The Shopping Mall Startup

The Shopping Mall Startup

Westfield LondonVisiting a central London shopping mall yesterday, I came across something I hadn’t seen before.

As I sat there in one of the many open plan coffee shops, I heard passionate people discussing ideas and throwing concepts across a large round table. All sat there with their laptops, pieces of paper, one even with a mini whiteboard and marker.

Yes, as the title suggests, these were startups. Their CEOs and founders were there driving them forward desribing what the company was and wasn’t. Where they were heading. Why they’re special. What they’re actually selling and how they were going to make it. It was wonderful and in many respects I felt like I was heavesdroping, which clearly is one of the drawbacks of deciding to make a shopping mall your boardroom.

On the other hand, it made perfect sense. That said, if you can talk about your startup with passion with people you don’t know meters away from you, its likely to help when you’re sat in front of investors or customers in the future. It made even more sense because of the obvious benefits. The shopping mall had free and reliable wifi. You could sit anywhere you pleased for as long as you wanted without anyone bothering you. You’ve parking undergound, often not free, but available close by nevertheless. You have an array of restaurants and coffee shops to choose from, and if its anything like the mall I was at (Westfield London), it’s a vibrant, clean and modern environment to work in.

Maybe I’m late to this party. Are you a startup? Do you use anything aside from an office and maybe a standard coffee shop as your HQ?

Read next: Firefox 3.6 Beta Now Available for Download