Note: This post was drafted on 2/5 and finalized today.
Yesterday I took a couple hours to drive around and imagine the Eureka Room in different location types as well as look for any opportunities of any specific available places that might be rented.
Far East Downtown
First, I went down towards Shady Lane and 5th street. The whole area seems to be under construction with the usual 5-story mixed use apartment buildings. There’s also loads of work on the highways nearby. The whole area felt claustrophobic to me.
Pros: Lots of vacant-looking buildings and industrial spaces. Might be something in there that wants to make a little money while they wait for destruction.
Cons: So much construction has bad feng shui. Doesn’t have the “out there” kind of feel. You’re right in the middle of it all.
Unsure: Seems a little sketchy so security might be an issue. Probably very little chance I would be able to stay there beyond short-term.
Far East MLK
Next I went out towards the prison. Indra’s Awarehouse didn’t seem as far as it used to seem. I didn’t see many potential buildings on my driveby. I did stumble on Mosaic Sound Collective, which is a recording studio and rehearsal space, amongst other things. What would it be like to be at a place like this?
Pros: Creative community and funky building.
Cons: Right by the road. Doesn’t feel “out there” to me but probably would to other people. Doesn’t have the curb appeal I’d like. Sort of feels like you’re just pulling into a strip mall.
Unsure: Might have soundproof space available, making the noise issue less of an issue.
Industrial Parks (Anywhere)
Then I drove around some industrial parks. These were near 183 and MLK, but anywhere you go they look pretty much the same. What about something like this?
Pros: Tall ceilings, plenty of parking. Lots of these around town that I could likely choose from.
Cons: Industrial spaces are just the drabbest of drab. You feel enveloped in concrete just driving through there.
Unsure: Noise might not be an issue
Conclusion For This Exploration
This was a discouraging venture but it was necessary. Actually seeing the places and feeling the way I did about them just couldn’t be replicated sitting at home thinking about them. There’s nothing like going there and seeing how your idea of something matches reality.
In an ideal world I would like:
- A building that is unique. Possibly a house. Something that feels “not like anything else”.
- Curb appeal that says “mystery” and “special”. Perhaps hidden behind some trees or bamboo or a fence or a junkyard. Something that ushers you into a different world.
- To not have to worry about noise. This is probably my biggest concern right now.
This describes my house, lol.
Questions To Ponder
What are people paying for when they go to the Eureka Room? Is it just the program or is it the entire experience? If I put it out in an industrial park, for example, and people said they didn’t enjoy “The Eureka Room”, how much did the surroundings impact that conclusion? If this next 6-12 months is a test to see if enough people love the Eureka Room, how do I set up a test that gives results I can trust?
What is the test testing, exactly?
Is to see if I can attract a certain amount people? Or to see if the people who come enjoy the programs? Is this just a component test or is this a “whole experience” test? By that I mean, am I just testing the room itself, or is this a test of the invite-ushering-room-postroom-etc experience? Or is this to see if I can make an initial amount of revenue on a lacking MVP so that I can get to a much better product?
Could I build it in such a way that I can move it easily? Honestly, it’s probably less than a week if it was a “move” job. So I could try different locations. Or am I fooling myself and it’s harder than I realize to move it (probably).
If I was more central I will have more customers. I think that’s almost certain. Or is it? If the test is just to attract enough people, do I really need to be in a convenient place?
Should it be a popup? If I could make it a pop-up thing (1-2 months) then I could probably get more spaces to put it in. Maybe even move it around a bunch. But is that more work than I realize? What will it take to find spaces, build those relationships, move things around, and find schedule everyone to do all that work? My gut says a lot more than I realize.
Trying to put myself in a visitor’s shoes… I would like more greenery and not concrete. That’s a weird request. But probably why I’m not a fan of the industrial spaces. I wanted to feel hidden and not in plain sight. Maybe that’s the issue I have with the music studio. It’s right there on the road. I want it to feel “worn in” and show a certain authenticity, which is why far east doesn’t work so well for me.
I will continue the quest.