I still remember how it started. After numerous attempts and ideas to have some kind of online community platform for our very first Seats2meet.com location, things got out of hand. It became so busy at this coworking space, that we at some point had to refuse entrance because the 150 seats were simply filled up every day. The very first dashboard was developed in no time, so that we finally had a system where we could accept reservations and limit capacity to be able to control the coworking space somewhat. And of course, we had a screen where you could see the pictures and names of the people who made a reservation.
Knowledge is key
What came from this, is The Serendipity Machine (TSM). This system still shows the photo’s and names, but what it lacked was information to connect freelancers, entrepreneurs and other coworkers (yes even bank employees and other larger corporates are taking their ‘work-at-home’ day up with us) on the most important part of their work: knowledge. So while checking into TSM, you enter your knowledge and skills that you bring with you, and the topics that you’ll be working on today. The self-learning algorithm behind TSM then suggests the most relevant connections to you, and the next step to a new connection and successful day has been made quite easy thanks again to technology.
An eco-system on steroids?
At Seats2meet.com we often talk about hub-spoke models, as a natural way of organising people, organisations and places. Imagine Amsterdam, with about 50 coworking spaces, thousands of small and larger companies, high-traffic locations such as Bagels & Beans (B&B) or IKEA and a stream of thousands of people passing by and working at these spaces on a daily basis. Jim at B&B is going to have to work very hard to find the SEO expertise he needs for his blog today, which is probably available at my coworking place. Through friends he may find someone, and he’ll set up a meeting somewhere this week. Now imagine Jim checking in at his local Serendipity Machine. He wouldn’t even need to look very hard. As he’s told his local TSM that he’ll be working on SEO for his blog today, TSM suggests the most relevant connections nearby. So even if the B&B isn’t currently hosting a SEO expert, the system will look around in other TSM’s nearby, and make the connection between the spaces.
So join the party!
Excited about offering your customers, colleagues or friends a better way to connect? Great! It takes about 3 seconds to open a TSM at your location. Feel free to share this blog with your coworkers, to get them excited about checking in. Once the first connection and thus transformation to a better connected person has been made, there’s no going back:)