As Mike says, the Friday morning tuttle collective aka Social Media Café continues to be a buzzy fixture with new and interesting industries, sectors and cliques represented in the room. It’s easy for me as “host” to get distracted and focus only on the new and occasional visitors, ie the things that keep changing, rather than the emerging, significant core of people who are there practically every week.
Mike and I met up with Bill Erickson and Alex (@emp – eek! I didn’t ever get your surname, Alex) last week for lunch. As well as their organisation of the BIL conference we chatted about Tuttle and the coworking experience at The Creative Space – do I believe their tales of $1 per sq.ft? And I am, no really I am, going to get down to the Werks one of these days. What’s becoming clear to me is that, having created something of a feeling of community with Tuttle, it feels right to tie it in to a concentrated effort to finally get coworking off the ground here in London even in the face of ridiculous property prices.
This is my current vision – that a group (and anyone who dares call us “The Tuttle Elite” will have very very painful things done to them) of us – those already working freelance – commit to renting (or otherwise acquiring) an office space for a period in which we will work together. The working atmosphere will be somewhere between serviced office, cafe and project war room. People who come along will be actively encouraged to collaborate with others rather than simply pursuing their own stuff. To the outside we might look a little like a consulting, resourcing and training company. It will work best if there continues to be a rich mix of people from different disciplines.
When it comes to actually making this commitment it all gets a bit chicken and egg – Me: “Can you commit to paying rent somewhere?” Tuttlers: “Well it depends on where and it depends on for how much.” Prospective Landlords: “So how many people are committed to this?”
So here’s something to throw into the mix.
Tom Ball is, right now, moving Cognac out of their 5th floor 450sq ft office on the Strand down to a larger 2nd floor space in the same building. Tom and I reckon it could house up to 8 people working at any one time (as long as it doesn’t get too hot this summer) There’s a separate little meeting room and a small kitchen. He’s looking for people to take it on, but obviously doesn’t want to hold onto the overhead for too long so this is a current and fleeting opportunity. It costs around £2000 per month – the details are here on their site.
So are there eight of us who could/would pay £250 pm each, like tomorrow? And put down a month’s deposit as well as the first month’s rent? or some other combination of people and cash? I recognise that there’s a difference between getting Yes-es to these questions and actually getting cash out of people but it’s worth asking anyway – even if this just turns out to be an Aunt Sally. Or is there a benefactor or patron who’d put up say, six month’s rent in order to enable it to happen – and probably get some benefit in terms of free consulting help – y’know access to that bright interdisciplinary cohort of super-brains?
I’m looking at doing more stuff, more interestingly all the time. So be prepared to listen to me waffle on about it for some time, until it happens.