My Office: The Cafe

Liquid Cocaine Friends keep asking me, “What exactly do you do nowadays?”

“Drink lots of coffee,” I tell them. Which—back in my roles as an engineering manager and later, a product manager—was what I mostly did then anyways.

Except now, my office is whichever cafe I go to.

It’s a great lifestyle. Sometimes I’m meeting with a friend to talk about business ideas. Sometimes I’m meeting with an ex-coworker to catch up on old times, plus talk about business ideas. And other times, I’m on my laptop, researching business ideas.

Some people quit their full-time jobs and jump into entrepreneurship only after they’ve come up with The Great Idea. A few of them even start The Great Idea while still employed.

Me, I took a riskier route. I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. So I took my savings, calculated out how long I could survive on them, and made the leap.

I have a bunch of ideas too. Some could be great, some are mediocre, some totally suck ass. Not all are web-based either, though web-based businesses are much easier to start, because of their low capital costs (free software rules). So I’ll probably aim for a web-based business first.

But I’ve learned that ideas are the easy part. Planning and executing is the tough part. The relatively low barriers to entry for web-based businesses mean lots of competition. If you have a great idea, chances are, a competitor will sprout up a few months later. Being first-to-market doesn’t necessarily give you an edge. It’s more about having a great product, great marketing, and a sound business model.

That’s where all the chatting with friends and market research comes in. Who knows when a random news story, market report, friend, or ex-coworker could ignite an idea spark that leads to The Great Idea? Or more finely tune one of my existing ideas?

And that’s why I’m here, working in a cafe. My new office.

Author: Mike Lee

An idealistic realist, humanistic technologist & constant student.

4 thoughts on “My Office: The Cafe”

  1. Or you could work out of your apartment… lots of folks down here work out of cafe’s… not one of the lot has done anything ground breaking.

    Find your muse and inspiration… wherever, and set up camp.

    I know co-working folks are adamant about “the possible interaction between someone or some crazy idea” but physical proximity doesn’t make an idea more likely to succeed — focus and execution.

    Personally I get overwhelmed and distracted by folks around me, random noises I can’t filter out… so a coffee shop never seems to work.

    Ah, I’m a cave dweller. There I said it!


  2. True true, Peanut Mutter. Work where you do your best work! Everyone’s got their favorite spot.

    Sometimes, I prefer the library over the cafe, because it’s quieter – though I tend to enjoy the “activity” of a public place. That’s just me, I guess.

    But there’s nothing wrong at all about being a cave dweller – some of the best entrepreneurs I know are cave dwellers! (At least, they call their danky lil’ “office” a cave, hehe.)

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