Deskcamping in Brooklyn
February 12, 2014
Special guest post by Nick Couch, Camp Chief of Deskcamping
Here’s the good news. New York City is the second fastest growing tech community in the nation, second only to Silicon Valley. In Brooklyn alone, growth projections call for nearly 18,000 tech workers in the Tech Triangle by 2015. Bad news? We’ll, it’s not so much bad news, more of a challenge: Where are we all going to work?
We set up Deskcamping with just this problem in mind. It’s a sort of car share for offices. We’re a bunch of freelancers from the tech and creative world. After months of working from home and in cafés we needed to find an affordable workspace that didn’t tie us into a long term lease. We also wanted to find a workspace with nice friendly people. So Deskcamping focuses on the culture more than facilities. It’s not exactly a dating website, but it’s closer to that than Craigslist. We have ‘office vibes’ on our profile pages which give you a sense of the workspace culture. Things like whether people go for regular work drinks (“Cheers ears”), or even if a bit of office flirting goes on (“Desk cruising”).
With Brooklyn on the way to becoming a major global tech hub, it’s not going to happen by building more office space alone. Dumbo is jam-packed. The Brooklyn Navy Yard has a waiting list of companies trying to get in. And Downtown Brooklyn’s most recent overall office vacancy rate has fallen below 5% (lower than nearly all of Manhattan). We’re going to need to think about commercial real estate differently. It’s an old model that’s based on high costs and long term leases. Property owners like stability; entrepreneurs value flexibility. Commercial property needs to reflect the bigger changes in the way we’re working.
The US Bureau of Statistics estimates that 40% of the entire workforce will be freelance by 2020. That’s not just in the tech community, but across the board. It’s also never been easier to start up a new business and go it alone. We’re seeing more ‘bootstrap entrepeneurs’ choosing a different path from the 9 to 5. From our experience, going freelance or doing a new startup is pretty exciting, but working for yourself doesn’t mean working in isolation. We’re all social animals at heart.
Deskcamping is only a few months old. It’s launched in New York, London, and Berlin. It’s free for all. We edit the site so it only features places we’d like to work from. If you’re looking for a place to work or have space to rent out, it’s time to pitch up to Deskcamping.