Recently I was talking with an entrepreneur that had toured a few of the big co-working spaces, including General Assembly, last month. It was great to hear about the energy and excitement in the air throughout the buildings. Behind the scenes, there was one conundrum that was tough to solve: a handful of startup were consistently slacking and not making any progress. This doesn’t seem like that big of a deal until you know that there’s a waiting list to get into the space. Ideally, all the startups in the facility would be making great progress and moving their ideas forward in a meaningful way.
Here are some ideas on the co-working conundrum for startups slacking and not making any progress:
- Have a finite period of time, say 12 months, that a startup can be there before they have to reapply or get on the waiting list
- Have a peer review system whereby once a month all the startups in the facility anonymously rank all the other startups there and the bottom 5% are asked to leave in 90 days
- Include a community interaction component where startups have to be involved in the community (e.g. attend at least one event per quarter) to continue using the facility
- Have a pricing plan such that prices for a startup increase automatically over time, making it an up or out proposition
One of the big values of a co-working space is being around like-minded peers pushing their startup forward. Inevitably, some aren’t as productive as others and start hanging out more and making little progress. Finding a good solution to this conundrum is a challenge for co-working facilities.
What else? What are some other ideas to address the co-working conundrum for startups slacking?