I’ve been following Julien Smith’s blog, In Over Your Head, ever since I heard him speak with Chris Brogan about their book, Trust Agents. Today, he announced the launch of a start-up Breather, a quiet space which you can rent by the hour. Julien writes the motivation for bringing this concept to fruition:
I was sick of walking around in cities everywhere, trying to find a place to go.
I was no longer willing to have meetings in coffee shops, either.
I was annoyed of having to take phone calls in the street, with sirens passing by me.
I was sick of having to scavenge for electrical outlets when my phone was dying.
More than anything, I wanted a place to rest.
I’m an introvert– but a very specific kind of introvert.
I’m an introvert that needs to talk a lot for work, that needs to meet a lot of people, and that needs to recuperate mid-way through the day.
Starbucks wasn’t cutting it. Hotel lobbies weren’t cutting it.
I wanted space I could go to, anytime.
Not just space, but nice space. Well-designed rooms. Rooms that werequiet. Rooms I didn’t need to ask permission to get into. Rooms I could just go to whenever I wanted.
So that’s what we made. That’s what Breather is.
This is a very cool idea and I hope it takes off. I think the launch is limited to Montreal (Julien’s home town) and New York City. Pando Daily has more:
Currently those looking to work or gather while on the go turn to coffee shops, restaurants, and hotel lobbies – none of which offer any privacy or much comfort. Those in need of a quiet place to make a phone call, however, have far fewer options. When the Breather network goes live, those in NYC will be surrounded by hundreds of carefully curated spaces, all of which were formerly but which now can be rented for an hour or for a day.
It’s not just residents and visitors to a city that stand to benefit from Breather. It also solves a major problem for property owners, who currently sit on vacant space for extended periods of time with little or no way of monetizing it in the interim. And in high traffic areas, adding a space to the breather network may be as profitable as renting it out long term.
The hourly rate of $20, at least in New York City, seems very affordable. I am guessing it will be cheaper in other cities. I wish Julien and the team at Breather success with the launch. I can’t wait to see how it expands.
Check out Breather and maybe sign up? I have.