The first global co-living subscription

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3 Reviews5.0/5
When I first heard about Caravanserai (the previous incarnation of Bruno's efforts), I was excited. Having helped get coworking started back in 2007 with Citizen Space, this seemed like the next logical progression, especially considering that coworking had been the logical extension of BarCamp (a hyper-local gathering for people of the internet). This is like a global approach to satisfy that same desire to be part of a community of kindred spirits, but with the added benefit of (thanks to the internetification of work) being able to go anywhere in the world to do it. I became an advisor to Roam after talking to Bruno about his plans and realizing that he was talking about a future world that I wanted to someday live in. I have traveled the world and struggled to find suitable places to work. When I book AirBnbs, I'm commonly scouting them out for their suitability for work, or looking within their general vicinity for the same purpose. Furthermore, finding and meshing with a good sized local crew when traveling can prove challenging. This kind of co-living/coworking arrangement addresses those issue. Roam comes in at a very interesting and transitional moment. While humans have never been more connected through technology, we still lack opportunities to truly live with each other and deepen the serendipitous connections that we've made. Bruno and his team have been very thoughtful and considerate about the architecture and interior design of the space, in order to maximize the opportunities for connection and collaboration. He's thought carefully about the shape and duration of membership: what it entails, what it doesn't, and how long the right length of time for a "rotation" should be (long enough to melt into the local environment without staying so long that become permanent). He's also very tuned in creating the right balance of personalities and interests because this isn't a hotel where you're not meant to meet your neighbors. Indeed, it's quite the opposite, and that requires a good deal of social engineering and planning (for a good cause!). Y'know, to draw a comparison, Periscope's tagline is, "Explore the world through someone else's eyes." But Roam answers the question differently. Roam isn't about seeing the world through someone else's eyes, it's about living in someone else's world, and to brush shoulders with others in a way that virtuality — so far — simply can't replace. I hope that I someday get to live with Roam, but in the meantime am thrilled that this kind of opportunity will exist for other intrepid spirits out there. -- Decided to republish this on Medium!
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@chrismessina Thanks Chris, really appreciate the ongoing support and input!
@chrismessina I remember Citizen Space -- did you pursue that any further along the lines of Roam or Common? Was it too early? Thanks in advance :)
@brunohaid @chrismessina its amazing how much innovation can be done around a concept as simple as booking or find space. Roam seems to be gaining alot of traction in a short period of time and am yet to find out why.
@chrismessina As you mentioned, sometimes it’s really tough to find suitable place for work and live. I’ve experienced same problems with Airbnb till I came to Portugal where one of my friends pointed me to SurfOffice, kind of co-working space and co-living with freelancers around the world. Roam now looks definitely promising for Asia and I hope to see it in more countries soon!
@terencepua hey @terencepua! I mean, the closest thing to Roam that came from Citizen Space was the global coworking movement — that we made it an open source community from the outset, and made our intentions very clear. We wanted people around the world to take the idea, adopt it, modify it, and so on. And they did! That approach is markedly different from Roam's in the sense that Roam seeks to offer a more uniform and consistent set of locations and spaces, available via one centrally managed membership. Had we franchised or opened up a network of Citizen Spaces (a la WeWork) then maybe there would have been more connection there — but we opted for the pieces-loosely-joined network model.
I've been considering moving location recently as Cardiff, UK is not the right place for me. Tech scene here is probably the best part of 20 years behind. I was chatting with Chris about what he thought I should do, and he mentioned about living it up Digital Nomad style. I've not given it too much thought before, but recently I have. I'm considering a month or two in different places around the world then maybe a couple of months in NYC or something. Then he showed me this. You can check out the story behind it here. It looks like the type of thing I should throw myself into... but I'm not in a position too just yet. Can't wait to see stories of the experiences who people get themselves on board straight away! @brunohaid @kimmaicutler and @sushimako tell us a bit more. What sets this apart?
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@bentossell @brunohaid @kimmaicutler @sushimako with or without it, it's a great lifestyle, you should do it while you can...
Thanks a ton @bentossell (and @chrismessina)! There's a lot of nuances, but I guess the three main themes are: - The places are built to spec by local partners and operated by us, so compared to simple booking platforms you can fully rely on everything, from the wifi to your private studio. - The size (Miami will be 38 units) gives you an immediate community of people you live with, and we spend a ton of time to invite the neighborhood in and show you around, the events that are going on, local businesses and initiatives etc. - We build this not only for the late-twenties East-London designer or SF programmer, but also couples in their late thirties who want to downsize and shift their priorities, as well as retirees. It's not so much about a certain group or ideology, but more unifying themes like curiosity. Other than that: You have to experience it to really see how different it is ;-)
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An answer to Metallica's song: Wherever I may roam.
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@mmt or perhaps the theme song?
@mmt Additional Note: Band's like Metallica can use this great product to go on tour! In fact this product should be promoted to/for various types of tours! -examples include: musical festival tours (fans/employees)/ carnival tours(employees)/ sports team tours (season ticket holding fans)/ tourist cross-country road trips/ etc.. I hope this helps! Thanks, Jaswinder Brar
Congrats on all the progress, @brunohaid @kimmaicutler @sushimako! For those interested in early thinking behind Roam, here's Bruno discussing the "CaravanSerai" (as it then was called) project on @TeleportInc podcast:
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Is there only one place right now? In that case, I think it's a bit difficult to advertise it as a "global co-living subscription", but whenever you have multiple places I think the concept will rock.
@sillaspoulsen Mom told us to start somewhere... Thanks! Miami is coming in April (but please don't tell anyone) and the pipeline of further locations looks quite nice.
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@sillaspoulsen imagine that part of your MVP is to scout, renovate, program, and design a space suitable for live-work, and then recruit ~40 brave souls to give up their familiar life and join you (Survivor-style) in a completely new, never-been-tried, live-work situation. How might you approach it? :)
Hi, @chrismessina I would partner up with places in a region, let's say south east asia, where it's relatively cheap to rent a room at all ready existing hotels/places, and then saturate a region rather than spreading it out. The places might not cost the same for Roam to book, but they know the exact limit of how much they can pay per night to the hotel, since they have a fixed price on 1600$, so then i would just start attacking all the places hotels in the specific region that fits the criteria for Roam. Thats how I would do it :)
@sillaspoulsen interesting. That greatly limits the appeal of membership though, which is predicated on moving around the world every six months, not all over one region...
@brunohaid Where in Miami is it located? :)