Love Regefalk - Coworked
Blog post #1
Describe the idea!
The market for shared offices, also known as co-working spaces, have experienced an exponential growth in the past few years and more and more employers and small companies are beginning to question the role of a traditional offices and seek other alternatives.
Owing to this trend, I see that there’s a demand for a platform that connects co-working spaces with prospective customers. For tenants, Coworked.se allows them to search, find and compare different spaces to find a perfect match. For landlords, the idea is to increase their occupancy whilst gaining market shares in the stiffening competition.
Who are you?
I’m a fourth year Industrial Engineering and Management student at LTH who spent my last semester abroad on an exchange in Singapore. I have a keen interest in entrepreneurship and as such I’ve founded two companies beside my studies. They are Beerpongkungen and Mapsery, respectively. Hopefully, I can add Coworked.se to that list after this summer.
Fun fact: I’m a triplet. My brother, Daniel, is also a Leapfrogger this summer.
What will you do during these three months? How will you spend the time?
To better understand the co-working market in Sweden, I decided to rent a desk at a co-working space in Stockholm, which is where I will spend my summer. Before I settled for a space that fitted my criteria, I tried out seven different spaces. This, I believe, has given me a good understanding of the market and some valuable connections. Moving forward, I will work to achieve the goals listed in question 4 below.
What do you expect to achieve during Leapfrogs?
For these three months, these are the three goals that I hope to achieve:
- Launch an MVP based on the findings from interviews and surveys with co-working spaces and their customers (end of June)
- Launch Coworked 1.0 and win my first paying customer (end of July)
- Reach a minimum of 20 verified co-working spaces listed on Coworked.se, of which 25% are paying customers (end of August)
Blog post #2
Tell us what you have done on your project so far during the Leapfrogs time.
Since my last blog post, I’ve decided to abandon my initial idea (Coworked.se) and started to work on a new idea. What made me jump ship was that I realized that the demand for my service wasn’t as great as I had first anticipated. I came to this realization by surveying 40 co-working spaces in Sweden and by conducting a few phone interviews with owners of said co-working spaces.
That being said, I’ve spent the past few weeks working on a project called Monengo, which is a comparison engine for international money transfers.
Has everything gone according to the plan? Has anything unexpected occurred? Has something been easier/harder than expected?
Given the fact that I abandoned my initial idea, it’s hard to argue that everything has gone according to plan. Luckily, though, I failed fast and didn’t invest too much time into my first idea before I did my market research. Through this, I’ve learnt that it’s important to ask potential customers for feedback at an early stage, rather than developing your service first and then asking for their input.
Instead, I’ve spent the past few weeks tackling a problem that I came across during my exchange last semester, namely how costly it can be to transfer money abroad.
What will you focus on during the remaining time? Will you follow your original plan or has anything changed along the way?
Moving forward, I will spend the remaining time working on Monengo, which is a comparison engine for international money transfers. The idea is to calculate the cheapest way to transfer money from one currency to another across international accounts. This is done by fetching real-time data from various money transfer providers, such as TransferWise, through their APIs.
In addition to the comparison engine, which is the core of Monengo, I’ll write articles and reviews to add value to my website and to attract traffic from search engines.
Blog post #3
How did you experience the three months?
Overall, my experience of my three months as a Leapfrogger has been great. It’s been three fun, challenging and rewarding months.
Even though I’ve worked on my project(s) full-time, it hasn’t felt like I’ve been working at all this summer. What I mean by that is that I’ve spent my summer doing something that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. Not once have I dreaded to go to work. In fact, quite the contrary.
What has been most difficult and what has been most enjoyable?
Since I abandoned by initial idea, the most difficult thing has been to come up with a new business idea. As such, I’ve spent a week or two – if not more – brainstorming potential ideas this summer. This wasn’t an ideal way to spend my limited time, but it had to be done nevertheless.
The most enjoyable aspect has been to work on a project of my own and I have loved the high degree of freedom and responsibility that has come with it. Everything has been up to me, for better or worse.
Will you continue working on your project in the future? If so, what is your next step?
Yes, that’s the plan. The next step for me is to tweak the comparison engine and to add more money transfer services to it. In tandem, I’ll write content and work actively with SEO to acquire more visitors to the site.
What would you say is the most important lesson learnt while working on your project?
To answer this question, I’d like to repeat what John Elf of Pej taught us during the first workshop, namely that you should always develop your product or service together with your (potential) customers. It’s tempting to develop your product or service on your own, only to realize at a later stage that no one wants to buy it. In worst cases, you’ve spent years and a lot of resources developing a product that no one wants.
Do you have any tips to other new entrepreneurs?
My tip would be to include potential customers in the development of your business. By doing so, your chances of developing a product or service that there’s an actual demand for is much, much greater, compared to if you would have tried to guess what your customers want.
Even better, if your customers don’t like your product, you’ll be able to fail fast, as opposed to spending months (or years) developing your product on your own only to reach the same conclusion.