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betahaus: How long are you in Berlin and since when do you work at the betahaus?
Ryan Jones: I actually live in Tübingen with my wife. She had a seminar here in Berlin and I took the opportunity to join her and work from the betahaus. After moving to Germany from Switzerland, I have worked in several coworking spaces: Augsburg, München, Stuttgart & Wankheim. Several people recommended that I stop by the betahaus while staying in Berlin. Betahaus seems to have built quite a coworking brand in Germany!
What are you working on right now?
I am currently a co-founder for We&Co and I do some consulting on the side. We&Co is an free App, that gives you the opportunity to thank people you meet in your everyday life. That can be your favorite waitress, hairdresser or the awesome guy from the shoe shop next door. The main idea is, that since we already have facebook or linkedIn, where we connect with family, friends or colleagues, there should be also a way to connect with the amazing people who go the extra mile to help you every day. If someone delivers great service, you can say thank you via We&Co and give something positive back. It's like a game, you can exchange information about outstanding service with your friends. But, at the same time, it empowers and motivates employees from the service sector (who are so often overlooked) via positive feedback. Personally, I love using We&Co because it helps me build more human relationships. We hope We&Co can build a movement around thankfulness and gratitude in a world that has grown increasingly transactional.
How did you come up with the idea?
My two co founders, Marc Mathieu and Jared Malan incubated the idea and I came on a little later to help drive it to fruition.
What kind of feedback did you get for We&Co so far?
We've been working on We&Co since fall 2010 and launched in mid July. So far we've been very encouraged by the great feedback we've received from the likes of GOOD, Fast Company, Mashable & PSFK. And, of course, we've received great feedback from our users. People love the idea of spreading positivity. Our next steps are now to tell people about the app and find unique ways to make it bigger.
What will you tell other people about your time in Berlin?
I actually just wrote a blogpost about my time in Berlin, you can find it here. Overall, I feel a tremendous pulse of creativity and openness here. Betahaus is more a creative than a business/office oriented co-working space. It is not like a "serious" office and you can feel more the creative type of spirit. I really enjoyed the betabreakfast and I felt that it was super easy to get in touch with other people at the betahaus.
Would you suggest any improvements for betahaus?
I think you guys are doing a great job & I totally felt at home here. It's not a brand new building and there could be some improvements in the infrastructure like the toilets, but on the other hand that's part of the specific charm of the betahaus. There could also be some more events, but maybe I was just unlucky as I arrived in August--not the busiest month of the year.
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