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690: Saving Geographic Communities

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Walking around the market was a joy not because you knew you had unlimited options, but because you knew the decisions you made benefited your community.

Now you can just go to Amazon, an operation that loses money on almost everything it does because their goal is growth, not profit (they have no profit, that’s why they pay no taxes).

And so markets close down. Why go through the trouble of buying something that costs twice as much from someone with limited stock and rent to pay for every 20 mile radius they wish to serve, when you can pay half the price for unlimited stock that reaches the whole world?

My original hope for the initial rise in co-working was that we would experience a new local market: the benefits of online with the local support and advocacy of traditional markets.

WeWork was the final nail in that coffin; a cancer that mauled the co-working market, rendered many people jobless, while creating windfalls for founder Adam Neumann to the tune of >$800,000 per newly jobless employee. The global local model was bastardized to benefit a single player.

We can still hold out hope for co-working spaces, and for a new local market to be born. But it’s likely going to look very different to the co-working environments we’ve seen in the past. Further, I believe the co-working culture needs to bend toward public benefit rather than personal gain in order to realize its potential. It needs to become a cause-driven initiative much like the ones you and I lead.

Today we mourn. But we can be hopeful that the right team will learn from history and build something far better.

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