May 26th, 2009
Save CubeSpace: Rounding up the conversations while we wait for more details [Updated]
As last week drew to a close, the Portland tech community was rallying to help the de facto hub of our community, CubeSpace.
The fervent out-welling of emotion and support continued throughout the weekend—even resulting in coverage from traditional mainstream media.
While there isn’t a great to deal more to report at this point—and Eva and David are understandably choosing to remain silent until a decision has been made—I’ve been getting a number of emails, IMs, and tweets about the issue. So I thought I’d round up what I could.
Here’s where we are so far:
“Eva and I have not yet decided what we want to/need to do. There are a lot of issues for us to weigh. Prime among them is the outpouring of support we are feeling from all of you. We are humbled by the donations you all are making. We are overwhelmed by the statements you are making telling us (and others) how much CubeSpace matters to you, and what a difference we’ve made in your lives over the past 2.5 years. ”
“Your unexpected, massive and much appreciated (there really are just not words to tell you how appreciated) response to what I had intended as a farewell post changed the game completely. Not only did US Bank feel the pressure to respond to our letter, but they did so with somewhat reasonable offers. We believe that you, our community, are the ones to thank because of this little paragraph they included in their response.”
“This morning, we gathered with a small group of advisors, and we are in negotiations with US Bank. We will go radio silent about progress until these negotiations are concluded because we are legally bound to be quiet about them until they are concluded.”
“CubeSpace was among the first when it opened in the fall of 2006, and built a following by hosting high-tech meetups and connecting with the tech community. It’s got conference rooms, cubicles and Internet connections for entrepreneurs, freelancers and others who work alone — but don’t like to be by themselves.”
“Eva and David will be making decisions about CubeSpace’s future tomorrow in light of two offers that US Bank extended Friday afternoon, and Eva adds this: ‘For those of you who have been hesitating to make a donation without more clarity from us, I understand and agree with your concern. We have not cashed any checks or deposited any cash pending our decision. If we decide CubeSpace will not make it, we will return all cash and destroy all checks.’”
“[CubeSpace] didn’t create the Portland technology community, but they joined the community and became active participants. They gave generously to the community, and now the community wants to give back. This is the way strong communities respond when one of their own is in trouble. This isn’t the first time the community has bailed someone out of a tight spot; one of the best examples was the Bram Pitoyo bike fund when his bike was stolen last year. Eva and David are in trouble, and the community is pulling together to help. I think the past few days in particular speak to the strength of the Portland technology community.”
“I was exchanging some direct messages this morning with Gregg aka @whiffies after my earlier CubeSpace post, and he… generously [offered] to do an old fashioned barn raising for CubeSpace [last Sunday] evening sometime around 11pm at the Whiffie’s pie cart on Hawthorne and 12th.
“CubeSpace is also a benefactor to the community. They’ve frequently donated meeting space and services for groups in the tech community, have been willing to work with planners of free and low cost events, and have made special offers of free office space for newly laid-off workers (like those from Vidoop).”
“100% of the sale price of these framed photos will go to CubeSpace. The 16×20s are available for $100; the 8×10s are $30. Drop by CubeSpace (hours are on their website) and walk out with a nice framed print while supporting a local business that gives back to the community in a giant way.”
“Over the years, CubeSpace has become a cornerstone of our Portland technical community. Through their generous donations of time, space, services and resources, they’ve helped make the groups you belong and the events you go to possible. CubeSpace’s support of the WordPress community was key in making WordCamp Portland happen as well as the beginning of the WordPress User Group.”
“These are some of the people who make up the Portland/Vancouver tech geek community (all of them would freely admit on one level or another to being geeky).
“There is one common thing that each and every one of these people have in common with me. One single thing that brought me to have the privilege of knowing each one of them. That thing is… CubeSpace.”
A self-described “non-update” on the current status of the CubeSpace situation.
The good news is that we are still in negotiations with US Bank. The bad news is that means we need to maintain our radio silence for a bit longer.
Mike Rogoway at The Oregonian continues to track the story, providing additional insight into the “Save CubeSpace” campaign and adding:
I’m mulling over an article on the subject for whenever this comes to a resolution. There’s no shortage of social media experts in Portland who could add some valuable insight, and whatever comes out of this situation will be instructive for other businesses.
The Portland Mercury’s Blogtown PDX covers the CubeSpace story with the provocative headline “CubeSpace in court.” But, unlike the title leads you to believe, there isn’t any new news. Still it’s interesting to see another take of the situation by traditional Portland media.
For three years, CubeSpace has been Portland’s reaction to the sterile environment of most offices — the “co-working” building rents shared office space to small businesses and nonprofits, selling the idea of a working within a supportive business community that helps cubicle-dwellers get through the day without wanting to gouge their eyes out with a number two pencil. But this week CubeSpace is wading through less friendly business negotiations: last week their landlord US Bank issued the group an eviction notice and court subpoena. CubeSpace had not paid rent since March.
For now, we wait. As soon as I know, you’ll know.
And if you’ve posted something that I missed, please link it up below and I’ll add it to the list.