(Ok so this particular post is inspired by the fact that we now have a *gulp* collective meeting room on our floor.)
I am starting to hate post-its. Mostly because they require a wall to stick them on or a flipchart, a whiteboard and a collection of otherwise horrible office furniture to make post-its work as a medium for sharing ideas.
And it turns out that type of furniture lives in very particular spaces. Innovation spaces. Spaces where the curators went through the whole catalogue of Unhappy Hipsters without understanding the irony. Those spaces and that furniture is believed to attract innovation and innovative people.
How did we get to this?
If you do the rounds of cities in the UK who struggle to compete with London as a magnet for “creatives”, they’ll all have a creative hub, space or whatever. I remain unconvinced that the Eames furniture, lime green carpets and post-it friendly walls with clever graphics achieve that. To me, it’s like suggesting creative people like living in an IKEA catalogue.
This is a problem of course for everyone. It fools the government into thinking Local Development Agencies (LDAs) attract young creative people in “the regions”, and it fails to support the local young talent who probably prefer hanging out with their laptop in a place with perfect coffee. After all that’s how the Royal Society was created…
The city also boasted some of the oldest coffee shops in Britain: places where those interested in science would meet, indulge in caffeine-fuelled debates, and even sometimes perform ad hoc experiments. (ref)
… much later mirrored by the San Francisco coffee startup culture.
“When you go into a Starbucks and you see people on their laptops it seems they could be sending e-mails to their moms or looking up an address on Google maps,” said Rich Moran, a partner with VenRock, a major venture capital firm in Menlo Park, Calif.
“And when you go into Ritual, it seems they’re either writing code or writing a blog or creating something with a widget that will make money for them this week, and that’s really different from a lot of the other places.” (ref)
I’ve been up and down the UK and those innovation spaces have the worst coffee in the universe. Just saying.