Dumbo Start-up Watch: Loosecubes

Loosecubes is a community that connects members with an empty desk, studio, or sofa with other members who need a productive and inspiring place to work. They have been hugely successful in getting individual freelancers, remote workers, and travelling staff to connect with like-minded people online to co-work offline (or “in real life”). Loosecubes makes it easy to find the right people to share your workday with. They are based in Dumbo so we caught up with founder Campbell McKellar, Anna Thomas (Chief Happiness Officer), and Anthony Marinos (Captain Awesome) at their cool looking 20 Jay Street office.

Q: Congratulations! Loosecubes is now in 454 cities and 58 countries in only 14+ months. When you first started Loosecubes, did you imagine that the coworking community would be this open to sharing their space with others?

Thank you! We’re so thrilled that our members can work around the world. When our Founder and CEO, Campbell McKellar, first had the idea for Loosecubes, she wasn’t entirely familiar with the coworking movement. It wasn’t long before she became a member of New Work City (NWC), a collaborative coworking space in Lower Manhattan, and experienced the magic of coworking first hand. At NWC, Campbell was afforded the opportunity to make incredibly valuable connections with professionals and resources in the local community that she may never have been able to make otherwise. Moreover, the more people she met in the coworking community, the more their value of openness became apparent. Members of the coworking community are open to learning from each other and sharing ideas, and being inclusive rather than exclusive. As Loosecubes, we’re excited to be the platform that helps coworking spaces around the world connect with independents and entrepreneurs in their communities and beyond.

Q: In today’s world, knowledge can be accessed anywhere and everywhere it lives. The cost of bringing in expertise and people have dropped. This globalization, with cloud computing (sharing of computing resources online), and virtualizing people and office locations have changed how business is done. How has your view of coworking changed business? And how will Loosecubes shape this change?

At Loosecubes, we want to bring the act of coworking everywhere. Empty desks in company offices, sofas in people’s homes, spare easels in shared art studios, even commercial kitchens with one too many stoves! We really believe that opening up one’s office to the local freelance community, fellow entrepreneurs, and business travelers is a great way to build a stronger business and can ultimately lead to new jobs, partnerships, referrals, and friendships. We want to help facilitate valuable connections through shared workspaces that would otherwise be left up to serendipity, and help boost our economy by doing it.

Q: The Loosecubes culture reads like being at an ideal company. Based on other Loosecubes featured around the globe, there seems to be a similar vibe. Is this self selection or a shift in how traditional organizations need to be to succeed?

We’re trying to change the way people work, so we figure it makes sense to start with our own company. Because of this, we do our best to convey our values throughout our site, in our email communications, and in person. Many of the companies who are sharing space on our site embrace a similar work ethos, and understand the implications that a forward-thinking set of company values can have on their employees and business health. We’ve seen that even traditionally conservative organizations are beginning to consider the productivity and happiness effects of a more open, flexible work culture. It’s really exciting to play a role in this work lifestyle shift.

Q: Loosecubes is located in DUMBO Brooklyn, a neighborhood with many startups and entrepreneurs. With Loosecubes in DUMBO, how has it affected your culture?

Loosecubes is proud to be a DUMBO-based business. The culture of the neighborhood and the people in it has had a tremendously positive influence on our company and our brand. The community in DUMBO is very tight knit, and everyone is always up for helping a fellow neighbor. Our employees enjoy walking to work, eating lunch in the triangle, and being able to meet other creative professionals without having to leave the neighborhood. We wouldn’t want to be based anywhere else!

Q: What are your top 3 recommendations on how to be an awesome Loosecuber?

To be an awesome Loosecubes, check out our three Community Guidelines:

  1. What happens in Loosecubes stays in Loosecubes. Loosecubes is a community based on trust. When you’re coworking, it’s extra important to take confidentiality seriously. If you have to share, tweet about how cute the dogs are or how nice the Aeron chair is you’re sitting in.
  2. No one likes a chatterbox. We’re all here to work, so be respectful of others in your environment who are hard at work. There are always awesome opportunities to connect later while grabbing a cup of coffee or even a beer after work.
  3. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Treat your work environment as you would treat your own home. Pitch in to clean the dishes, don’t take things from the fridge that aren’t yours without asking, and try not to overuse the printer. Leave your space exactly the way you found it.

Thanks guys for your service on behalf of Dumbo, those looking for co-working space, and those offering co-working space! If you’re interested in a few Dumbo based listings, check out some of the following (for example):

Of course you can search in any of the 454+ cities around the globe.

Loosecubes HQ: loosecubes.com/listings/369
20 Jay Street, Brooklyn NY 11201