Common Desk Offers Startups and Freelancers an Uncommon Alternative to Working Remote – ILID Radio #12
In this twelfth episode of I Live In Dallas Radio, co-hosted by myself and Jason Channell, we interview Merrick Pickens, Community Manager, and Nick Clark, Owner of Common Desk. Common Desk is a coworking space on Commerce Street in Deep Ellum where entrepreneurs, startup companies, and freelancers office for the purpose of collaboration and synergy. Common Desk acts as an alternative to working from home or a coffee shop where engagement with other like-minded business owners and entrepreneurs may be minimal to nonexistent.
Common Desk is home to many Dallas-based startups, even some that have received national acclaim and attention such as Uber, a private car chauffeuring service accessible for ride scheduling via downloadable smartphone applications. Another member making waves is DangILoveThat, a real-time restaurant review application that allows customers to give feedback directly to the business owner.
While there are many high-tech companies that specialize in application development, website development/design, and marketing, there are also traditional service-based agencies like Vela | Keller, a boutique law practice, and Consulting for Creatives, a consulting , budgeting, and tax-services business principled by Elizabeth Adams CPA. Last, but not least, Common Desk is also the official coworking space of ILiveInDallas.com, as you can see from the address listed on our About page.
What is Coworking?
According to Wikepedia, coworking is a style of work that involves a shared working environment, often an office, and independent activity. Unlike in a typical office environment, those coworking are usually not employed by the same organization. Typically it is attractive to work-at-home professionals, independent contractors, or people who travel frequently who end up working in relative isolation.
Coworking is also the social gathering of a group of people who are still working independently, but who share values, and who are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with like-minded talented people in the same space. Coworking offers a solution to the problem of isolation that many freelancers experience while working at home, while at the same time letting them escape the distractions of home. The term was coined circa 1999 and in 2005 coworking spots and spaces started popping everywhere from San Francisco to even rural areas.
A 2011 survey found most coworkers are currently in their late twenties to late thirties, with an average age of 34 years. Two-thirds are men, one third are women. Four in five coworkers started their career with a university education. The majority of coworkers work in creative industries or new media. Slightly more than half of all coworkers are freelancers. However, the share of salaried employees has increased since larger companies have started to experiment with coworking, especially in the U.S., where 35 percent work as salaried employees.
An Interview with Merrick Pickens & Nick Clark of Common Desk
This I Live In Dallas Radio show was recorded in the main conference room at Common Desk in early April. Jason and I spoke with Merrick and Nick about progressive topics, what coworking is, and the philosophies of coworking.
Listen as we talk about:
- The history of Common Desk, its culture, and what drives the community of collaboration
- The variety of networking, fashion, and digital professional events that happen at Common Desk
- Merrick Picken's history and her startup connection which brought her to Common Desk
- Owner Nick Clark's background and what sparked him to create Common Desk
- One authoritative national coworking association that shares best practices with its members
- The variety of members and business verticals represented at Common Desk
- The different levels of membership and what's included in each level
May Update: Since this podcast was recorded, it has been announced that along with unlimited free coffee, Common Desk members can enjoy "bottomless beer" tapped from the in-house kegerator that will be filled as needed. This is thanks to sponsoring Common Desk member Vela | Keller.