The nature of employment is changing. Howard Rheingold comments on the new breed of free agent whose workplace is Starbuck’s, Kinko’s and the Fedex drop box:
“Now that Fedex owns Kinko’s, I really think they ought to consider buying Starbucks to constitute the ultimate 21st century cybernomadic infrastructure: 24X7 coffee, wireless broadband, and handy global shipping for roving mobs of socio-knowledge workers.
Starbucks is trying to be a “third place” for untethered informationistas by furnishing couches, caffeine, and WiFi. Kinko’s pitches toward the independent operators who don’t have offices full of copiers, or for the traveling infoworkers who want the hardcopy ready for their meetings when they arrive. What if Starbucks starts providing printers, scanners, and copiers? Or Kinko’s starts serving good coffee and puts in a few couches?”
With so many small business owners and consultants working on-the-go, larger businesses may find it harder than ever to reach them with marketing messages. After all, how do you call on businesses that don’t have formal offices or even land-line phones? Why, by going to them where they hang out: the Starbuck’s and Kinko’s. Or by establishing a physical presence adjacent to or close by the Starbuck’s and Kinko’s.