CloudVO City Guide: Austin, Texas

CloudVO’s City Guide Series continues. Today, we are highlighting our partner location, Executive Workspace (EWS), located in Austin, Texas. Austin is not only the capital of the state of Texas, but it is also known for being the live music capital of the world, home of the Longhorns, The University of Texas, and so much more. We are excited to share more details about these workspaces in Austin, since the CloudVO team is heading to Austin in September for the 2018 FlexOffice Conference! If you are also heading to the conference and are planning to stay an extra few days in the city and need a space to work, be sure to check out these shared workspaces.

CloudVO partner, Executive Workspace, offers a professional, ready-to-work environment, prestigious business address, featuring  fully-equipped meeting rooms and private day offices with high-speed internet. These spaces also offer a friendly administrative team to greet your guests and receive mail and packages, and a community lounge serving coffee, tea, and water. They are equipped with all the amenities necessary for promoting success in a workspace.

CloudVO Partner Executive Workspace in Austin Texas

Luckily, we had a chance to hear first hand from Nick, the Executive Workspaces Austin regional director about these spaces. “One of the, many ☺, great things about Executive Workspace is that we will customize your office needs to fit you. We won’t charge you for services that you don’t intend on using; but we have so many services to choose from! Memberships, phones, mail options, custom office build outs, day office rates, private offices, group offices, conference rooms…. We can do it all.

Our locations are each unique to themselves but have a great culture. Downtown is right in the thick of things. Many of our clients walk or bike to work. It’s a fun floor and everyone gets along. We have people who have officed there for 10+ years, and some who are just starting. One of the great things we see that I really think embodies Austin, is that the clients all help each other. Many end up referring business to one another, or will talk shop in the break room. Our Wild Basin location is beautiful. It’s modern, clean, and some offices have their own private balconies. The building has a live forest and creek in the atrium! If that doesn’t sound like Austin, well, it sounds like Austin.

For me, Austin is a community of friendly people, including business people. Everyone is willing to sit down and have a cup of coffee and discuss what partnerships we can create. I love that about this city. It’s vibrant, innovative and active. My family and I kayak every weekend; this place is beautiful. EWS is creating something to match that culture and environment.”

If Nick doesn’t have you ready to move your business to Austin, here are some more facts: There are two Executive Workspace locations offering virtual office plans and meeting rooms in Austin- Wild Basin and Downtown. All of the meeting rooms available are furnished, beautifully decorated, and include complimentary beverages for you and your guests. These meeting rooms provide a quiet, collaborative environment to host your next meeting, conference, or training session. Other resourceful amenities include Wi-Fi, whiteboards and projectors, state-of-the-art technology and video conferencing equipment.

As we heard from Nick, Wild Basin offers excellent Virtual Office Plans and Meeting Rooms, located in the West Lake Hills across from The Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve in Austin, Texas. Highway 360 is also easily accessible from the Wild Basin location which makes it an ideal spot for anyone traveling to the area due to its convenience.

CloudVO Partner Executive Workspace Wild Basin Meeting Room Austin Texas

Located in the heart of Austin’s Central Business District, the downtown location also offers Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms and is just a few blocks from the Texas State Capitol. This beautiful Austin Virtual Office is an ideal location for anyone wanting a business presence in downtown Austin. Within walking distance is the Courthouse, fine dining restaurants and everything else that downtown Austin has to offer.

CloudVO Partner Executive Workspace Downtown Austin Central Business District

For breakfast and lunch, Bird Bird Biscuit is a fast-casual breakfast- and lunch -only biscuit spot with savory and sweet options. This spot is very unique and Instagram-worthy. For dinner, Arlo Grey is an in-hotel, lakeside eatery that’s open everyday from 5-10PM. This debut restaurant from Top Chef’s Season 10 winner Kristen Kish features her fresh take on classic dishes and techniques using Texas ingredients.

CloudVO City Guide Austin Texas Bird Bird Biscuit

Join the CloudVO team at the Hyatt Regency in Austin for the 2018 FlexOffice Conference. This is a sophisticated hotel on Lady Bird Lake that offers an exceptional location near SoCo, 6th Street and Downtown. The Omni Austin Hotel Downtown is another great option that offers modern comfort and luxury amenities. With either hotel, you’ll be in close proximity to the conference action.  If you are planning to attend, be sure to stop by and say hello to the CloudVO team at our booth!

CloudVO City Guide Austin Texas Hyatt Regency Site of 2018 FlexOffice Conference

About CloudVO

CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp, headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO operates the  CloudMeetingRooms.com  and  CloudVirtualOffice.com  e-commerce sites and grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms in 700 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.

With WeWork’s Valuation at $10 billion, When Will The Workspace-as-a-Service Industry Reach $1 Trillion?

Is WeWork worth $10 billion? The answer is clearly yes for Fidelity Management & Research Co and other repeat investors who have invested $400 million in the company, making WeWork’s valuation roughly $10 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal and MorningStar.

Is WeWork worth $10 billion? The answer is clearly yes for Fidelity Management & Research Co and other repeat investors who have invested $400 million in the company, making WeWork’s valuation roughly $10 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal and MorningStar.

Ten billion is four times as much as Regus’ current market capitalization. When WeWork was valued at twice Regus’ just a few months ago, I wrote: “pretty impressive for a 4 year-old company that is surfing the coworking wave exceptionally well. We can only watch in awe.”

WeWork Cofounders
WeWork Cofounders, Miguel McKelvey and Adam Neumann
Now we need to look outside of the shared office industry to get a sense for the enormity of this achievement.

Ten billion is more than half the valuation of the largest publicly traded office landlord in the U.S., Boston Properties. When considering that WeWork leases 3.5 million squarefeet of office space, while Boston Properties owns 45 million square feet, it is clear that we are comparing apples and oranges, and that the main value here is not in bricks & mortar.

WeWork is not valued by its investors as a real estate firm. Rather, it is valued as a company that will disrupt traditional real estate. In the same way that Uber is not valued as a taxi company, but as a company that disrupts taxis. Or in the same way that AirBnB is not valued like a hotel, or like a simple reservation system, but as a company that disrupts the traditional lodging supply chain.

Landlords beware! Your world is changing.

The Morningstar article indicates that the WeWork valuation was about 100 times its operating income. This would suggest an operating profit of ~$100 million, or $28 per square foot per year. Most observers of the shared office space industry who have taken the trouble to reverse-engineer the WeWork operations, like myself, seriously doubt that they generate that much operating profit already.

This is why the story is even bigger than what the Wall Street Journal and Morningstar articles suggest. We believe the WeWork investors’ bet is a bet on a long-term model, with no expectation of achieving massive profitability any time soon.

WeWork Golden Gate
WeWork San Francisco – Golden Gate
We also believe that whether they will prove to be right or wrong, investors in WeWork have done their homework. Do not think, like I have heard some suggest, that this fundraising success is just the result of a good PR campaign, where naïve or lazy investors fell for smoke & mirrors. It would be way too simple.

Instead, it is the sign of a fundamental belief by these investors that the traditional office space is on a verge of a major disruption, the scale of which may even exceed what we have seen in the worlds of AirBnB and Uber and a belief that WeWork is well positioned to take advantage of this disruption.

We agree with this belief, particularly the first part of it. The disruptive value proposition of the sharing economy is real and the shared office space industry is one of the most logical and most valuable implementations of the sharing economy. This is true for coworking, as well as for other flavors of the Workspace-as-a-Service ™ industry that focus on convenience such as Virtual Offices or Proworking. Office Business Centers have a role to play in this change as well, particularly as their model evolves towards hybrid private offices and coworking space, with more focus on curating their communities.

On the other hand, we do not believe that WeWork could ever achieve a monopoly on the shared office space industry. That’s where the comparison with players in other sectors of the sharing economy ends. That’s where $10 billion represents a more significant leap of faith than we would be willing to make (even though we are believers!). Whereas Uber and Airbnb can build a credible case that “the winner takes all”, such won’t be the case in the shared office space. The barriers to entry are not that hard to overcome and users desires for spaces and types of communities will remain diverse.

WeWork is not a market place. It is a workplace provider. It only represents one of the many flavors that users want. Other providers will be successful proposing different flavors, in a large scale. Regus and now WeWork have shown the path.

In that sense, Starbucks is a better analogy to understand where WeWork may end up, if successful. Starbucks is the strongest, largest, most successful coffee shop company in the world. It is ubiquitous. But it does not have a monopoly. There are others, big and small. In the process Starbucks has helped change the way people drink coffee and it has raised the traffic to coffee shops, particularly their own. They also pushed out some of the local coffee shops that often –quite frankly- were not that great. But many local coffee shops, with good cofffe and personality, managed not only to survive but also to thrive.

WeWork Boston
WeWork Boston
We believe the same will happen to the Workspace-as-a-Service ™ industry. We believe that WeWork is only one of the several franchises that will establish their names in the industry. Meanwhile, WeWork, like Regus before them, greatly helps raise awareness of the shared office space, to the benefit of all operators, large and small. We believe investors have other ways to tap into this opportunity than to bet on a $10 billion valuation for a marginally profitable company. Other serious contenders are emerging, at less scary valuation levels and with possibly safer business models.

In the end-state, the traditional office space world will be significantly disrupted, but landlords who will ally themselves with Workspace-as-a-Service ™ operators to help evolve their space offering can take advantage of this massive change too.
Finally, we do believe that it is only a matter of time for the shared office space industry to reach a $1 trillion valuation, which is still a fraction of the entire commercial real estate space valuation. Give us a little bit more time for a prediction as to when. To be continued…

Author: Laurent Dhollande, CloudVO CEO