Co-working lends itself to that."