Coliving. Coworking. Cowhatever.
Since we started hyprspace almost a year ago, so many cool things happened. We’ve had the chance to host so many cool people, that I’d not have met otherwise. As the coliving scene in Germany is still kind of just getting started, there was a natural inbound interest of press as well. We’ve been featured in major German newspapers, as a best-practice example in a “bleasure” report of the Germany Future Institute, and in Qwerky’s review of the European coliving scene.
One question we came across frequently in these interactions was:
“What distinguishes a coliving space, such as hyprspace, from a shared flat?”
(Another thing I realized during these interviews, is that hyprspace is not a typical coliving space, if there even is such a thing — but that’s another topic.)
Let’s try to answer this question.
One objective to rule them all: Impact
For me there’s a few key reasons why I’ve been passionate and active about coliving. Obviously, we deeply ingrained these at hyprspace to make it the place we want it to be. Basically everything that will follow, is somehow derived from the overarching objective (that many entrepreneurs have) to somehow maximize impact. This might be special to us, because we are a very startup focused coliving space.
So here are 7 objectives that motivate and shape our existence:
1. Challenge your thoughts and consistently learn
I love good arguments and logical thoughts. I like to tell myself that most of my opinions are well thought through. By this I mean: I know why I have them. This is why I think it’s fucking amazing if somebody throws me an argument clearly contradicting one of my views. Simply because it means, that I get a data point that I might not have considered yet. Beyond personal pleasure, it is valuable and critical for business to challenge your strategies and tactics.
At hyprspace we established the perfect environment for this and we actively pursue it. We have a lot of diverse backgrounds visiting hyprspace every day enriching our lives with their input. One of the most pleasant things to me after an exhausting day is to have this type of firing discussions.
1b. Living with like-minded people
This is probably the most used sentence within the coliving sphere, which I mostly agree with. Indeed, there’s a certain set of basic values and interests that connects people who are into coliving and startups. Connecting values, such as tolerance, open-mindedness, and humanism, with varying political flavors also color hyprspace. Interests, such as high-impact technologies, questioning the status-quo, and the future of things, regularly shape the topics of said satisfying conversations.
While this is fun, we need to beware of the echo chamber though!
2. Discuss interesting problems (…and solve them!)
These challenging and satisfying conversations often result in deep fundamental questions and problems. But coupled with the execution focused nature of people that choose to take control of their life and live in a coliving space, this often means just the beginning. At hyprspace we optimize for action, by having our network close, and our Makerspace closer.
3. Active mutual support
All of our residents have a mission. And the overlap of the mission includes hyprspace. But each one has set their own ambitious goals. Hence, a pillar for hyprspace is the realization that on average we will achieve more, if we invest some of our time pushing each other. That’s why we set up subsystems at hyprspace, from our whatsapp audio “commitment tracker”, over weekly retrospectives and plannings, to the big red “Trigger brainstorming session” button.
4. Empower network and support the startup scene
Network has a lot of power. We believe that by connecting individuals potentials arise, which results in impact. But also having a community as a chamber for feedback on your ideas is valuable. With every person we add to this network it becomes more valuable. The most important thing is that this community is not exclusively intended to benefit residents — it is for each one in the network. We are fans of giving.
If you can ever make it to visit us, you will notice a very distinguished taste compared to other networking institutions. Visitors love our living-room-ish character, as opposed to the often superficial, overly-professional business networking events. The funny thing is that exactly that, our cozy character, is often what is the most beneficial for business. This is how we are becoming a central point of contact for the Munich startup scene. Hopefully you will join one of our living room sessions.
5. Surround yourself by f***ing inspiring over-achievers
The quote about being the average of the five people you spend most time with is already becoming more annoying than eye-opening. But you know there’s something true about it, though. This could be also called an implicit form of “mutual support”, aka. support by inspiring with action and results. The motivation, drive, grit, and successes of the people you are living with, constantly push you to go further and achieve your goals. That’s why we choose coliving.
6. Blending private and professional
Everybody has heard of Generation Y, Millennials, or whatever we’re called. Our cohort has a special name, because there is doubtlessly a strong shift going on, in how people are considering their perspective on their career (even though it’s not exclusive to this cohort). People are increasingly looking for purpose in their job. The line between private and professional life is becoming increasingly blurry — additionally driven by digitization. At hyprspace, we embrace this and made it a central part of this coliving space.
Actually we also experienced a lot of inbound interest from corporations that try to attract young talent, which is crucial for their strategies. Which is cool.
7. Sustainability and Sharing
The sharing is real in this house. Not only the above-mentioned sharing of knowledge and experience. Also in terms of increasing capacity utilization of most of our inventory. We aim to reduce our footprint, by e.g. sharing an electric car, a single washing machine for 17 people (thanks Google calendar), rooms and offices, video and audio equipment, and of course pinball machines. We believe that much of what we do falls into the category of efficiently and effectively usage, and that we will see much of these concepts more in the future, no matter if the trend of urbanization continues or reverses.
(Many of us practice a very minimalist approach towards consumption and ownership, which is by itself great and inspiring.)
Final words: getting love and traction
I’m not lying when I’m saying that hyprspace has been a true blessing and we’ve experienced overwhelming support. So maybe (and hopefully), it’s not just us thinking that this is a cool form of living.
Surprising support came from guests we’ve hosted (shout-out to Christoph Richter, David Lowe, Tian-Yuan Zhao), over Haworth who supports us with furniture, AVM that provided mesh-wifi to cover this beast of a house, to every single guest that comes here and feels like at home. This support adds to our motivation to keep pushing this thing forward and there’ll be a lot more to come. Please reach out if you’re interested in coliving or if you’re passing by Munich. We’d love to meet you.