This is a call to entrepreneurs who want to make money :-) I think this would be a cool idea but I don’t have the time nor the interest of developing it. If this already exists, then please excuse my ignorance and tell me where I can find these cafés! Cybercafés don’t count, I want to use my own laptop, I want a comfortable chair and I don’t want an hourly rate.
Simple observation one: working conditions are becoming more and more flexible.
Simple observation two: having fewer actual offices and more employees working from home can cut costs for companies.
Random prevision: it’s going to become more and more common for people to work from home.
Simple observation three: many people like to have a clear separation between work and private life. Moreover, many people can’t afford a home large enough to have a special “office” room. And many people don’t like to be completely isolated from any human presence.
In this context, I think cafés where you could work comfortably would fill an increasing need. It seems like Starbucks is slowly moving in that direction… too slowly I think.
A café where I could work from needs:
This café could offer, for a flat fee (say, 5 dollars for the day), a drink, a comfortable seat, an individual table, a power outlet and unlimited wifi access. Now maybe I could get a 26-inch monitor and a comfortable keyboard and mouse for an extra 2 dollars or something.
You could even get (extra fee, hin, hin) a super-duper comfy chair, the kind where your back or neck never get sore or sweaty even after 8 hours of work (we use those at Google, I have no idea what their name is but they’re totally awesome).
Hourly rates might also work, but I think I’d prefer a flat fee because hourly rates make you look at your watch every ten minutes. “Man, I need to finish this chunk of work in the next 17 minutes or I’ll pay for another hour, quick quick!”
Ultimate refinement: strike deals with companies so that their employees get discounts when working from those cafés.
So, entrepreneurs, pretty please with coffee-sugar and whipped cream on top? Or does that exist already? If so I want one in Paris, French entrepreneurs!