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"9 to 5 group" - Coworking's first name

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Have you ever quizzed your parents about the other potential names they considered for you? Coworking also underwent a name selection process. According to the man who is credited with inventing the coworking movement, it could have been called something very different. Brad Neuberg is a coder for Google, but ten years ago he was one of the first people to launch what we now know as a coworking space.

“In the early 2000s I had an earlier iteration of coworking, but called it a “9 to 5 Group”. It didn’t catch on, probably because it wasn’t the right term and right time,” Brad told Deskmag.

'9 to 5 Group' certainly isn’t catchy, nor does it contain any of the notions of collaboration or interaction that most people now expect from a coworking space. Neuberg later adopted the term coworking and applied it to his collaborative office in San Francisco called Spiral Muse.

It turns out that Neuberg’s ability to find a ‘sticky’ term is more than mere accident. It’s an art he has studied and applied to other areas such as web coding (he’s a big advocate of the term HTML5). Neuberg was influenced by the 2007 book Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath: “They theorize that sticky ideas have the following six traits - simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional, and story-based,” Brad said.

According to this criteria, coworking comes out ahead of 9 to 5 Group.


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