In this episode of Coworking Out Loud, I chatted with Corrales Cachola about community, Web3 and more. If you leave this episode with more questions than answers, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.
This conversation was not intended to be a podcast episode—it was just going to be an introduction and get-to-know-you call between me and Corrales. But it turned into such an interesting chat that I decided to share it with you.
More about Corrales:
Corrales Cachola helps web3 founders discover their massive transformative purpose (MTP) to attract their ideal audiences and build community through marketing, content, and social impact.
He is a web3 strategist, web designer, and journalist-trained writer based in Portland, Oregon, and is the founder of Brand New Voices, empowering the new storytellers of web3.
Corrales also provides high-level marketing strategy for Community Banks and has worked with brands like the World Health Organization, Nike, Intel, Barret School of Banking, and Special Olympics.(Edited)
Learn more at brandnewvoices.xyz
Links + Props
🔗 catjohnson.co | Coworking Convo | The Lab
🎶 Music by Grip Grand
📺 Watch full episode on YouTube
🎥 Recorded on Riverside.fm
Welcome to Coworking Out Loud, where we explore the deeper side of coworking, content and community. I’m your host, Cat Johnson.
Hey friends. So what you’re about to hear is an accidental podcast episode. I jumped on a zoom call with my new friend Corrales Cachola to talk about web3, what it means for community, if coworking should be paying attention to this and all the other things. And somewhere, an hour plus deep into our conversation, we realized that we should have been recording this and it turns out that Cory was.
So we edited it and here are the high points of our conversation. I think there’s a lot to think about here in terms of the future of micro communities, micro commerce, some interesting things you can offer members. So here we go for.
I’ve been like lurking around the blockchain NFTs for a while. Just kind of watching it happen. And for like during the, um, bored ape yacht club kind of craze, I was like, uh, this doesn’t feel like it. But then I, I know other people are like, this is the future. This is what we’re doing. Like, I don’t know what to think. So I’m super curious to hear like your work and more about you and all. Yeah, no, it’s it’s I think, you know, when I see your, see your stuff, I’m just like, these are the people that need to be in it right now.
Um, cuz it’s so, cause that’s, that’s part of the big. Problem I’ve noticed is like a lot of the talented, like, especially community builders are not in the space because they, you know, they see people see kind of like the surface level of all this like weird stuff going on with a lot of those projects.
And, and it’s hard to, I think it’s been hard to, for. Community people that are deep into community to like, think that that’s something worth investing in, you know, it, this is like one of the things I struggle with cuz I’m the eternal optimist and it feels like anything that’s handed over to humans.
We’re just gonna fuck it up. Like stand money. It’s like people figure out how they can game it and play it. And it’s like, Yeah. Like conceptually I’m like, yes. And I’m skeptical. Like, would we, will we ever pull off like a complete transformation of how we do things, you know, get from this like huge power imbalance?
I don’t know. It’s interesting. But the, the piece that is seems cool to me is like little micro communities. Like I’m a part of a bunch of different communities, you know? Yeah. All very meaningful and. um, yeah, like one of ’em I’m in recovery and our, one of the recovery things is we’re self supporting, right?
Like, so we don’t deal with a whole bunch of decision makers and a whole bunch of hierarchy and money and this and that. Like we just figure it out and then we’re good. Yeah. That’s the big, I think that’s the thing that attracts me the most is the, the decent it’s, you know, it’s a decentralized movement.
That’s a really big point that I don’t think enough people quite understand, like how significant that is for the future of communities. You know, you talk about it in, I think in web two of these, like, and it’s being done, it’s not like, I mean, even Facebook groups are essentially decentralized. Right. You know, you can argue that and there’s, so there, there that’s already happening.
It’s been happening, but. I, I think the, the, the big difference is that the things that power a crypto community are, is the crypto part. And this is the emergence of, you know, many of economics. So when you connect the community with the, with the, the token or the NFT, you now have essentially. Many economies or, or the, you have the possibility of them.
It’s not like they’re ha I mean, it’s just, that’s, that’s the, that’s what is happening. That’s why so many people are getting into web three is because this is like a whole, like what I call like human economics. It’s like a whole new understanding of how we apply economic models onto, you know, using art.
And in community, I think it’s our own, it’s our own value system, right? That, that’s the powerful thing to me. That’s really. Incredible, you know, to just, just to strive for it even to me is, is worth it. I think so, too. And it’s interesting to see the evolution like years ago. Um, my primary gig was writing for shareable, which is a publication about the sharing economy.
So like yeah, early days where Airbnb was still considered sharing economy and stuff. Then also, so like big projects like that, um, and like tool libraries, and just a lot of, a lot of things like that, but, um, on a smaller level, like community dollars or downtown dollars. Yeah. Or something where we decide the value, we decide.
How they’re exchanged and how you can use ’em and then off we go, or like time banks. It’s another similar thing like you and I exchange an hour for an hour. Yeah. Um, so it’s like, this just feels like. Moving into a system that’s easier to, um, kind of track and maintain. It seems like once it’s up and running, then you have this, this built in thing and yeah.
Yeah. And the, the other big activation is I, and I think we’re not seeing it yet because the, the web three is just so new and, and it’s, and it, frankly, it’s mostly, that’s why you see so much of the, I think a lot of. You know, kind of toxicity, I guess you could say right away is because most of it is American based brand.
It’s a lot of old legacy. What I call legacy brands yeah. That are coming in and there. And that’s just, I think that that’s just inevitable. It’s, it’s the way things work, but. Eventually because, because of the nature of crypto it’s borderless. So if you look at it that way, you know, the activations of globally, when you can connect, you know, a community that you’re building in the us, I guess you could say, but I mean, sure.
It’s global. I mean, you could say like everyone can come in, but there’s a big difference when it’s a NA like a community and. You know, Nigeria that let’s say you share this vision. And so in the old way, you know, you would have to like, you know, form partnerships and, and there’s a longer lead up to like, there’s a lot of like barriers.
And then there’s a money problem with in, in terms of like currencies going back and forth. Mm-hmm to do things now. That can be done, but you have to go through a lot of gatekeepers, like even PayPal or these things can be done, but they’re not they’re gatekeeper kind of currencies that, or, or financial systems that don’t allow you to create a, a, a fluid economy between the two and crypto mm-hmm is just fluidly going back and forth.
Right? There’s no friction points. There’s no, everyone, you. It in and, and, and the other powerful thing is like, in like places like Africa, you don’t need a bank account. So there’s a lot of unbanked. Um, people that can literally, you can start building communities and financializing them immediately. So this is like, that kind of blows my mind because I I’m in kind of bank.
The, the other stuff that I do is bank marketing, uh, community bank marketing, and, you know, financial inclusion has always been like something I’ve always dreamed of that, you know, but it’s not, it’s just really hard to connect the dots with. Especially like American banks to, they don’t typically even care about true financial inclusion anyway.
Right. Um, so crypto is sort of like this, I see it as like a, a bridge to do it and in a way to actually force the banks to do better, because if they don’t crypto can unlock global. Mayhem on the banks and it’s sort of a mm-hmm , that’s sort of the game you have to play, you know, it’s, it’s a, it’s, it’s a forced, you know, like you better play ball or, you know, it’s, it’s fine if you don’t want to take part, but we’re, we’ve got the more, this movement grows the bigger, I mean, the activations in Nigeria alone, this is like, this is gonna be the third largest country in the world in 30 years.
And they have one of the highest crypto. Like awareness of anywhere in the world. Wow. So that’s just, that’s just in Nigeria. That’s not even the rest of Africa. Yeah. Right. And then you’ve got Latin America. You’ve got, you know, India, the, the, the people that are not even counted in Tam and all this stuff, we don’t even know.
Like we they’re, we have no idea how big these markets are, are even because they’re not banked. . So, like, they’re not, they’re not in market. I feel like so much of it’s conceptual to me. It’s like, what does it look like on a day to day? So like people have crypto in. Nigeria. And so like, if you and I were exchanging services or something, we would just do it that way.
Is that the thing just for like day to day transactions, it’s not so much like an investment vehicle, which is what it feels like to me. And like that crazy. Remember like, Six months or a year ago where I was just like, everyone was going crazy and NFTs people were like, yeah, just making a circle on a page and selling it for $200,000.
Yeah. I’m like, yeah. What, like what’s going on? But like on a day to day level, what, what is that? Yeah, those can be totally done. I mean, there was a, a community manager that I hired in, in Nigeria for, you know, just a short time, just a trial thing. And it was just, she just gave me her, her, um, Ethereum address, which is just this thing.
And you can transfer that publicly. It doesn’t, it’s not like it, it’s not like a thing that’s you have to secure. Yeah. And unless someone wants to send her money. Um, so she just sends that to me on, you know, text and then like, she’s got it in three seconds, you know, like, no, like there’s no like anything in between.
You know, the danger of course, is that you it’s people that it is people to people, so you can get, right. Like someone could walk up, like there’s no intermediary. No. Yeah. There’s no, there’s no Tru there’s no like what we call trusted, uh, something to mediate, anything. But, you know, the deep, I think the deeper you get into the philosophy and, and theory behind how the movement started, it’s like, that’s kind of a sham.
It it’s just a big story that we’ve all been told, like, right. There’s these trusted sources that help mediate. I mean, yeah. Good luck with, I mean, banks have always taken that role. Like they are. You know, the trusted source, but I mean, look at the pro the problems with everything from racism to, I mean, you name it like totally.
How can that be a trusted source of like, you’re, you’re putting a lot of trust in systems that have never really cared about a lot of people trust. They care about. Shareholder trust, maybe , you know? Yeah. It’s like we treat it, we treat banks like part of the infrastructure, but they’re a business. Like I was talking to a banking marketer not long ago.
He came to do a little presentation and was talking about, they introduced a new card and say, anyway, the, the short story was if people. Don’t go into debt. They don’t get a return on the investment, so it’s not worth it to them to do, uh, something that is more of like a service kind of product, because there’s no or little return.
So they’re just like, we’re not gonna do that. It’s a business, even though it’s like, yeah. Things like part of the infrastructure. And then the other problem is, is that the banks are also, they run by borders according to borders. So mm-hmm, , this is not fair on a, just an equality level, you know, inclusion level, because like an American bank they’re bound by all kinds of F D I C rules and regulations.
So they can’t even do, even if they wanted to go and help out across borders, they can. They can’t do it. And so now, now they’re hampered by the, a lot of the legal things, which are totally ridiculous at this point. I mean, they’re so antiquated and they’re built for, I mean, frankly, you know, the way I look at it, it’s like it was built for a white guy’s world.
mm-hmm and, and in an American one at that. So. People that are in crypto that are deep in it. They, they already know there’s no way this system is gonna maintain it as diversity and, and borders become more fluid. They’re already becoming more fluid with the internet, like paying people from across the borders, like the it’s already doing already happening.
The front runners are like, yeah, it’s there. It’s not, it’s not a sustainable model. It’s, it’s sort of just, I think we’re at a point where we’re still. I guess what you’d call, um, who’s this community builder. Her name is Priya. Oh, Priya Parker, Priya Parker. Yeah. And she said she, she has this great. Um, you probably know it like from her book.
And she says something about the like outdated rituals that we, she uses like marriage for a really interesting example that like marriage in India that is, and she’s, you know, part in Indian. So a lot of the ritualization around marriage, even though it’s outdated, still applies and it drives it. It drives a.
A lot of the values that Indians kind of like still hold onto, but they’re not valid anymore. So it’s like these old ritualization that they actually get the, the young people don’t even care about them. Right. And, and so it’s, it’s kind of like that where I feel like a lot of this stuff is just ritualizing.
Because people don’t want to upset the apple card. Yeah. I think that’s right. It’s just, it’s just the way it is. And I, I don’t, I don’t, I know there’s like not everyone is gonna be so like, risk taking like that, but I, I just think like, in terms, when you start looking at diversity and like people that I am traveling with in the web three space now that are in diversity, there’s an urgency to this stuff.
You know, you, the more you ask permission from, from people. Typically shut you out anyway. What, what good is this gonna do you, um, you know, so they’re, they’re starting to, I think they’re starting to understand, like they have to really take control of that narrative and be shape it, how they want. I mean, it feels like that’s what this whole thing is like, it’s like, what is it?
It’s like, whatever we make it, it could be a disaster. It could be amazing if you just look at it from the outside. You’re never gonna find the talent that you want because you’re the talent come on in and building, oh my God. Such a great quote. Gotta write that.
Love it. You know, I guess I would say like, when I look at your stuff, I’m just like the, this is where the talent is. This is the talent that’s missing and it’s, it’s the, it’s the, you know, it’s the reason I know it’s the reason why. There’s so many bad mediocre too, simply INAP people that are, that are in the space because they, because the, the first ones I get in are the high, the really technologists people.
And they are, they’re like, they’re speaking at some other level, like, you know, on technology. Yeah. But it’s like, it’s not even relatable. Like some of the stuff is just like, what are you talking about? What that doesn’t even. Resonate with anyone except your, your buddies, you know, over beers. It it’s so esoteric.
It, it doesn’t even like it. And why does that make, why is that important even like what blockchain are we using? I mean, these are important things like structurally and planning. But that’s not a roadmap. For instance, they all, a lot of the people at NFTs think a roadmap is this thing. You, you put out all of your plans that may or may not happen.
And, and it’s very structured like in Q2 of 2024, right. We’re going to have an event. And this is supposed to help investors what they call them. Right. Um, help them understand that you’re a you’re in the game. You’re good. And it’s just like, oh, like, like that’s an internal roadmap, but an external one is like a storytelling thing.
It’s like marketing. Yes. You need to bring people into the story, you know, the Steve jobs way or the old advertisers that would just like, kind of sell a dream because. You know, , you’ve gotta sell that big dream before you get them on board with all these like crazy kind of like plans that you’ve got going on.
That’s just what I was thinking that the storytelling around all of this is horrendous. There’s a huge, huge divide between yeah. People in the space and the mainstream. Yeah, no one has a clue what you’re talking about. And it’s like, there’s so many different things like web three crypto coins NFTs. What is like the, no, one’s clear what it is.
And I think Nigeria is an interesting example because there was a need. This solve. They’re like, cool. We’re down. We’re doing this. Yeah. So now there’s like that much more understanding of it, but until there’s, uh, mainstream need or, uh, it, it hits that, you know, the threshold where I don’t know, something needs to shift, cuz it’s confusing and easy to disregard right now.
Yeah. And I mean, I mean, in my opinion, it won’t be easy to disregard. It’ll be harder and harder as cause there’s so many, there’s so many, like, I guess you’d call ’em like tremors or, you know, signs and signals that are coming from all over the place. Now that point to that old world is, is falling down of this old economic model, which is especially like companies.
I think COVID was a big driver too, to, I don’t think it’s a mistake that COVID comes and Bitcoin just skyrockets during that time. Like absolutely unbelievable NFTs, all that stuff. I don’t think that was a mistake. I think it was a very clear indication that COVID had basically cut the entire global supply chain.
Yeah. Like, like, you know, zoom became the supply chain and information supply chain. That’s what happened over almost overnight. Yeah. But it wasn’t, it wasn’t really overnight. It was just that we have the, we all have the tools now to do it. They were there ready, and it was already falling, but COVID just advanced it by who knows how many years, maybe decades.
And I think that’s, that’s a big, a, a really big like black Swan. I, I think just it, it was an, it, it created this massive inflow to like crypto finally coming to light that we can’t really rely on, you know? And then the global financial meltdown, you know, in the 2008, cuz that’s what led to the Bitcoin white paper being released.
Oh, interesting. Yeah, that came from the, literally the ashes of that, of, of that. Wow. You know, it came like it was already being conceptualized. And then in two, I think early 2009, the Bitcoin white paper just appears somewhere and just boom. And all of a sudden it’s like catches fire in the early, you know, community just was just all over it as a, you know, alternative form of currency.
You know, getting away from, you know, centralized finance and all this stuff. Yeah. I always say like, if you want to talk about community, There’s nothing more clear as to how powerful community was that basically built the entire narrative of Bitcoin that early community was, they were, you know, almost to the point of, you know, some of them were like kind of toxic, like they’re so maxed out on yeah.
Bitcoin is going to smash the systems and all. So pretty powerful stuff, but it, but it really was community and storytelling that cause no one could, who could wrap their head around it at that point. Like, what are you even saying? Like you’re talking, you know, wow. Coming back to community and storytelling.
That’s why I. I like beat the drum of community, just unceasingly because like 10 years ago, 12 years ago, co-working was like this movement of people where I would like flip up a folding table someplace that had wifi and work together. Yeah. And then like, More and more and more adoption. And now it’s just like this massive global industry with huge money, huge players, huge like fabulous spaces with chandeliers.
And, um, yeah, which I, to be honest, I, I’ve never been part of the polarity of like, it’s either community or. This thing is like the way I see it. Like it’s giving, it’s facilitating this whole flexible future of work, which I’m like, I’m here for it. But yeah. Um, the thing I’m concerned about is like so many spaces are opening.
It’s like doubling like a year or so ago. The estimate was there 20,000 spaces in the world. And now I just heard the estimate is 40,000. So it’s like, oh my God, we just doubled in like, oh, you know, a short time. So my concern is that spaces are opening without an understanding of like, It’s not office rental.
Like for me, it’s like, it’s the, it’s the deeper thing. It’s the something more, it’s the getting the humans together. It’s the collaborative thing. It’s yeah. And some spaces are hyper focused on that. Some of them are just kinda like, oh, we’re just gonna do happy hours, but I think people are getting it.
And my it’s not just like touchy, feely. The the way I see it from a member perspective, it’s like going into an unactivated space going into like an office rental, like the executive suites of old is like a total snooze Fest. Right, right. There’s nothing worse than sitting by yourself, working alone in a mm-hmm like sterile space.
So, um, It’s like a, a cry to people like you gotta do this or you’re not gonna make it. Like, this is what people want. Everything has changed. Everything has changed. People wanna know what you’re about. They wanna know what your community is. Like, it’s not gonna be enough just to split up office space.
It’s just not right. Yeah. I have a friend in LA and he’s, um, he’s also in, you know, web three and crypto stuff and he’s a, he kind of acts as. CMO fractionalized CMO to a lot of these new emerging web three companies. And one of his clients is a, um, they’re a, a community in LA that’s sort of like a creator.
They’re like a mixture of like a creator incubator. And, and an Airbnb. So like almost like a, a youth host mall. Oh, that’s cool. Yeah. Like code living kinda thing. Cool.
He’s trying connect a web three solution to it. So that have like, well, first of all, like web three education. So they access more of a, a pathway for them to actually get jobs in web three. And this, all this. Economy of web three. So they would, they come to these kind of creator, youth host places, and then they, they kind of like set up shop there and for like, you know, as long as they want, I thought it was really interesting.
And I don’t know if you’re like, what is your interest in the, um, like, are those kind of your future models of like what that stuff is? Cuz I feel like it’s. It’s definitely more lifestyle. There’s a certain philosophy to it more than just like, if I just go and rent space at WeWork or something, you know, I actually think about this a lot.
Cuz when I was writing at shareable, I wrote a ton about co-housing and co-living and things like that. I definitely feel like it’s the future. Even to be able to travel. Like, I would love to go to London and not just pay for a hotel or an Airbnb for a month, you know, like a longer stay. Yeah. If I could plop into a already existing community that had a space and a place for me to.
To stay. Yeah. Um, I definitely think that’s the future. I have some concerns that it’s super, it’s like hyper youth oriented right now. Yeah. Like the digital Noma. I’d love to see it expand a little bit. Like for me, I’d love to be part of a community, but I also want a space for me and my partner to go chill out and not just be like dorm style.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I, I will get that. Cause people don’t. Yeah, I think we’ll get there. Yeah. It, it, it, it seemed to me like something definitely like targeted for really young folks, but then I thought. You know, I mean, in decentralization, in my view anyway, like that’s how it should be. You should have these very ultra niche places and the more of those you design and then hopefully connect together somehow.
Um, the ones that have common vision, then I think that’s, that’s the, that’s the goal, you know, for, in my view of like interconnected communities or something like that. Yeah. Same. And then, um, the more clear. Spaces, whether a co-living kind of thing or a co-working space, the more clear they are about who they are and sharing that it lets people select which one is right for them, because a space might be amazing for you.
It might be not the right fit for me and vice versa, but it’s like having that choice and like, If I’m going for a writing retreat, I might want one particular kind of space. Yeah. If I’m going to meet with 10 friends, we want something different. But just like, I just feel like it’s all about flexibility, freedom, connection, being able to drop into things instead of, um, Like going to a new area and just kind of plopping down by yourself.
And sometimes that’s fun to just wander around, but it’s really cool to drop into a coworking scene and have events and programming and people who are open to conversations. What do you think happened with like the WeWork model that I think, you know, there was a lot of stuff that I was impressed with when I was with them.
Like they would have. They had a rent. They were trying out this rental thing in New York city where you would, you, if you were a member, you could rent out this really cool. Um, apartment for your family. And, you know, I thought I was like, damn, that that’s really cool. And then, but then it, it, you know, all that stuff with their CEO went down and suddenly all that, all of the, those things, and then COVID came.
Um, so yeah. Is that, was that. Just a bad timing on their part or just the CEO was just bad, but their ideas were good or like a mixture. I mean, I, I don’t know enough in I’ll I’ll give you the perspective from like being a coworking, insider. I don’t know, like inside WeWork, like I don’t. I didn’t follow it closely enough to know like all the moving parts.
But, um, the thing that was frustrating initially is coworking had already existed for years. And then WeWork came about, and they’re like, Hey, here’s this cool thing called co-working. And everyone’s like, what the hell? Like we’re already doing this. Yeah. And then the thing where they really, um, did not become part of the co-working community is they would do this predatory marketing where they’d like park trucks outside of existing co-working spaces.
Oh, wow. Some of them just like a solo owner operator and they’d go yeah. Park out front and be like, we’ll give you three months free. Or they did just these unscalable offers. Yeah. Right. These yeah. Are unsustainable. Um, so then it became like this total tension about, oh, we were somebody called it the VOR of, you know, like
Yeah. And, uh, yeah. Then I think now watching that whole crazy arc, the, the net, I think it’s a net positive. They brought so much awareness to what coworking is and got people to think outside of, um, a kind of existing, real estate models. Um, opened it up for entrepreneurs, startups, a friend said the other day, she’s like, you know, it, it’s rare to even find a coworking space with a keg and a right pool table or whatever anymore.
It’s like, that was like this first on the scene, it brought a ton of attention. They sucked up all the press attention in the room for. I don’t know, six years or something. Yeah. And then, um, now they’re just kind of part of this ecosystem. There are a lot of big brands. There are a lot of big funded companies and there are way more.
I think the split, the we’ve actually been talking about this recently that within coworking it’s somewhere between 60 to 85% are independent spaces. So like the big brands, like industrious, WeWork, you know, they take up a lot of the oxygen, but, um, far more are the independent spaces. Yeah. Which I wanna make sure those guys are all good, you know?
Yeah. Yeah. I know. I mean, haven’t been in one sense when co I canceled my contract with WeWork, but I know. Here in I’m in Portland, Oregon. And there were so many cool models that were coming in, um, like, like really deep artists, um, spaces that were the really cool artists would just band. They, they just had these great spaces and these like areas of town that were like, you know, sought after, but not, they, they weren’t expensive, but they were, they weren’t in the best areas, but they were clearly like building up a lot of cred in those areas.
Um, to be desirable for the artist communities. And, and it was definitely like co-working was that thing that was doing it, but I, I don’t know what, I don’t know what’s going on, like around town now, since I just, that COVID just changed so many things in, in town. It just like the WeWork that I was not just completely left.
They, they abandoned ship and it was a really cool building that they had. And so it’s a, you know, it’s a shame that they pulled out. Um, but that’s, that’s just the way it goes. I guess. I know it was a crazy time, I think though it like recalibrated us as humans. Yeah. And like you were talking about it accelerated, um, web three.
And all the blockchain stuff, it did the same thing for coworking because the remote model, suddenly this thing that was like, yeah, some companies are like tinkering around with remote. All of a sudden is like, and we’re all remote. And, um, you know, now the conversation is, are people who’s forcing people back.
Who’s going fully remote. Who’s doing two days. Like it’s just endless about, you know, who’s doing it well, who’s not doing it. Well, we’re just in this like transformational. Yeah time, but coworkings positioned really, really nicely that, um, people who had to work for home for a couple of years and are just over it, or, you know, yeah.
Companies have given up their offices because no one could go in, so they just gave them up. And now they’re like, oh, we can go into this place with a short lease and flexible terms. And like coworking came out of this in a really good place. Yeah. I, I liked, there was one thing that I, I, the local one that I was part of.
You know, I think it was mostly, it just goes to show the power of like one person in the organization that, that was moving the all kinds of stuff that you didn’t know that was because they, you know, they were independent. A lot of ’em were independent. So they, you know, the one that I was at, they didn’t do this stuff over at, you know, the one down, you know, a couple blocks away.
But she, this, this one kind of woman at the, at that she was like a, I know she must have been some sort of manager there, but she was doing cool stuff like partnering with she part, they partnered, they did a partnership with the city and they brought in this, like, it was like the refugee refugee job placement thing that the city was doing.
And then, so they brought in all these. Refugees to train them. They, I don’t think they train ’em. I think the city, the city were trained them or vetting them. And then they, WeWork brought ’em into work as, you know, doing staffing and stuff like that. Like. And it was, and then they would, um, it was kind of cool.
Like they would put their story on like the elevators, like they would have their names and their picture and their backstory of like what country they were from and love it. And, and it was cool. Like you would get to know people and like, I ended up talking to a number of them just because I saw, oh, they’re, you know, They’re putting their story, just a little snippet.
So then I knew what to talk to them about when I’m at, you know, getting my drink and then we strike up a conversation and like, it was, it was, it was pretty powerful. Like it was just because I think they just were good at the storytelling part of and welcoming people to go. You can, you know, you, we want you to interact with people.
That’s the point of this thing. It’s like, there’s. I talk and think about this all the time. There’s this like invisible wall where people are desperate for connection, but we have like this buffer and it’s, if you do the tiniest thing, like putting a blurb about someone in the elevator. Yeah. Suddenly it like vanishes that and you’re like, oh, that’s so, and so there’s like some context.
There’s some, it’s like an invitation, like, um, It just sets a tone, right? Like we, you’re not here alone. yeah. Yeah. Maybe that’s the most essential thing. Like you’re not, not here. Yeah. A doom vacuum of isolation, like we’re here together. Yeah. I think that’s, that’s the whole, you know, it’s the key. I, I think it happened.
You know, with me, it happened during the pandemic, just like a lot of people. Like I went into clubhouse, like when the clubhouse came out, that that was my community. Like that became me too. I, I, I found yeah. Said I, yeah, some, some of the people I met, like, even though we, some, most of my don’t talk to today, but I I’ll never forget them.
And I think that’s a powerful, it’s not just a fluke or some, it was some app that just popped up. It just depends on how you treat it. Like to me, I began to like connect with people on deeper levels and, um, then I started running rooms and I would, I would tell people, you know, let’s just for a second, like reframe and go we’re we’re not like looking at the phone in our app, we’re inside of it together.
Totally. And that just. Totally, you know, that sort of like metaphor is like, Hm. They, they instantly would be. The conversation changed. Everything changed when you just said this one little thing and didn’t, it, it felt like that like the best rooms, it really felt like that I leaned hard on like social audio.
Sometimes I would put stuff on, you know, it’s like 10 o’clock at night, just like listening to whatever, not even, you know, just, just being part of something. There was one, um, some collective that would do, um, He was like storytelling, but like each person would take it a little bit further. So they were creating something.
Oh, that’s great. That’s he gave me chills right now. Like, it was just like awesome. We’re we’re here. We’re okay. Like we’re, we’re still creating and stuff. And remember like D nice was standing. I think he might have even, was he in New York or something, but like, he’d get on Instagram live every day and play music for hours.
I’m like, oh, I forget. It’s time. Those, those are wild. I. Honestly, that was a, I don’t think I’ll ever see that again. I mean, it was just, so there were so many things in the, especially if you were early, when that you and I thought, oh, you kind of take it for granted, like, oh, you’re gonna see this again. But I, I don’t think I’ll ever see that level of accessibility was just crazy, like crazy, you know?
You go into rooms and there’s like all these like rappers and stuff, and they’re, they’re all like, just joking around and, you know, you, you end up talking to some of them and, or like, I, I talked to the guy, the author of, um, what was it? Um, tiny habits. Yeah. And he was like blown my mind with, he was like, you know, I’m gonna use a clubhouse for teaching a class.
Um, moderation move moderation. But the thing that I’ve noticed about clubhouse is like you you’re learning and it’s like a learner guide model at the same time at scale. Mm. And I was like, wow. Yeah, that’s true. And, and so he, he taught a power and like bringing a kind of private group into a room, a structured thing.
And then. Learning how to like moderate, but you’re getting feedback loops live from the audience, which is pretty wild. When you think about it, wild, you know, it’s like talking to customers, but like all of them at the same, and then they’re providing input and you’re, you’re kind of like teaching, like they’re learning from you, but then learning back, like it’s going, it it’s like co.
That’s pretty wild. I was like, whoa, like that’s pretty, that’s pretty crazy stuff. It was. So, uh, I also appreciated being able to drop into communities that I don’t really have access to just like cultural divides. Yeah. Yeah. I hop in and just listen and be like, oh my God, that’s such a good point. I never thought about that.
Or, you know, just like a little peek in just like quietly sit like a little mouse in the corner listening. And, and I think it’s like you said that the whole. There’s a, these invisible borders that we kind of tell, kind of buy into these stories that you can’t go into this room or what, I mean, it’s an app that like, clearly everyone can go anywhere.
Yeah. But I noticed like, I don’t, you know, no one’s going into, I would go into the new Nigerian rooms. Yeah. Like, I, I, I, I just joined the club and I was like, You know, what if they like, don’t accept me, but I was like, who? I mean, who cares? Who cares? I was sitting on new couch, a what gonna, and then I found like I would go into those rooms and they were just, I would learn so much, like I would, I went into this one and it was, um, the new, they were new Nigerians and they were talking about crypto.
So I was interested to hear what, you know, what they had to say. Yeah. And, and they, um, The, the moderators were not, didn’t have a very good handle on the, the subject matter. So the room started getting like kind of rowdy. Mm. And then I started talking and then they kind of were. One guy says, oh, you, you kind of, I think, you know what you’re talking about?
You wanna be a moderator so I like ended up monitoring this new Nigerian crypto. It was just, I was like, this is so crazy. Like where would this ever happen? And I was talking to literally like all these Nigerians and they were. Telling me all kinds of like, I mean, it was like a researcher’s paradise.
Like, oh my God, like you’re getting firsthand, like pain points and all this stuff, just sitting there talking, you know, so easy to access . Yeah. And you could just bounce out so easily. Like, you know, we started seeing people who. They’d get invited onto the stage and then be like, okay, here’s my pitch.
Here’s who I am. This is all about me. You could just, you could just bounce or, you know, like some norms, some communities had really strict norms, others. It was like, uh, horrendous free for all like, oh, worst. Yeah. All the humanists. Um, Corey, can I ask you a question, cuz I’m curious with the web three stuff.
So there are two, like, like I said, I’m a part of a bunch of things, but two communities that I lead. So one of ’em is a smallish membership group that I run for. Co-working space operators called the lab. It’s a marketing club. The other one is, uh, Monthly virtual event series for operators that one’s bigger.
We’ve had like 5,000 operators show up over the last few years. I’m curious. I’m like, should I push into web three and do something I’m not so much interested in the crypto aspect? Like the payment thing I kind of have figured out, um, But I’m curious, like, is there something we could do to like introduce people to it?
Like the thing that I thought, like, is it a coin? Is it a yeah, like get this badge, like I, like, what are the possibilities, cuz I, I don’t wanna be, um, left in the dark, but I’m also not like til tilt boogie right now. Yeah. I know. That’s sort of what I’m I I’m gonna be teaching. Course called human marketing.
And it, and a lot of it is, was built, was designed because of like this problem that people, even in crypto, they don’t, it it’s really difficult to know, like, should I do, you know, a token or, you know, all this stuff. And, and I mean, really it’s more, to me it’s more about having mental models and under like thinking, because I think you first have to get the community to think in terms.
Of web three and that means understanding their story and what’s important to them and kind of aligning it with your goals of, you know, your organizational goals and all that. Yeah. And just the K I think the, the best things are like KPI, like reward things that are like, you know, it’s easy to do NFTs.
Yeah. I would, I would actually just kind of concentrate on that. The NFTs can be almost like literally anything. You don’t have to have some like elaborate artwork or whatever. Like you can just start there as a, as a test and just say like, we’re kind of testing this out or whatever. However you wanna say it and use that as a reward system.
And that’s sort of like an access, like you could say, like, if you have like this type of N F. You’ll be at this tier of our, you know, V I P level. Like if, if you’re into the, I don’t know, like, I don’t know how that, how you tructure, I’m open to it for sure. Yeah. Oh, Corey, I love this. Are you by chance recording?
I’m like, why is this not a podcast? Thanks for listening to coworking out loud. I hope this episode gave you some things to think about, and if you have more questions than answers, that is probably a good thing. And you’re right. You need to be, we’re still all figuring this out in a big way. If you haven’t already head over to Kat johnson.co to find out all about the next coworking combo membership in our lab marketing club, reap blog posts about coworking content community, and I’ll see you next time.