The Forefathers of Co-Working

forefathers coworking

Co-working is a growing trend that is replacing office space in NYC and around the world. We wanted to know how this trend began and who deserves the credit for being at the forefront of co-working.

Here are the visionaries that created the trend that is giving independent professionals fantastic places to work.

The forefathers of co-working

Hackerspaces deserve a portion of the credit for the co-working trend that is changing the world. Today, hackerspaces are still around and doing well. Like co-working spaces, the number of hackerspaces is growing exponentially every year over the last decade.

Hackerspaces are community-operated physical places, where people share their interest in tinkering with technology, meet and work on their projects, and learn from each other.

Hackerspaces (also known as hacklab or makerspace) began to form in the late 90's in Germany. They began to organize as associations and began to create local events based on hacker ethics.

In 2001, several hackerspaces that still exist today were created. This was right after the dot-com bust that created a recession in the U.S. and Europe, which resulted in IT workers around the world suddenly ending up unemployed. So they went ahead and built hackerspaces in order to have local communities where they could meet, work, and hold events. 

Hackerspaces are nonprofits owned and run by their community in a spirit of equality. With a foundation in IT, they have a strong emphasis on technology while sharing ideas and equipment.

Another important factor for hackerspaces is that they want to be a part of the local community and share their technical knowledge with events and members of the community that do not have a tech background. 

berlin's famous hackerspaces

As an example, 17 people were behind the creation of C-Base in Berlin back in 1995, the first hackerspace. It was created by sci-fi enthusiasts and the design of the hackerspace reflected that. It looks like a crashed space station. They even have a Star Trek scanner they use for check in at the entrance. Plus they often hold large events for non-members.

C-base is the mothership of all hackerspaces and is worth a visit if you're in Berlin, especially if you're a coder. 

Hackerspaces as incubators

In 2011, Forbes published a feature labeling hackerspaces as "startup incubators." Senior contributor TJ McCue then wrote about these physical space gamechangers, saying:

"If you need a place, a space to work on your invention, and you want to be around like-minds, then you have to find yourself a hackerspace."

The co-working connection

Five years after hackerspaces began to gain momentum in Berlin, co-working spaces followed a similar trend in 2006. While there are many similarities and obvious differences between hackerspaces and co-working, hackerspaces undeniably laid a nice foundation.

They proved that like-minded communities could be created by independent workers online. Whether you work at home, in a cafe at a hackerspace, or enjoy co-working there are now numerous options available out there. You can choose the best option for yourself and your business.

Co-working spaces around the world are grateful for hackerspaces that created a path of working independently while building communities together. 

Co-working spaces across the world today

As mentioned earlier, the co-working movement has spread globally, thanks to hackerspaces. These days, co-working offices can be found in London and Cape Town, to Manila and more. Flexible workspaces have become a favorite home for digital nomads, entrepreneurs, freelancers, students, and other professionals.

For co-working in NYC, visit The Farm SoHo

Whether you're looking for a coworking space for a day or a month, we're ready to be your temporary office.

Having been founded in 2014 by Lucas Seyhun, we're one of the pioneering co-working providers in New York City. In fact, Farm SoHo has been named by Time Out Magazine as one of the best co-working spaces in NYC. Likewise, we offer private office space for rent in NYC, along with virtual offices NYC and team suites NYC services.

In case you're interested to explore your options, we also have a few recommendations. Go read our past blog about other co-working companies around the Big Apple.

Additional articles & resources about hackerspaces:

To learn more about hackerspaces, you might want to check out these interesting articles and resources. We've gathered the links below for your reference. Feel free to click and read:

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