5 Reasons Why Startups Shouldn’t Work In Coffee Shops

5 Reasons Why Startups Shouldn’t Work In Coffee Shops

For many entrepreneurs that are tired of working from home, the corner coffee shop has become a haven for getting plugged-in to get productive with laptops out and headphones on. I can see why many entrepreneurs make coffee joints their place of biz; they’re from open morning til night, offer a warm atmosphere and have plenty of startup fuel  flowing. However, I personally have never been a fan of this work environment and have not fallen under the spell of the cafe mystique. Leaving reeking of the smell of coffee grounds is not all it is cracked up to be. I say its time to realize what the coffee shop is good for: grabbing a cup of coffee, and conversing with friends, or reading a book in leisure. Its not the place to get your startup started and I have five reasons why.

1. It’s Distracting – All entrepreneurs can agree that focus is key to success. How can anyone concentrate for a full work day in an environment of chatting, bean grinding, and brew whooshing? Not to mention the overly-loud music filling the room; most prominent at Starbucks where music labels are forcing music down your ear canals in hopes of a purchase with your latte. If you do plan to work in these distractions, invest in some noise-cancelling headphones and blinders to keep your eyes on your laptop. Just pray no one bumps the back of your chair, asks to sit at your table or spills something on you.

2. It’s Unprofessional – I have never been a fan of taking meetings at coffee shops, mostly because of reason #1 above, but in all seriousness, its just unprofessional. Sure,  it depends on whom you’re meeting with and your relationship with them. I would hope entrepreneurs would never schedule an investor pitch meeting at a Caribou. Coffee shops can be a logistical nightmare for meetings, even if they’re quick. There’s nothing worse than scheduling a meeting, showing up and not having a place to sit to conduct your meeting. Fail.

3. It’s Un-Collaborative – There may be other startup junkies in your vicinity at Intelligentsia, but since they are also desperately trying to stay focused they’re not exactly open to having collaborative discussions. Contrast to the environment at a real co-working space that promotes and breeds collaborative behavior like 1871 or the Inspire Business Club. There, it’s acceptable to join forces with other startup geeks and not have to worry about someone stealing your seat if you need to use the rest room.

4. It’s Expensive – The average latte in Chicago costs $4 and if you buy one a day that adds up to be $120/moth and $1460/year. That’s an expensive habit for bootstrapping entrepreneurs. With that money you’re spending on coffee you could afford most open-seating co-working spaces and those typically include a warm caffeinated beverage. Good luck trying to get away without making a purchase, they’ll toss you out for loitering.

5. It’s Lacking Resources – I have yet to see a barista hand over an entrepreneur mail deliveries with his caramel macchiato. Not gonna happen. You can’t have mail sent to Starbucks; you wouldn’t use their address for your business; and they probably don’t have a fax machine you could borrow. Sure they have free Wi-Fi, but its not and will never be an office. Try reserving group of tables ahead of time to have a group brainstorming session. Nope!

These reasons may be my opinions, but you gotta admit, they have some merit. I’m not saying to not frequent coffee shops, they are local businesses that need our support. I’m just saying to think twice before working there. A coffee shop may be a fine escape every once in a while, but I recommend to find a place that you can be most productive with your startup. Kudos to you for at least getting out of the house.

Motorbike Parking App, CurbNinja Launches Today

Motorbike Parking App, CurbNinja Launches Today

Motorcyclists and scooter enthusiasts need not fear the dreaded search for street parking in urban centers anymore as the mobile app  CurbNinja was launched today. Built by avid motorcyclists, founders Fred Lebed and Tim Hines have developed a simple solution to the rider’s parking dilemma. The CurbNinja app allows users to find the best and safest parking spots on public streets vetted by fellow riders. Using crowd-sourcing, the app also allows riders to share spots they find with the app’s community. The CurbNinja mobile app is available for free download on both iPhone and Android devices giving any rider with a smart phone the ability to find and share spots.

“Living in the city, you learn where all of the best places to stash your bike on the street are, especially for free. I found myself taking pictures of my bike in these spots to thwart possible tickets, and then mapping them for personal use. Before I knew it, I had all my favorite spots plotted in a single summer,” said Tim Hines, Co-Founder. “CurbNinja was born out of that mapping idea. We created the ability for users to share these spots with millions of riders across the country in turn saving them the hassles of city parking.”

The app is easy to use when searching for spots to park two-wheeled machines. Users can search by their current location or address to find spots nearby. An interactive map then displays plotted spots where users can then click to get more detailed information, including a photo to prevent any confusion when parking. CurbNinja makes finding hidden free spots and the safest paid spots easy, saving riders time and money on costly parking. And most importantly, it helps prevent pesky parking tickets and expensive towing bills.

The most unique feature is the ability for users to share spots through a form of crowd-sourcing, which CurbNinja dubs ‘Tagging’. When users find a spot that isn’t already on the on the map, they can use the Tag function to enter information about the spot and upload a photo. The spot is then plotted on the map to be searched by other users in real-time. Tagging spots empowers riders and creates collective action amongst riders allowing them to share parking information.

With their app, the CurbNinja team aims to make riding and parking in busy urban centers easier for motorbikers. For more information search for CurbNinja on the Apple App Store or Google Play or visit curbninja.com.