WeWork Labs Managers Share Their Advice on How to Succeed in Labs
Your time in WeWork Labs is what you make of it. And in order to help you make it amazing, we asked some of our global Labs managers to share their advice on how to succeed and make the most of the resources available to you. Read their thoughts below and start putting their tips into practice today.
“My advice would be to view Labs as an ongoing networking opportunity. You don't need to go to every event if it is not relevant for you but you should also ask yourself, ‘is the presenter relevant to me? Is his network valuable to me?’ etc. Also, try getting out of your shell as early as possible and interacting with as many people as possible. Each person in the space is an opportunity to gain value not just from them but from their network. You should go to every community event possible like the standups, happy hours, user testing, etc. This is where you will build the most meaningful relationships on the floor—you'd be surprised at what can come out of it. You don't need to have a specific agenda or know how you will get that value; just put yourself in a position to succeed (from a networking perspective) and it will come.” - Dovi Vogel, Labs manager at 175 Varick, New York
“Have your ‘wish lists’ ready. Meaning communicate to your Labs managers who are the key people in your industries that you need or would like to connect to or hear from. This could be mentors/experts/investors or any key person that can somehow potentially help you grow and overcome challenges. It can also be a title and not even a specific person. For example, ‘I really need to connect to a product manager at WeWork.’ The act of sitting down and getting those lists in order is super beneficial for any entrepreneur who does it, but also super helpful for us as Labs managers to be able to support you efficiently.
“It’s also super important to emphasize that the meetings and office hours you have here are mainly to get feedback—good and bad. Don't come to a meeting with an expectation to close a deal, but rather to try and get feedback. Investigate who you are meeting with in advance. It might be that their background can substantially help you even more than the current position they hold.” - Mor Barak, Labs manager at HaZerem, Tel Aviv
“Get to know your Labs manager. We are here to be an extension of your team and help you with whatever challenges you face.” - Dimitris Kouvaros, Labs manager at Dumbo Heights, Brooklyn
“Connect every step of the way with the other members and the Labs manager, as quickly as possible, but just as importantly with the larger WeWork community in the building. You should try to know as many WeWork members as possible. They'll be a resource funnel, potential collaborators, future customers, in addition to just making working in Labs more enjoyable.
“You're here to grow, so be a little vulnerable. Ask all your questions. Seriously. All of them. To the Labs manager, to the mentors, to the members in the #general thread. Take advantage of what's available. Make it a habit. Don't second guess yourself when it comes to asking and sharing your victories and challenges. People will enjoy helping you and giving you shoutouts when you hit those goals!
“Show up. Speak up. Be present for as much as you can and help shape the conversations through your participation and feedback. This platform is adaptive to your needs. Feedback on format, content, time slots—it's all helpful and will directly increase the value for your team. This is customized for you in real-time, so take advantage of those requests for your feedback.
“Be proactive with the mentors. You're building your rolodex for the future, in addition to getting the focused insight and support you need now. Connect on LinkedIn, get their email, send them a thank you note. Identify when and how they'll be valuable to you long-term, not only this week. These are relationships, so nurture them for the long-haul.” - Jonathan Mansfield, Labs manager at 80 M SE, Washington
“First, you get out of this program what you put in. Labs managers are not here to nag you and make sure you're ‘doing your job.’ That motivation and fire has to come from you. The more we see you grind, the more willing we are to go above and beyond to help you. Second, you need to be vocal and let us know what you need! This program is customizable to the extent that you help us help you. The more specific you can be with regards to what you need, the easier it is for us to pursue that resource for you.” - Jake Sucoff, Labs manager at 205 Hudson, New York
“Respect the space and treat it as your own. Work and build as a community.” - Aniket Dey, Labs manager at Bristol Chowk Gurugram, India
“Join Slack, setup a profile, and be active in the chat. Post your own content, comment on posts, message other Labs members directly. Always be respectful. Join all of the Meetup groups for each Labs location in your city. This helps you be aware of everything that's happening around you. Attend events at other Labs locations. While there, make an effort to introduce yourself to the Labs manager as well as the other Labs members. Attend community events such as Standup and Social Hours whenever possible. There is a huge amount of expertise sitting in the same room as you that you can tap into. If you have a product/service, ask to present at a user/product testing event or pitch night. Practice makes perfect and you will probably gain valuable insights from your peers. Have regular 1:1 meetings with your Labs manager. They can be simple updates but it helps us do our job better. Be open and communicative with your neighbors. Go out to lunch, grab drinks, brainstorm in a conf room, etc. Don't stay inside your circle of friends, engage with Labs members you don't normally talk to.” - Jordan Niemeyer, Labs manager at W 57th, New York
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