Hanging With Jim Groves from RubberDesk

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Gen caught up with Jim Groves from RubberDesk. Rubberdesk is a marketplace for office space, so there are people who have office space (Hosts) and people who need office space (Guests).

Hosts include Coworking spaces, Serviced offices and anyone with spare desks or offices for rent. Guests might be freelancers, small teams or large businesses who want office space without the hassle.

Unlike a traditional lease, businesses licence space month by month. There's no long term lock in, big financial committment, and if your situation changes and you need to up or down size, you can.

Rubberdesk deals in desks by the month, with Guests often staying for years at a time, which makes for a solid business relationship.


Watch our interview or read the transcript below:

Jim: Ah. Recording.

Gen: Thank you. Well, thank you very much for coming on. Well, who the hell are you? Let's start with that.

Jim: Okay. Good start. Good place to start. So my name's Jim. Jim Groves. I'm one of the co-founders of RubberDesk, the marketplace for office space.

Gen: Fantastic. And how did you guys get started? How did you get into this business?

Jim: So, we started out two years ago. We started because, I guess from personally, came up with the idea two or three years ago now, when my wife as looking for office space. She was actually working from home. She's a consultant, working from home and getting pretty bored of doing that. Just because you're home all day long and you kind of blur those lines a bit between being am I at work or am I at home. So it's a bit frustrating. So, I put her in touch with a friend who had some spare office space. That wasn't really the whole catalyst. The catalyst came when I saw Airbnb advertising in Sydney "Renting my Spare Room Paid for our Holiday." And that's when the penny dropped.

Jim: I thought, "Well. There's so many businesses out there. So many small businesses who have this spare office space that's just sitting there. And so many other small businesses who want to use that small business space. Let's create a market and put them together. So, that was really the Genes of the idea. That's where we kind of came up with the concepts. Create an Airbnb of office space and then it just became fine tuning. We knew we had to build a platform for that. We knew we had to get people who had office space on board to show it and make it available. And then we knew we had to go and get people who wanted office space. So those are the three pillars, I guess, we had to build. And go and do it. And it kind of evolved from there.

Gen: Awesome. And so how long have you guys been going? How many years?

Jim: So, we started in May 2016. So we're up to about two and a half years now. And since then we ... so that was really when we could've built a platform and it was one of those moments when you build it and they don't come. You're sitting there fully expecting the world to start knocking down your door. Expecting the world to go "This is fantastic. Let's start using it." But really it was just an MVP anyway. So it was pretty sort of bare bones as a product, a marketplace. We built it in house and we kind of realized that we built it and then needed to go and populate it. We had an empty shop in effect. And we needed to put some stock on the shelves so that when customers came into our shop they'd have something to look at and browse around and find and buy.