My life has been on such an amazing whirlwind since I posted that Hillary and I made the decision to shut down Citizen Space. First off, nobody was very happy with the news. Where I was feeling just fine with letting it go, the residents, the other coworking catalysts and many others who have been involved were sending me messages that went sort of like:
I explained over and over again that the decision wasn't a *bad* thing. It wasn't done because we were at wit's end. Just that we couldn't put the energy needed into keeping Citizen Space the vibrant place it once was and, well, that there were lots of awesome spaces now to continue the legacy. Still, multiple people responded to my very logical answer that they were still unhappy with the whole idea of shutting down CS.
Then the offer emails started pouring in. At one point, Hillary, April and I had to create a spreadsheet to keep track of all of the people who were interested in taking over the space. Some people wanted to raise money to keep it open for a short while, others wanted to take over the space and rebrand it and some wanted to take over the name AND the space. This wasn't an easy decision. Of course, keeping CS alive meant that the name AND the space should remain intact, but we didn't want just anybody carrying that on. We had to make sure that someone would remain true to the Coworking values as well as keep those awesome things like 'free dropins' alive as much as possible (even though this was never a good business decision, it was definitely something we treasured as it brought energy to the space and gave weary travelers somewhere they could be without concern).
All of this and I'm still a gazillion miles away and busier than I can already handle, so Hillary (who has the world's craziest travel schedule AND a small child) and April had to coordinate and meet with everyone. Thank goodness I have the world's best co-owner and the world's best GM (big ups) because they helped narrow it down to the final decision.
And that decision is...Citizen Space will remain open! yay! It will be re-invigorated with new ownership (Hillary and I will remain shareholders and advisors) and energy. And I got to meet Toby Morning and his crew at SXSW Interactive and I'm excited to say that his love and enthusiasm for coworking and the legacy of CS will make it an even better place to work from now on.
Toby Morning will bring his energy and love of startups into the space starting April 1, 2011. He thinks big. He loves the community. He is passionate about startups and the amazing culture that the social web has fostered. I look forward to seeing Citizen Space and all of the projects he has planned around it blossom. I'll do a more in-depth video interview with him this Friday when we do the transfer and post it here and on the CS blog so everyone can meet him.
But if you are also in San Francisco this Friday, March 25, 2011, COME TO THE CITIZEN SPACE TRANSFER PARTY!! We'll have a dj, beer (as in free as in beer), wine and nibblies for everyone. You can meet Toby and his partners in person as well as help us celebrate the transfer and the rekindling of the space. Sign up for it here.
I'm really happy that this all came together like it has and that the Citizens can continue working from CS every day.
And thank you for your continued love and support. Coworking and Citizen Space are projects I'm proud to have spent the past 6 years pouring my love into because I've gotten so much more out of both.