I want this thing to be self-supporting – by that, I mean that the money to pay any bills comes from the community and in exchange for any value that we create for other people. I’m not saying that I’d refuse point-blank an offer of a handout, but we’ve talked from the start about the need to keep our funding non-evil.
So first of all, I’d like to thank Alastair Choat at the Coach & Horses for taking a bit of a punt on us and allowing us to use his dining room since the beginning of February and provided coffee and croissants in return for the contents of an honesty pot on the table. We’ve also caught Alastair out talking kindly about us. The sweetest story I heard this Friday was from Philip and Matt who’d been next door in Maison Bertaux before we’d opened up and the lady there had said “Oh! You must be the geeks!” Our fame as the geeks of Greek Street is spreading, maybe only just next door, but all evil plans have to start somewhere). I nice way to continue to say thank-you would be to keep buying his beer and delicious food and telling everyone you know what a cool geezer he is. The room we use is available for hire for private dining and there’s another room on the floor above that’s being refurbished but will be hirable soon (Call them on 020 7437 5920 to talk about hiring it) – it’s a great place for demo’s and user-testing (Luke at i-together has already done this with buzzspotr).
However, I promised Alastair that if he’d let us go weekly, I would look earnestly for some more financial support to help cover his costs. And I’m delighted, no really, I know people always say that when announcing things like this but I really am *delighted* to announce that Qype, the social review & recommendation site, will be supporting us for the next couple of weeks. While it’s easy for us to *feel* the value of what’s going on, it’s quite difficult to articulate in a way that makes sense to outsiders, or people who don’t already “get” social media. However, Qype has the benefit of Rob Hinchcliffe as their community manager – Rob was previously at Yahoo! News, founded Londonist and helps organise blogger meetups, so is already known to many in our little group and gets what we’re trying to do as well as any of us. In Qype, I’m really grateful to have found some people who are willing to work with us on articulating the actual benefit for them as sponsors, rather than forcing us to make up some fantasy ROI beforehand.
I’m making a list of other companies who might also support us, so if you have budget for this sort of thing and would like to be part of this story too, give me a shout.
So as is often heard downstairs in the Coach & Horses it’s “Triples all round!” Well… triple espresso’s and a bacon buttie anyway.