Co-working space and Cyberport in Hong Kong

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TOKYOPOP Fam:

你好 (Ni hao)!from 香港(Hong Kong)!

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I’ve just spent the past two weeks in China - starting in Beijing, then to Shenzhen, and now Hong Kong.This is my second time to Hong Kong in the past month, and I anticipate returning to both Beijing and Hong Kong quite frequently?Why?Because China is amazing!The country is really taking off, and everything you’ve read about the economy and society growing fast is true.

But today’s blog actually isn’t about China.I’ll write more about China in the near future, but today I want to write a bit about a trend I’ve noticed around the world - and one that I can relate to personally:“virtual” working.

The other day I was treated to a tour of an amazing Hong Kong facility called Cyberport.Cyberport is a significant move into urban planning - housing, office space for tech companies, cloud and digital video facilities, a bit of shopping, and “Smart Spaces”

Hong Kong has invested HKD$13 billion (around US$1.68 billion) into this facility over nine years (six years to build).The original plan was an idea proposed by billionaire heir and entrepreneur Richard Li  back in the early 2000’s and 15 years later the facility has evolved rapidly.

Some of the technology is impressive - including a system to pipe in live concerts from around the world onto movie screens across the city via fiber optics and satellite - but over the years Cyberport has struggled to find its role

As companies — especially technology and media start-ups — require less and less infrastructure, needs have shifted from a large, fixed office to flexible, “wired” (well, “connected wireless”) eco-systems.At Cyberport, the “Smart Spaces” have really taken off - and they’ve rapidly grown to five entire floors and are soon opening a sixth.With dozens of companies sharing the space, the options include a tiny dedicated office for 2-3 (or even 10) workers to the most flexible (and affordable) space where workers can sit on couches or quiet pods.The environment is fun, creative and inspiring - with amazing views!

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So, as I consider TOKYOPOP’s presence in Hong Kong - and whether or not to join Cyberport in the future - I thought about my own working method.

As you may know, I travel quite extensively - and being able to get onto wifi with my little, beloved MacBook Air and iPhone 6+ is key.Comfortable sofas or chairs, a simple table or desk, and access to tasty coffee and tea is really all I need.I work like this everywhere - from Berlin to Paris to New York and back home in Los Angeles, and of course in Asia, from my second home Tokyo to Korea, China, and other cities I visit. 

Right now, TOKYOPOP is experimenting with a “virtual company” set up (at least for part of our business) - using video conferencing, email, chat applications, and Cloud services.If we can balance our work, families, and hobbies, then life is truly advancing.Technology can do more than add more working hours to the day, but instead provide flexibility to enjoy life by working when it fits one’s lifestyle instead of trying to maintain a lifestyle in spite of work.

Many of you are students and others are in various stages of your careers with different working styles, and I think our society will evolve rapidly along with the technology.But for me, I can’t imagine going back to a “9 to 5” commute work style - the “virtual”, co-working option gives me the flexibility to do what I love (run!!) and work where and when I want.

And maybe next that will be in Cyberport Hong Kong?

拜拜(bye-bye) !!

—Stu

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