Tag Archives: SoundCloud

The Scene Goes Co-Working

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Berlin has given birth to cutting edge startups like SoundCloud (read our interview with SoundCloud CTO Eric Wahlforss here), Zalando or Delivery Hero, all taking international markets by storm. In Berlin’s creative sphere ideas arise in all forms and places. Sometimes you dream of the next big thing while having a beer with a stranger at Sisyphos and sometimes the ideas are born and cultivated in the shaded offices of creative agencies. A new trend promises to  even further enrich the creative minds roaming the Capital: Co-working spaces.

The idea is as simple as it is genius: you share a vast, open office space with other professionals, often whole companies. It’s a fundamentally new approach to our relationship with work. Co-workers work in an environment that is based on community-building and sustainability. You share your experience with others, and in return you can build on their experience. You generate a network of skill and knowledge around you that’ll help you and your company grow and create a whole new flow of creativity. How cool is that?

Over the last few years the co-working concept has come of age. We selected some of Berlin’s coolest co-working spaces for you to check out.

Factory
Factory is the pulsing heart of Berlin’s creative scene. It’s home to SoundCloud, Twitter6Wunderkinder and more stars of Berlin’s start up sector. It creates the perfect environment to focus, meet, chat and relax. They also offer lunch yoga (not quite sure if that means doing Yoga while eating or afterwards), end of the week drinks (quite sure what that means) and cozy afterhours on the spacy outside terrace. The design is easy-going and has made many a worker forget that he’s at work at all. Go to Factory 

Mindspace
Mindspace opened in The Q shopping center in Mitte last month and is the brainchild of two entrepreneurs from Tel-Aviv, who’ve opened Mindspaces both in their hometown as well as Berlin and Hamburg. At Mindspace class and unpretentious style fuses to create a creative surrounding with flexible office sizes depending on your personal requirements. They’re one of the best looking spaces in the field. Go to Mindspace

Betahaus
Betahaus is the only space who also offer a hardware lab & woodshop. That means you can design your ideas in the co-working areas and get right to frankensteining them to life in the lab, before blowing your hat off at one of the community events. Which is a nice way to describe free beers on Thursdays at “betabeer”. The design is nice and clean and lures companies from all different sectors. Go to Betahaus

Unicorn
WORK EAT MEAT. No, wait. WORK EAT MEET. Yeah, that’s the one. At Unicorn sophisticated and minimalistic interior meets healthy, green, freshly-prepared food and delicious coffee. The focus at Unicorn is to combine the benefits of co-working with health-conscious food, putting them apart from the other co-coworking spaces thanks to their amazing food concept. If you’re someone who gets hungry at work a lot, Unicorn definitely is a great choice. Go to Unicorn

Ahoy
Likeable and relatively minimalistic design, described as “nautical” (hence the name). Ahoy considers co-working as a lifestyle and puts networking on the throne of the co-coworking virtues. Working at Ahoy is like being on a cruise ship – you easily drift through the waves as you’re making contact with the other passengers, be it start-ups, freelancers or corporate, this is where worlds meet. They also have a punching bag. Go to Ahoy

Office Club
Formerly known as Mobile Suite, Office Club has recently been redesigned and boasts a minimalistic office landscape that leaves your focus where you want it to be: on your work. They’re the perfect choice for freelancers or start-ups that don’t earn a fortune yet. Their prices and offers are very flexible, which is great if you’re working from project to project. Our tip for anyone who’s looking for value for money. Go to Office Club.

Soho House
Even though Soho House’s co-working space isn’t an officially dedicated one, it’s definitely where you’ll find the international elite of creative representatives drinking their coffee. Don’t expect too many start-ups here. Though the space is open to all (accessible via “The Store”), Soho House is a members’ club for those who’ve already made it far in the creative scene. The design is very cozy and the coffee is great – plus, you might be in for some promising acquaintances. Go to Soho House

Insiders – Eric Wahlforss

Eric Wahlforss

This month’s interviewee is Eric Wahlforss. Eric is co-founder and CTO of the Berlin-based company SoundCloud, known for their online music streaming service with 175 million monthly visitors. Just yesterday (10.05.2016) SoundCloud has launched their new subscription service SoundCloud Go in the US, UK and France which allows you to stream millions of songs from all the major labels ad-free! 

Q: Hey Eric. Pleasure to have you here. So, you and SoundCloud, huh? How did that all start?

A: Me and Alex Ljung met in Stockholm in the early 2000s. We both played music and Alex had this studio where we started hanging out. We did some projects together and at some point decided to solve a really obvious problem. There was no dedicated online platform for musicians to share their music with people who wanted to listen to it. We realised how huge the demand was when we made SoundCloud public after 2 years of testing. The user numbers went through the roof. Today we have 12 million creators, 175 million listeners per month and more than 125 million tracks online. In comparison – Spotify and Apple music have about 30 million songs.

Q: Almost 10 years into leading a company – you must be stressed out!

A: You learn to cope with the stress. These days I try to disconnect as often as possible. My girlfriend Sophie is a big help for me. She’s also running a company and we’re amazing at being lazy together.

Q: You’re a musician. Do you still find time to play?

A: Well, I released an album in 2012. It’s made from the sounds of strings, organs and choirs. For the percussion I used only wood, stone and metal. The album took 3 years to produce and with SoundCloud going stronger than ever, I don’t really find time to play often these days. But we’ve had this concert at Berghain a few years back and me and Alex played at Burning Man last year. That was intense!  

Q: Ever feel tempted to feature your own songs on SoundCloud’s homepage? 

A (laughs): The most important thing is that the right music finds the right people. So… no.

Q: Just a trick question. What drew you to Berlin?

A: I first came to Berlin for the love parade in 1997. It was a total game changer. I had the most amazing time and went to clubs like Tresor even though I was only 17. For SoundCloud we also considered London, Vienna and Barcelona but were drawn back to Berlin in 2007 because we found an investor here. Berlin has grown up since. But it’s still rougher and crazier than other places. Compared to London or New York, Berlin is very chilled out. The energy is on a whole different level. 

Q: What do you not like about the city?

A: The service is terrible. TERRIBLE. Maybe it’s worse in Russia or Poland, but Berlin isn’t far behind. Especially when you want to bring new people to Berlin. They either have a great time and instantly love it, or they’re unlucky and have a terrible experience with human interactions here. Shouting cab drivers, unfriendly staff in restaurant, the whole service sector.

Q: Cool things you’ve experienced in Berlin?

A: Last summer Sophie and me drove around on our bikes. We heard electronic music in the distance and spontaneously decided to check it out. It was this amazing open air festival at Rummelsburg, located right at the Spree. After a little dancing we saw people swimming and thought what the hell, let’s go swimming! A few minutes later we were sitting in a small boat, drinking beers with strangers while listening to techno music. That’s the vibe that makes Berlin special and that it has always kept over the years.

Q: Your favourite place in Berlin?

A: I live between the office, my flat and Soho House, where I work out. I also really love the Piano Salon Christophori. It’s this super rough piano factory, like an old warehouse, and they also give concerts with great pianists. 

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

A: Probably still in Berlin. Maybe with a family… :-) 

Thanks for your time and all the best for you!

The Scene meets The Studio

He’s done it again. The Studio is the fourth restaurant opened in Berlin under the culinary reign of two Michelin-star chef Tim Raue. It’s located on the ground floor of The Factory, Berlin’s innovative silicon valley, which is home to cutting edge global tech companies such as Twitter, Mozilla or SoundCloud. 

The employees working in The Factory are lured down into the Studio by not only the delicious smell, but also the attractive special prices at lunch time. Mains can be had for 4€ – 10€, an unbeatable price if you consider both the exquisite taste and high quality of the food. The evening menu prices range from 50€ to 90€ and are well worth the money, you can have up to 10 courses! They’re sweet, they’re sour, they’re spicy – in short, they’re bound to activate even the last of your taste buds.

What’s enjoyable about the Studio apart from the food is its laid back atmosphere. Rather than aiming to attract a super chic crowd and designing the place accordingly, the restaurant is more of a cozy and stylish neighbourhood eatery. The former border house’s deco boasts a mix of awesome custom made vintage furniture, dark woodwork and warm colors to create contrast to the modern offices that many of the people working at The Factory spend most of their days in. Upon entering the venue you’re literally passing a chapter of recent Berlin history – one of the buildings walls actually is an original piece of the famous Berlin Wall.

Tim Raue and kitchen chef Sascha Friedrichs came up with a flexible food concept, granting them a maximum of creative freedom. Every few weeks they recreate the menu under a different motto, which means things never get boring around here and you’re often in for a culinary surprise when visiting the Studio. We had a 6 course menu and let’s just say this: mind = blown.

We were especially impressed with the delicious black pepper beef cheek with pearl onions and lettuce, so get there quickly and try it before the menu changes! After a few white wines we really opened up to the location and stayed way longer than we originally intended (and had more wines than orginally intended, too). The restaurant’s atmosphere is the perfect fit for the techies sharing the house, creating just the right ambience for uninhibited talks over lunch. We’re sure it will be home to many great ideas. We can’t wait to return!