Coworking, Jellys & The Future of Freelancing

Working for yourself rocks.

But working alone? Not so much.

I recently attended my first Jelly, a network of fortnightly ‘work together’ or coworking events.

Jelly was started in New York City by Amit Gupta and Luke Crawford with a mission:

“[To] provide chairs and sofas, wireless internet, and interesting people to talk to, collaborate with, and bounce ideas off of”.

Whether you work solo, remotely or in full-time employment, coworking offers a change of pace as much as a change of scenery.

The atmosphere at Jellys is deliberately casual and chatty – perhaps not the ideal place for a hard days GTD.

Instead, the events offer the chance to meet some interesting faces and throw new ideas around. For myself and those that I met, the opportunities more than compensate for a little lost productivity.

Last week’s Berlin Jelly was predictably popular with fellow internet geeks. Most were web designers or developers, reflecting common expat vocations in a city where local employment is elusive. The event was hosted by Robin Slomkowski, a developer on the Flock browser.

Coworking events in other cities, like London’s Tuttle Club – in my diary for my return to the Big Smoke – attract a broader crowd, from professional musicians to marketing consultants. Others specialise in a particular field, like art.

Jelly events take place in dozens of cities around the world, as listed in the Jelly wiki. The coworking wiki lists dozens more non-Jelly events worldwide.

Interested in learning more? Watch Amit’s video introduction to Jelly.

Been to a Jelly or coworking event elsewhere? I’d love to hear your experiences.

Thanks to Mokolabs for the photo of a San Diego Jelly.

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