Solo, But Not Alone A new generation of entrepreneurs is congregating in 'co-working' spaces across the country.
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David Brunelle was living the dream: He'd shucked his 9-to-5 office job, liberated himself from the cubicle farm and started his own business. He was working from home, being his own boss . and before long, wallowing in freedom.
"More often than not, I'd find myself on the couch, playing Xbox at 1 in the afternoon," says Brunelle, a Seattle web developer. "It became pretty clear that to be productive, I needed structure, I needed to set boundaries between my work and my home life, and I needed to be around other people who are serious about their work."
Co-Working With BenefitsHere's an unexpected perk of the co-working movement: A co-working website that offers overnight accommodations in some of the world's great cities, for the fraction of the price of a hotel room.
Headed to New York City? Airbnblists a fully equipped studio apartment with a view of the Empire State Building for $169 a night. Traveling to Paris? There's an airy apartment in Le Marais for $140 a night. There are also cheaper, and less cushy, options: nightly rentals of spare bedrooms, sofa beds, futons and--yes--air mattresses, for less than $100 a night, in more than 1,000 cities worldwide.
Airbnb was launched in 2008 after three San Francisco entrepreneurs recognized the need for lodging in the city. Roommates Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky decided to offer up their place, along with some breakfast and local hospitality, to a few friendly strangers attending a conference. It was a success, and with help from their tech-savvy friend Nathan Blecharczyk, the three launched a website, found a few guests and Airbnb was born. The fully automated site handles secure online credit card transactions, and includes rich user profiles and user reviews.