As a startup and rapidly growing community, we often get asked, “who’s your target audience” and “who makes up your community?” followed by a recommendation of a particular group who has the freedom to work from any geographic location, provided that place has the amenities needed to perform their job function.
While I feel the pressure to reply succinctly–to have picked one, sexy sliver of mobile workers–I simultaneously feel rebellious and want to reject popular startup advice that niche verticals are the way to go. The Hedgehog Principle, after all, applies to doing, not those for whom you’re doing. One of the many reasons I wanted to join forces with Darren was the strong possibility of being able to connect a widely diverse audience—-more diverse than any other project or product I’d worked on in the past. No more being tethered (pun intended) to an industry or narrow horizontal market based on gender or geographic or age range or socio economic span. So, then, who is our audience, how do they self identify and how can we connect a global community across a new common denominator?
That’s exactly what I decided to dive into. What I discovered has depths I haven’t even yet reached. So here’s part one of a new series focused on the intriguing, mysterious, and elusive Mobile Worker.
Part 1: Who is the Mobile Worker?
High Mobility, Low Commitment
Workfrom exists to support anyone and everyone who finds themselves needing to find a place to get some work done in a low-to-no commitment environment, such that they can start working when they want and end when they want with no contracts or expectations that they must return to the same location in the future. (How’s that for a mouthful?)
What that work is and how it’s defined varies widely based on the person who feels the need to be productive. The most popular perception of “work” is that it’s those tasks which earn you an income. There are many other tasks, however, we often find ourselves calling “work” such as job hunting, writing, studying and reading — even if there is no pay associated. This means that our audience is defined not by WHAT they do or even HOW they do it but WHERE they do it and the freedom in which they have to choose the WHERE. Our community works outside a traditional office space at least some of their time in public and private spaces that require no contract: coffee shops, tea houses, cafes, bars, libraries and facilities that can be rented by the hour or day to name a few. We’re:
- Knowledge Workers
and we work in:
- Policy and Advocacy
- Social and Legal Services
and we live in:
- Permanent dwellings
- Temporary housing
- Metropolises and cities
- Rural areas
all over the planet Earth.
Most of us require access to the internet and need to find places that provide such access, though some carry their own or don’t need such access frequently. Oh, and we’re aged 18+. Even with that long list, I’m sure to have omitted someone’s role and industry. Did I miss yours? Chime in and let us know!
How do I know all of this? We asked! We’ve been busy chatting with folks who we find working in coffee shops, bars, libraries and coworking spaces, at various meet ups and who register on Workfrom.co. (Spoiler Alert: We’ve even begun working on a series of content where we’ll be sharing these stories—so everyone can get a better sense of who their virtual neighbors are.)
How then can we connect these diverse communities across our common denominator of mobility? Let’s continue by taking a look at how we self identify—-coming in my next post.