Now WeGetIt WeWork

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Now WeGetIt WeWork

At Unifize, we decided to take a rational look at the costs and benefits of moving to a co-sharing space like WeWork for our startup. We were surprised by the results.
unnamed - Now WeGetIt WeWork

Having spent the better part of a decade in manufacturing trying to convince ourselves that we didn’t need air conditioning or fully-functioning internet, we then tried to impose similar values on Unifize 1.0 by moving into a low-cost, sweaty, concrete pile in Indiranagar, Bangalore.

“There has to be a better way,” I wearily suggested in late 2017 after an official tried to extract a bribe for fixing a broken sewage pipe. I needed to write an email to a ‘concerned department’ and was grappling with the three internet connections. [We had started with one and had gradually increased this number as a preventive measure, which curiously resulted in increasing our net internet downtime].

“What about WeWork?” my Co-Founder Lakshman said, trying to maximize his exposure to the moist wafts of mildewed air from the two coolers pointed at our conference table.

“It’s very costly, na?” a nameless, faceless chorus chimed.

Somehow the unlimited coffee, functioning air conditioning and perpetually clean loos seemed like an outrageous luxury for a company that was still pre-revenue.

Even after taking the pragmatic decision to move there (see section below), it took a while to adjust. For weeks, we found it almost boring that there were no mosquitoes, rats or leaks to deal with throughout the day. We had large, unfettered tracts of time to just…work.

We’ve now grudgingly accepted our banal, low-cost, happy existence at WeWork Galaxy, complete with its swimming pool and salsa classes.

If you’re in Bangalore, please come and visit us any time and have a coffee with us. We’d love to show you around. If not, feel free to email me on ben.merton@unifize.com and we can set up a virtual Skype call.

Now WeGetIt WeWork

The Costs

The hidden costs of not co-sharing for a product team of 6 people:

4 hours a week per person lost due to poor or non-existent internet, power outages, and low concentration levels from seasonal weather and Indian traffic.

1 person – the ‘Admin Guy’ – whose job was to call the ISPs, plumbers, electricians, rat catchers, and coordinate with government departments. And make tea and coffee.

45 minutes – each in extra commute time for our team

0 appeal to prospective developer employees.

Total Costs: Rs 1.50 lakhs (USD 2,200) + per month.

But we had a lovely terrace overlooking a park.

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