Om Malik is the founder of the growing GigaOM blog network, and he launched it all from a Starbucks. With Starbucks now offering free Wi-Fi, Malik offers up his well-worn tips on being productive, but not incredibly annoying, in a coffee shop.
Photo by ajleon.
There's a wide gap between "I'm working in the placeless new economy!" and "I'm a completely unbearable parasite that takes loud phone calls and buys one house coffee every four hours!" After a few days of making a coffee shop your home, though, it's easy to lose sight of the social boundaries that should keep laptop warriors in check. Malik offers up tips gleaned from his five months of working at Starbucks with a handful of employees. They cover getting things done, but also getting into the good graces of your corner baristas and regulars. A sampling:
- Learn the names of most of the baristas and also take time to have a conversation with them. It helps build a human connection.
- Make sure you buy coffee or something at least three times a day.
- Tip generously – up to $US10 a day will ensure that folks at the store don't view you as a freeloader and a pest.
- Invest in great noise-cancelling headphones (to counter the loud background music).
Run your own startup or work-from-anywhere experiment from coffee shops (or very accommodating bars)? Tell us what you learned, and what others obviously haven't learned, in the comments.