Archive for 'SOMA'


Internships at startups: an alternative to MBAs

Posted on 05. Feb, 2014 by in blog, Classes, Colearn, Coworking, Detroit, Funding, SOMA, startup camp, Startups

Don’t waste your money doing an MBA.
Get an internship instead.

Wanna be an entrepreneur? It takes more than just passion and desire. You need real skills to succeed, but where do you get them? A surprising number of people think that they should do an MBA. I don’t blame them. After all, universities invest a significant amount of effort convincing potential students that getting an MBA is a good idea. The cruel reality, though, is that MBA programs tend to be terrible at teaching entrepreneurship and, in particular, tech entrepreneurship. They are slow, expensive, include too much theory and not enough practice, and, more importantly, they are taught by people that have not been entrepreneurs themselves. Fortunately, there is a better alternative: Internships at tech startups. Here is why:

MBAs are about enterprise-level management while internships can be about entrepreneurship. The skills required to manage and be part of a 5,000 person company are different than the skills required to start and grow a company. In fact, enterprise-level management techniques may negatively affect the chances of success of your future startups. For example, using balance scorecards[1] and KPIs may be great for companies in advanced stages of growth, but they are an overkill for startups at the MVP stage.

Internships provide more hands-on knowledge than MBAs. While an MBA program will teach you a lot of theory, an internship will allow you to learn [a fraction of] that theory put to practice, plus many more techniques that are not taught in MBAs.

Internships are faster than MBAs. An MBA program lasts between one and two years. In contrast, you can do two or four internships in just one year. Don’t have a year? No problem. If you’re a fast learner, interning for six months may be enough.

Internships are less expensive than MBAs. Top MBA programs cost more than $100,000[2], not including living expenses. Internships cost 0. In fact, if you’re lucky, you may get a paid internship. This means that instead of you paying to learn, you’ll get paid to learn!

Assuming you want to do an internship already, these are some factors to keep in mind:

Intern at a startup with a team of less than 50 people. In a team of less than 50 you’re likely to interact with the founders and managers making important decisions. You’ll learn a lot from them. Also, you’re likely to get exposure to many different areas of the business. In larger teams, you are likely to interact with low-level managers that joined the company later in the game and are not likely to be too entrepreneurial. Also, you may have to focus in just one area of the business, missing out on the big picture.

Intern at a startup that is making money and growing. When revenue and growth are achieved, you have a company with a real business model. You want to learn how they got there. Don’t join a startup without a business model, a startup that is not making money, or a startup that is not growing, even if they have raised capital. Such companies may only teach you how to raise capital to subsidize the operation of a company, which is not sustainable. In fact, I recommend giving higher priority to bootstrapped companies.

Intern at a startup that is located in a tech innovation hub. You’ll be able to attend plenty of networking events and meetups. The people you’ll meet may change your life. I’ve met most of my co-founders at networking events. If in the US, I suggest startups in the Bay Area, New York City, and Boston. After all, it’s not only what you know, but who you know.

Visas are not necessarily an issue. Depending on your nationality and the country of the startup, it may be technically illegal for you to work there. Fortunately, some startups won’t care. Give the company the option to get paid in your country of origin as if you were an overseas contractor.

If possible, join a startup founded by a serial entrepreneur. Serial entrepreneurs, specially successful ones, have “been there and done that” several times. They are the equivalent of teachers with PhDs. These companies are more likely to follow successful, structured techniques that you will find useful in your future endeavors.

Target startups that don’t offer internships. Although some startups proactively look for interns, some don’t have the time do so. Find startups that you like and cold-email their founders. Messages like “Hey Joe. I’m willing to work for you for free just to learn from your wisdom” are very likely to grab the attention of the recipient. Even if only 10% of them reply, that’s still a good conversion rate!

A final word: Getting an MBA is a good way of telling others that you like to follow the crowd.
Tech entrepreneurship is about innovation. Innovation means disruption. Innovation is doing things that others don’t dare to do.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balanced_scorecard
[2] http://poetsandquants.com/2011/01/08/how-much-does-a-top-mba-degree-cost/

 

tumblr_la71ah37Tg1qbnnljo1_500Alex Torrenegra-

Founder and CEO of Bunny Inc. (VoiceBunny, Voice123, BunnyCast) and Torrenegra Labs. Techie, activist, investor, offroader.

 

2014 Citizen Space Residency Program

Posted on 28. Jan, 2014 by in Colearn, Coworking, Designers, Detroit, Developers, Funding, Internships, Residency, SOMA, Startups

Last year we established a residency program to encourage the worlds DOER’S to succeed with their projects they would like to launch from our bay area location.

Membership4A total of 5 DOER’s or “startups” will receive free full-time resident access to a Citizen Space for three months valued at $425 per month. The Citizen-in-Residence can take advantage of both the physical spaces & the communal resources.

In exchange, they work on a project of their choosing that help the “COWORKING” community at large, documenting their progress through our social presences on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.  At the end of the residency, Citizens-in-Residence do a presentation to members of the space about their project.

Accepted Applicants will be announced one week prior to the residency start date. The first residency will start March 3, 2014 and the application process begins Tuesday, January 28, 2014.

We are seeking support from your company to help us make this program a success. If your company or you personally would like to sponsor this program, please email us: manager@citizenspace.us

 

APPLY NOW

Announcing New Member Perk with Fueled Collective

Posted on 07. Aug, 2013 by in Colearn, Coworking, Detroit, Funding, Member Perks, NYC, SOMA, Startups

Since taking over Citizen Space in 2011 I have been on a mission to secure some perks for our members that will make Citizen Space membership not just a great place to work, but a great “network” to be connected to!

Today we are happy to announce that starting on International Coworking Day all members who travel to NYC will have a place to work while on the road thanks to our pals @Fueled Collective NYC, and any Fueled Collective member now has a place to call home away from home in SOMA.

Citizen Full, and Citizen Lite members will enjoy $25 a month in Task Rabbit credits. This is great for simple tasks to help you on your path link laundry services, grocery shopping, and even data entry.

All Citizen Space members already enjoy a rate for rooms at the W in San Francisco of $259, and $299. This rate is last room availability. Guest room rates are subject to our state tax of 15.62 %. The W Hotel average regular non member rates range is $549.00 – $579.00. Preferred rates are applicable to single or double occupancy and will be confirmed based on the specific room inventory available at the time a reservation is made. Call our member services desks for more info at 415-501-9155

 

Please drop in all week for free day passes , and come celebrate 7 years of coworking this Friday all day!

 

Toby Morning
Chief Evangelist
Citizen Space
Direct: 415-501-9155
Skype: citizenspace
http://www.citizenspace.us
Twitter: http://twitter.com/citizenspace
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/citizenspace
“A Nicer Place to Work”

Silicon Valley Code Camp 2013

Posted on 04. Aug, 2013 by in blog, Classes, Code Camp, Colearn, Coworking, Designers, Detroit, Developers, Local News, San Jose, SOMA, startup camp, Startups, SVCC, Tech Clinics

This code camp though is not a “one day and your done” code camp. On the contrary, this FREE code camp is unique in that is it lasts ALL WEEKEND. That’s right; you have 2 days to make it out to this FREE event. The Silicon Valley Code Camp will be held this Saturday, October 3rd, 2009 and this Sunday October 4th, 2009 at Foothill College in Los Altos, CA.

There is slated to be 150 sessions at this year’s code camp covering over 75+ topics. Add to that there are already over 1,200 people registered for this year’s code camp. So if you live or will be in the Silicon Valley area and are interested in networking with other developers and learning new skills (and in this tough economy, who isn’t?), then you should make it out to the Silicon Valley Code Camp.

 

For more information, please visit: http://www.siliconvalley-codecamp.com

 

Coworking turns 7 this week

Posted on 04. Aug, 2013 by in blog, Coworking, Coworking Day, Designers, Detroit, Developers, SOMA, Startups

On August 9, 2013, Citizen Space, the world’s first coworking space, will celebrate its 7 year anniversary and the global coworking movement with “International Coworking Day 2013”.

International Coworking Day will be celebrated all over the world and will focus on freelancers, independents, & startup businesses who have chosen to “work collaboratively together”.

There already exists a global sense of community among people who have a dedication to collaborating, communicating and working together in a shared space. If you want to join in on the discussion, and get a sense of the buzz and enthusiasm that is being generated to create spaces like Citizen Space globally, please do so at http://discuss.coworking.com/.

The general concept of coworking is simple; Freelancers, startups, independent professionals, or anyone with workplace flexibility who happens to work better when collaborating, rather than alone, come together in a shared workspace. Those who get involved agree to uphold the values set out by the movement’s founders, as well as communicate and socially interact with one another. It is all about creating a better working environment for entrepreneurs to get productivity flowing.

Working alone is a nice idea on the face of it. Those who work in an office environment will readily tell you how they would love to sit at home in their dressing gown and get up and make a cup of coffee every now and then. The truth is that there are a number of distractions that can slow down your production. There is also the loneliness and solitude that comes with working home alone. There are a number of stories and testimonials that support the general idea of International Co-working Day on August 9; read some of the stories here -http://coworking.com/coworkingstories.pdf and see if coworking can transform the way you work.

 

History Citizen Space:

In 2006 Tara Hunt & Chris Messina along with Brad Neuberg (Hat Factory) and a few others launched Citizen Space. Citizen Space became the first stand-alone “work” only shared space using the “coworking” label to describe a new type of collaborative space.

Citizen Space was acquired by Toby & Gina Morning in 2011, and continues to operate the world’s first coworking space in the heart of San Francisco’s SOMA district at 425 Second Street, Suite 100, San Francisco, Ca, 94107.

 

For more info, and & tours please contact our Member Services Desk:

 

Citizen Spaces Coworking Inc
Direct: 415-501-9155
Skype: citizenspace

Email: manager@citizenspace.us
http://www.citizenspace.us
Twitter: http://twitter.com/citizenspace
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/citizenspace
“A Nicer Place to Work”

 

 

 

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