I like Nathan: he’s making his own path. A motorbike custom body shop and artisan cafe. A workshop combined with a social space. Sandwiches and carburettors. He’s got vision and the energy to realise it: create the space, challenge assumptions, build reputation and the rest will follow. Career? It’s what he makes himself. It’s the way of the Social Age: question everything, remain agile.
We needed somewhere to rehearse today for a conference, so headed out to Culture to borrow a space in the cafe: co-working (or loitering as it used to be known).
I love working in different spaces, sharing the energy, feeling inspired, sharing ideas. I asked Nathan has challenged the norms in his market: he’s still on an industrial estate, but instead of steel roller shutters and plastic chairs, it’s espresso and old bus seats, T shirts and cold root beers. He operates full CAD software in his design, interacting directly with machine specialists elsewhere for production. Online, networked, new. The workshop is more like a studio than a garage.
It’s easy to see one man working alone in a small space and dismiss it as a hobby, but there’s so much we can learn: challenge assumptions, focus on the culture, build magnetism and reputation. These are lessons that many global businesses could learn. Question everything and remain agile.