Entrepreneur Explains Why Co-Working Space Didn’t Work for Her

NYTYoureTheBossLogoWe got a kick out of Rebekah Campbell’s New York Times essay about her recent experiences at a communal office environment.

Campbell is the founder and CEO of recommendations App Posse. After working from a one-bedroom apartment, various coffee shops and her apartment lobby here in New York, the Australian-born entrepreneur evaluated a number of different spaces before settling last summer on a Flatiron district co-working location.

Campbell is candid – but not mean – about the problems she encountered, listing five major friction areas. One of these was the specter of “unhealthy competition:”

There were more than 200 companies operating from our co-working space, and some of the more serious ones used the close community to their advantage. I knew of at least three other startups that were also building location-based shopping recommendation engines, and their team members were always inviting our team members to lunch. I wonder why.

Other entrepreneurs watched us in the press and asked me for media contacts. My breaking point came when a competitor tried to entice one of our engineers with a more lucrative job offer. At that point, we moved out.

The desk rent – $200/per for Campbell and her two colleagues – was cheap. The lessons learned, invaluable. Read the rest of the NYT You’re The Boss item here.

[Editor’s Note: Evidently, too much phone-hacking trial on the brain at this end. An earlier version of this post contained several last-name references to Campbell as Brooks. FishbowlNY apologizes for the error.]