Last fall, I mentioned the Gate 3 WorkClub, an innovative shared workspace in Emeryville, California. This afternoon, after driving south from Napa, I got a chance to actually visit Work 3 — and to meet its gently energetic and thoughtful founder Neil Goldberg, also head of the industrial design firm Praxis.
As expected, Gate 3 is absolutely wonderful: an open, well-lit, colorful workspace peppered with different work zones — quiet, private, shared — meeting and conference rooms, a brainstorming area sequestered by whiteboards, shared services, support staff, and a wide-ranging creative client base of members. The kind of place I’d want to work if I didn’t work in the Fast Company office — or out of my home.
Sadly, Goldberg plans to close Gate 3 at the end of February for a number of reasons.
This past year that we have created, launched and operated the WorkClub has had its share of joys and exhiliration. We have received tremendous and enthusiastic endorsement of the concept and the quality of the environment and work experience that we have provided from almost everyone who has come in contact with it. I feel very proud and honored about that. Unfortunately we have come to realize that radical change takes time, even here in the East Bay. It has become clear to us that lifting this off the ground will be a significantly larger effort and investment than we are able to undertake.
Neil and I spent almost two hours talking about what he’s learned from the project over the last year-plus, the promise and potential of the concept and model, and what he plans to do next. Gate 3 is a big idea. Someone should step up to help save the operation — and to work with Neil to develop a more stable, sustainable model. It’s an idea well worth exploring and refining, for sure.
And, interestingly enough, the organizers of the New Communications Forum, Elizabeth Albrycht and Jen McClure are — get this — members. Small world, smaller.