In 2010, after more than a decade abroad, I made the move back to my hometown – Cape Town. My work had always allowed me to work remotely and so upon my return, my first port of call was to find a suitable workspace, a coworking space.
To my surprise there were none. Overcoming my disbelief, I conducted a brief search and found an office space on Roeland Street. The space was big. Well, huge for one person really, and I knew it wouldn’t work for me. However, the next morning it hit me (que bolt of lightning and drumroll)! I thought to myself…why not open a coworking space of my own?
I’d love to say that the rest is history, but in truth it’s only the start. The name ‘Cape Town Office’ was an obvious choice and so without hesitation, I bought the domain name. I thought that if I build it, they will come.
“…community is better than isolation.”
I realise our story is not entirely unique, but it speaks to the universal truth that community is better than isolation. To be part of a space that resonates with your values and provides the core ingredients to a productive and, dare I say it, happy workday is something that speaks to us all.
I immediately jotted down what I wanted CTO to be.
- A space that is as much yours as it is mine.
- A space that is safe and warm.
- A space that makes you feel as comfortable as you would be if working from home.
- A space where you can make friends, meet your significant other (you know who you are), spark collaborations and expand your professional network in an organic way.
- A space where members can leave their stamp of creativity. Be it a Mexican sombrero (thanks TK), leaving recommended books on the shelf for others (thanks Stephen) or creating a mood with vinyl records. The list goes on.
“CTO is the space it is because of you.”
CTO is the space it is because of you. All of you. In eight years of coworking, the evolution is nothing short of spectacular and has surpassed my wildest expectations of what an effective coworking space “should” be.
Here’s to the next eight years Chief(ette)s. Vamos!
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