Meet Dave Idell, the co-founder & CEO of Croissant, the app that let you access the best coworking spaces in your city. Bond Collective works closely with Croissant to allow freelancers, entrepreneurs and other hard-working folks alike to access the best spots in the city to get some work done. We sat down with Dave to find out a little bit more about him, why he decided to start Croissant and his take on the benefits of coworking (and we completely agree!)
So why the name Croissant?
It goes back to the days when we were working on our laptops out of various coffee shops around Manhattan. When we went to these places, we felt bad for sitting there all day, cracking away at our latest projects. This led to us buying coffees, croissants, and other things we didn't need, as a way to justify our stay. It was after several months of doing this that an idea popped in our heads. We thought it would be great if we could book and pay for a single seat at one of these places. Not long after that, we decided to go for it! On the first day, we named it after our favorite pastry that we used to buy for removing that old laptop guilt.
What was it like when you were starting out?
We had no idea if our new project made sense to anyone besides us. We were only building something that we wish existed, and that we could use for ourselves. Nonetheless, we rushed to build a simple website. Then, an app, for "checking in" at one of our three early coworking space partners. It worked, and early adopters started to sign up and use it! We were like.. ok, I guess this is a thing now.. and we got back to work, further iterating on the software and adding more partners.
How have things changed since the beginning?
Things have been very exciting. We've grown to several thousand members, and over 100 spaces to choose from, in 5 cities and counting. There's no shortage of coworking spaces to try these days. Product-wise, we've added a ton of cool stuff. You'll now see community message boards for one. Also, there's fine-grained amenity details and flexible seat booking. These features make it easier than ever to work, meet, and focus wherever you are in the city.
What do you think Coworking spaces offer that coffee shops don't?
Coworking spaces are like coffee shops but better. They've got fast wifi, luxurious desks, comfy seats, and an inspiring work environment. That's a rare combination for any coffee shop. All the while, coworking spaces still maintain great vibes, so you're really not missing out on anything. The only thing I really miss for coffee shops though is a tasty, cinnamon-spiced chai latte.
What are some trends you're seeing in the coworking market?
More. More of everything: more spaces, more chains of spaces, more technology, more freelancers, more startups, and more freedom of choice than ever before. As more people choose to work on what they are passionate about, go freelance, and work remotely, coworking will be more popular than ever.
How do you think coworking can help a person's career?
We've seen a lot of people using coworking spaces as a way to look for a job, and not because of the networking aspect. They just want to get out of the house and get into a stimulating environment that keeps them focused and motivated to continue applying to jobs. We have had other members say that they've gotten their first clients from randomly talking to people at coworking spaces. I think there are so many benefits to coworking, and helping your career is one of them.
What do you do for fun when you're not working on Croissant?
I'm a bit of a generalist so I'm always trying new things. You'll often find me learning about a new cooking technique, and I'm planning a quick trip to Iceland next moth. I'm also big on hackathons. I like teaching friends how to code too, so they can also one day build their own dream product. I'm big on reading, and try to fit it in at the end of every day. We even started a book club within team Croissant as a way to grow together!
What's next for Croissant in 2017?
Our goal for 2017 is to create new ways for members to connect with one another in meaningful ways. We don't want to be like the average networking event you see out there. We found the best way to connect with a like-minded Croissanteer is to cowork together, and we plan to achieve this by adding features for it! Planning group coworking sessions of varying sizes is a big one. Also there will be office hours, and long-term seat booking. We're super pumped to finally be turning these ideas into a reality. This year is going to be BIG!
Dave is a native New Yorker who has been writing code since he was 9. Dave is a 500 Startups and Startup Leadership Program alum, and you can find him drinking lattes at coworking spaces and cafes alike. Tweet him @daveometer!
Have any questions about what Bond Collective can offer your company?
We’d be more than happy to answer them and to offer you a personalized tour of any of our locations in the Financial District, Flatiron and Brooklyn.