Last week, we talked about Outsite and my experience while staying at their house in Leucadia. I had a blast, definitely. We can say that being next to the beach is an ideal and that the sunrise view we had was awesome, so it probably helped. Even though we did such a quick trip in Leucadia before heading further on our adventure and that we haven’t found the time to meet with the founder, Emmanuel Guisset, we sent him a message over with some questions about Outsite and the co-working spaces in general. I talked with Emmanuel almost the whole summer while being in California and it seems more like a friend now than just a guy I never met. I can’t imagine the people living with him while going in one of the city where Outsite is located – it must become a really close mate. And this is awesome.
Nouvelle Vague: Where are you from and how did you decide to create Outsite?
Emmanuel: I am from Belgium and I have been in the Bay area for the last 5 years. I still go once a year to Belgium to visit family and friends, but the weather and the outdoors are unbeatable here :)
As the term "co-working space" is kind of new, can you explain what is it exactly?
Co-working is not really new in the Bay, but it's still definitely growing. Co-working spaces are spaces where independent location workers can work with other like- minded people. Usually, you get 3 types of people in the co-working spaces: Freelancers, entrepreneurs and remote employees. The new trend now is to have co-working spaces in smaller cities/towns and some co-working spaces are now popping up in exotic locations like remote islands. Another new trend in the co-working world is combining a co-working space with accommodation and activities.
You have two really cool locations at the moment and are planning to open two others. Why did you pick these cities?
Our goal is to be in amazing locations outside of the big cities. Both Santa Cruz being close to SF and Encinitas being a short drive from LA/San Diego are ideal destinations.
Outsite can mean many different things - what does it mean for you?
To me, Outsite means simply "work outside". I truly believe one can be more productive by getting away from the city and work in a different environment, whether it's the beach, mountains or even the desert.
Staying in a house next to the beach is definitely an interesting idea for anyone, but don't you think that it can be hard to work on your "projects" while having so many activities around you?
Ah ah, I get that a lot. Some people don't believe it's possible. I have been doing that for a long time and I know quite a few successful people that have that lifestyle. For example, one the founder of Netflix lives in Santa Cruz. There are also more and more startups out of Santa Monica in LA. I believe that a morning run on the beach is a perfect way to start a day of work. The same can be said for a sunset surf session after work. The idea is not to replace the work by fun, but to work in a better environment.
Why do you think going somewhere else to work on your projects can be helpful?
Creatives get new sources of inspiration. Writers for example, have been on retreat for years. For tech professionals, they mostly have to look at their computer all day so being in an office in the city or being in a co-working space at the beach doesn't make a difference workwise. The difference is the afterwork! No bus/drive to go back home, but a short walk to go surfing. We also get more and more teams that come on a work retreat or to do team building activities they can't do in cities.
What's one of the best memory you had at Outsite?
There has been so many! I remember one unplanned communal dinner where everyone had some much fun. It's truly the people we host that make the experience unique
You also did a getaway weekend in Big Sur with some people that wanted to have an adventure. How was the experience? Are you planning to do something similar again?
That was truly amazing. The camping spot above the clouds was really special. We also got lucky with the weather and the surf. I want to thank our sponsors Patagonia and Get Outfitted for their support. It was such a success that we organize others "unplug" weekends again. Maybe one in Baja... You can check the story and photos here: The Blog
And finally, as we now know everything about Outsite and are dreaming of staying next to the beach in one of these locations, what's next for you? What are your goals towards the company?
Ah well, we definitely want to expand to other locations, but first we need to improve the experience at our existing locations. There is a lot to do still!
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