I love it when people have greats ideas, especially when they create whole new uses for underused real estate. I like it even more when they make money doing it.
It seems that in all the telecommuting frenzy people forgot that they would actually have to get together from time to time. Strategy, brainstorming and creating and renewing human bonds are “high touch” activities best done face-to-face. Ideally, these meetings should take place in a comfortable, fashionable atmosphere with good food, good drink and all kinds of tech – fast Wi-Fi, teleconferencing gear, video, those nifty white boards – the works.
According to the New York Times, Chris Kelly and Ryan Simonetti founded Convene to fill this need. [Side note. I love how Messrs. Kelly and Simonetti took the mundane verb “to convene” and made it a cool proper noun.] Convene leases underused space at below-market rents, does some nifty renovations and then rents the space on a daily basis for meetings and conferences. Sure, hotels have been doing this for years, but Convene’s fit-outs, food and tech offerings are hip and create a unique atmosphere that encourages great work and collaboration.
As I have said before, the world is shifting. In the future the rewards will not necessarily go to the biggest or the best capitalized, but to the most creative.