WeWork is the latest co-working space to hit Chicago. Who wouldn’t want to work somewhere with the Mission: TO CREATE A WORLD WHERE PEOPLE WORK TO MAKE A LIFE, NOT JUST A LIVING. We got the details on WeWork from Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Miguel McKelvey.
Tell us about WeWork.
WeWork is the platform for creators. We provide the space, community, and services you need to make a life, not just a living.
How’d WeWork get it’s start?
Adam (co-founder Adam Neumann) and I were both entrepreneurs with offices in a building in Brooklyn. The building was filled with startups and small businesses, and we saw so many opportunities to help people become more successful. It seemed so obvious to us that the work space solutions available to small companies just weren’t working. Once we got deeper into it, we realized it went far beyond the practical aspects and also into the social and emotional ones. That’s where the “We” idea came in. Adam and I both grew up in communal environments – me as one of six kids in a five-mother collective, and Adam in a kibbutz in Israel. The constant support of a connected community was a big part of our upbringings, and it’s something we want our members to experience through WeWork.
Besides trendy co-working spaces what else does WeWork do for members?
WeWork focuses on building community and helping people connect in a variety of ways. Everyone has different needs. Some are in startup mode and have tons of questions. Others are in more mature businesses and perhaps are more interested in connecting for social reasons. In general, there has been a macro shift in terms of what people expect from their work environments – and we strive to create opportunities for people to make meaningful connections on many levels.
What type of people/businesses are members of WeWork?
WeWork members are creators – entrepreneurs, freelancers, start-ups, even divisions of large corporations. There isn’t any narrow definition or type that defines our members. What does unite us is our commitment to inspired collaboration and to helping each other succeed.
What are the most exciting success stories to come from WeWork members?
We don’t like to define success in traditional terms. If someone used to work in a boring job in a depressing environment, and they now walk into WeWork each day and feel inspired and energized, then they are an exciting success story that day. We are here to create success stories every minute through the elevation of mood and spirit. If someone feels happy, and they treat other people well because of that, they will certainly be more successful in all aspects of their business and personal life.
Which entrepreneurs do you look up to?
All of them!!! Being an entrepreneur is an extraordinary achievement in and of itself. Anyone who has made the leap – and is determined to carve his or her own path – deserves congratulations and appreciation.