Alan Jones – Resident of the Month


NewportNet Newsletter – June 30 2014

Issue 1

How long have you been with NewportNet and how often do you work there?

Apparently I was the first tenant! Three years now. I usually work there at least two days a week and in the city three days a week.

What were the reasons you decided to start working in a coworking environment?

My industry (the tech startup industry) has always been full of early-adopters and we adopted coworking as an industry about 7-8 years ago, but it has taken a while to become more mainstream. I had originally planned to work from home when I first moved to Newport but the appallingly slow ADSL1 internet speed in my part of Newport forced me to seek an alternative. I was actually considering starting my own coworking space in Newport or Avalon when I was introduced to Simon Bond from NewportNet while buying a coffee at Zubi Bar in Newport. It’s a small town!

I’m a big believer in karma in business as well as my personal life and so much of the success I’ve enjoyed professionally has come through giving my time to other entrepreneurs and professionals that I believe karma has as much to do with my future as any of my deliberate plans. Coworking gives me an opportunity to help those around me, and in time, perhaps those people will choose to help me out too. But true karma comes from giving without thought of reward so it’s important not to think about what might happen, and just give some time to help others.

What are the most valuable parts of coworking?

I love the vibe of the space at NewportNet — it’s open, bright and full of fresh air and colour. With birdsong and salt in the air it really feels connected to the sea and the local community. Getting out of my home removes me from the temptations of yet another episode of Mad Men and hanging out another load of washing, and meeting new people and thinking about other industries and customers gives me a big creative breath of fresh air every week. It’s inspiring to be among other entrepreneurs all taking on the same daunting and rewarding personal and professional challenges.

What is your advice to others starting up their own businesses?

Seek the clear written permission of your spouse, partner or children! Be realistic about how long your startup idea might take to commercialise and accept that it might take twice that long, but set aside some deadlines for key milestones like refining the idea, testing the concept, establishing the marketing channels and establishing the cost of sales and revenue model. Each of these can take all of your time, from here to the end of time, so I find it helps to have an unmoveable deadline: I know I’ll start today if I make myself meet that next fixed deadline a few weeks away. If you feel you need a mentor or advisor to help you, be very clear about exactly how you need them to help and don’t try to make them commit to a deep or long-term relationship — just ask them for one little thing they can do immediately. And then thank them, and ask them for another…


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