Today I worked in a local coffee house, Richmond Beach Coffee Company, with Russell, a good friend and fellow ATG architect. Since I work from home it’s good to get out of the house once a week, and great to be able to talk shop in person every once in a while. The coffee house is pretty nice; they have free wi-fi, good soy chais, and usually have a good selection of pastries, and they used to have great paninis. Lately though it’s been a little rough. One day they didn’t have any coffee, another they didn’t have any pastries, and the paninis are long gone. The seating isn’t the most comfortable, especially for working long hours, the internet is pretty slow, and the environment is often VERY loud, making listening to con-calls difficult. Also, I can’t really do more than one 16oz soy chai a day, or it’s just too much sugar without anything else. I don’t drink coffee, the pastry selection is getting worse everytime we go, and the lunch options are basically an uninspiring sandwich.
I’d love to have a coffee house where part of it was a little quieter, with ample power outlets, strong fast wi-fi, with tables and chairs well suited to working on a laptop. Even better if there were small conference rooms with speaker phones and whiteboards you could rent for a reasonable fee. Offer a variety of lunch options, play good music that tech people might like (last time at the coffee house we go to, I almost had to gouge out my ears….), and I think you could pack the place. Maybe offer some tech value add services like secure backup (everyone knows they should have off-site backup in case of fire/flood/aliens but who does?), a notary, order from a website when you can’t pull yourself away from your laptop, an account so you aren’t always fishing for change or signing CC receipts (bill to paypal even), provide a local way to find and contact and rate other contractor types and related services (web designers, developers, accountants who specialize in consulting or startups, attorneys who know incorporation, NDAs, contracts, etc…), and so on.
If it could cover it’s own costs, and just give me a nice place to work with friends, that would be great.
Thoughts? Investors? 🙂