Here at Metrix Create:Space, we don’t really sell coffee. We provide it as an amenity to our members and customers and we drink a lot of it ourselves. It does cost a dollar, but that dollar doesn’t go into paying staff, or rent, or even paying back the upfront cost of the robot (eventually we’ll pay for that thing somehow). It goes towards Vivace beans, our nifty poker draw cups, milk, and tasty tasty Oregon Chai. We’re not a coffee shop. We’re a workshop. We like coffee, it keeps us moving, so we have the good stuff.
We do understand how coffee shops work , and how you and many of the laptop carrying, working-from-home mobile workforce out there live within their rules. You see, at one time, we worked on software, and we were laptop hobos.
Working from home, or working ‘out of the office’ is a hard thing (well, it’s not hard like a salt mine or working at a desk or anything, but it can be inconvenient). For the most part, coffee shops have become the haven of the hobo. There are lots of social rules to setting up camp in a coffee shop. Mostly they involve picking up a coffee or a pastry every now and then, trying not to tie a table up every single day at the same place, tipping the barista kind of heavy so they don’t glare at you (too hard), not bringing in packed lunches and outside drinks. There’s a fine line you tread to not wear out your welcome, or run the place out of business. That’s why you’re buying the scones even though you don’t really like them. That’s why you don’t sleep much. It’s not the stress of the workplace, it’s the 4 latte a day habit.
Coffee shops, have become the third place for workers, some by design, some by accident. For the most part though, coffee shops focus on their coffee, not their Internet. And for coffee shops, the Internet is an amenity that they have to have, rarely understand and don’t like paying for. Lots of coffee shops don’t even have a computer in them other than a cash register. Which is why their Internet is slow and laggy.
Here at our workshop, we spend a lot of time working on our robots, building shop projects, buying tools and supplies and going about the things we need to do to make your projects go smoother. For that we need the Internet, and we like the Internet, so we make sure our Internet is awesome.
Some of you may have noticed that there is effectively no lag at Metrix Create:Space. That’s because we have fast tubes (50mbps/10mpbs). We have a managed Cisco switch rather than a linksys hub. Our WiFi gear is from our ‘other store’, which primarily sells WiFi gear to people building WiFi businesses. We give you a publicly routeable IPV6 address. If the wireless is too slow for you (because 802.11g is only 20mbps), we even have a couple of wall jacks that you can plug in to, and get the full 50. Remember we mentioned that we like the Internet here? That may have been an understatement.
Unfortunately, this makes us both appealing to the laptop hobo , and confusing. The rules are different here. It’s a new thing. We don’t have scones. The coffee doesn’t really pay for anything. How can you hobo without running us out of business? We know a lot of you are concerned about how we survive, because you ask us, and sometimes we wonder ourselves. We have thought about your concerns, and are offering you an option.
Today we are introducing Hobo Tokens and an actual tip jar. Hobo Tokens are a totally optional currency of goodwill. They let us know that you care about us, and remind us to keep that awesome Internet connection around. There are no rules, you can buy them and lock them up in a curio cabinet, give them away as gifts, or put them in the tip jar. They have no monetary value and are worth nothing in the store. Rest assured though, if you hobo hard, and you tip us in tokens, we know you care about the shop.
Like the rest of the shop, this is kind of a weird experiment.
They’re available online (we will mail them wherever you want) or at the counter for $5. 5 for $20
We’ll also put them on Thingiverse. They take 3 minutes each to cut, so if you cut them yourselves, they’re $4.80 each. If you have your own laser and material, they’re free goodwill.