Dirk Knemeyer

Residential design for the mobile professional

Here’s the situation: along with my business partner, I own a digital product design firm in Silicon Valley. I’m based in Boston. We work with companies on both coasts, and in other places. Regardless of client work, I travel out to the west coast every month for anywhere from a few days to a week. Each time I need to pay too much for a pretty crappy hotel room. Now, we just got an exciting new contract on the west coast that will require my being on-site for roughly four weeks out of the next nine. What are my options?

1. Be cheap: get an inexpensive hotel room, be relatively uncomfortable, and not put a burden on the budget

2. Be normal: get a nice hotel room, be relatively comfortable, and burn a hole in our profits

3. Be creative: figure out something that is both comfortable and inexpensive

#3 is my obvious choice, but there really aren’t options. And that is a surprise, given how many people like me are flying around the world to do work of some kind or another away from their home.

Here’s my idea: in Europe, staying in people’s homes is a relatively normal thing. In the U.S., not so much. There are undoubtedly people out there with more space than they need who would like to make some extra coin by having a professional person stay over intermittently. I could envision an entire business model for this, sort of a closed network that is centrally managed, helping people like me to find decent and affordable accommodations with people whose situations are conducive to this sort of extended stay.

But, at the very least, I’d like to find this sort of accommodation for myself! So, if you know anyone within a 30 minute drive of San Mateo with a quiet environment, a private bedroom and clean bathroom – and wireless internet would be the perfect cherry-on-the-sundae – who might be interested in hosting a roadwarrior like yours truly, kindly put us in touch.

And, if anyone develops the idea into a business model, email me and I will give you my mailing address, so you can send me my 10%.

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