Discovering creative ideas in San Francisco – CapitalOne 360 Cafe

capitalone360 3This is the 4th time I come to San Francisco this year, I just love this city and the weather (yes I love Summer in San Francisco!). I was lucky enough to get invited to Y Combinator’s Startup School this year, it was great and I had the opportunity to learn insights from founders from many companies, you can learn more about that here. However, the part that I really like about traveling is to discover cool places in cities I visit. This time a quick search in Yelp brought me to Capital One 360 San Francisco Cafe (it used to be ING Direct Cafe), it is a very interesting concept that Capital One has launched in about 8 cities including San Francisco – and yes I asked one of the Capital One employees why not in Austin and he told me that they are actually working on it at the moment, so brace yourselves as we might get one of these electronic-only transaction bank/Cafe/Coworking space in Austin, this will rock big time!

capitalone360 1This creative concept for a bank branch is awesome, there are no lines, no counter, no “numbers” to talk to a representative, etc.. and instead they have created a very cool open space filled with desks, power outlets, beanbags and an excellent WiFi and coffee drinks – oh, there is also good background music like nothing you have ever experience in your local bank. Also, if you have a CapitalOne card and you pay your coffee with it, they only charge you half of the price so in other words you can get a regular size latte (and very good!) for about $1.50 – this is pure genius.

I have never thought that a bank such as Capital One would do something this creative and out of the norm, but they are and apparently I am not the only one who loves the concept of a bank branch that also serves as a coffee shop and free co-working space as the place was filled with people working with their laptops and drinking coffee and I am sure someone was also doing some electronic banking as well… It might be hard to rate the success of such a concept but if what they want is to bring people to the place and raise awareness about their brand, this is a great idea that probably costs much less than other not so creative marketing efforts.

capitalone3602So there it is, this last trip to San Francisco allowed me to discover and actually work from this place called CapitalOne 360 Cafe which is on 101 Post St. San Francisco, CA 94108 (Post St and Kearny St) and it is the place from where I wrote this post and did some work for At some point I would love to have places like this pop in every city branded as The TechMap work spaces, it would be awesome, perhaps in the future. Until next time.



Tips for the Deskbound

The definition for deskbound from different sources:

  • restricted to working in an office, rather than in an active, physical capacity.
  • engaged in or involving sedentary work, as at an office desk
  • restricted to work at a desk
  • unfamiliar with actualities or practical matters outside one’s own job:  deskbound executives who can’t grasp production problems.

You get the idea, being deskbound is not really for the active or adventurous types but chances are that you spent countless hours at your desk, even if you don’t like it. However, if you have the privilege of working in a position where you can work remotely then there are some things you can do to minimize being deskbound.

Work from home

Many people today have the privilege of being able to work from home, at least a few times a week. Working from home is not for everyone as many people need to be around other people to do their job well. If you are able to work from home and you like it, let me show you some things you can do to avoid being deskbound to the same place at home. You can change your scenery, at least a bit. For example, while you work from home try alternating between your table kitchen, dinning room, home office or even from your back yard. Just by making these small changes to your scenery you’ll find yourself refreshed and ready to get some work done. Give it a try.

Work from a coffee shop

This is nothing new, today many professionals around the world go to coffee shops to do their job, even if they have an office at home or at an office building. Now, if you make small changes such as splitting your days between different coffee shops, you might find yourself re-energized and motivated like you probably did the first time you worked from a coffee shop. There is also no doubt that working from a coffee shop has many other benefits such as the potential of meeting new people, unlimited amounts of great coffee, fewer distractions and the potential of increasing both productivity and creativity.

Just remember to consume more than just a cup of coffee while you are there, don’t become a laptop hobo. Lately, there has been many complaints from coffee shops about laptop hobos who seat down for hours, using the wi-fi and power outlets while consuming just a cup of coffee or nothing at all.

Work from a co-working space

Just like working from a coffee shop, having the ability to do your job from a co-working space offers great opportunities to meet like-minded people, a sense of community and sometimes good coffee as well. If you are in Austin I suggest you visit any of these places, most of them offer working space on demand. Also, most co-working spaces are designed to increase creativity and innovation and this is of course always a good thing! While you are there try rotating desks a few times a day or at least try seating at different areas within the co-working space every time you visit, this will help you meet new people and also change your scenery.

Next time you have a chance to work from home, from a coffee shop or anywhere remotely, consider picking different spots and places, this will help you change the routine and avoid being deskbound, at lease from the office desk.

If you are a freelancer, I hope some of the tips above help you a bit and if you are interested in working in handpicked projects that pay well and on time checkout our new marketplace and request an invite today.