Walter Craven from Boston, USA, founded Make.Work.Space. Water attended the Rhode Island School of Design.
He studied architecture before moving to sculpture to express his creativity more freely.
After moving to the West Coast, he began buying and renovating large commercial buildings in the San Francisco Bay Area.
He turned them into workshops and co-working spaces for local artists.
This latest venture is a continuation of his socially-oriented approach to space.
After moving from San Francisco, he moved to London.
He considers London the capital of design and the best place to create, manufacture, and introduce next-generation work pods.
Walter is proud to have several original furniture designs in San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art.
He also keeps vintage motorcycles in California from 20+ British manufacturers.
What is the story of Make.Work.Space get its idea?
My personal experiences in London lockdown influenced the idea for the company and its hero product.
It was challenging to stay focused, distracted, lonely, and unfocused.
I struggle to sit still. After thinking long and hard about improving my experience, I created a space that would serve as a focal point.
It would be a place that I could enter without doing anything. The area had to be earned by someone.
Since the user is such an integral part of the experience, the name of my company was easy to match with the product.
How do you stay productive?
Although I love to get up early, I don’t have the time to do it in the morning.
I also like to be awake before the sun rises. I get dressed and drink lots of water.
I have eaten the same breakfast for years: two eggs over easy.
I prepare for my 9-mile bike ride to work. I prefer to be there before the rest of the staff.
The office is quiet and allows me to concentrate and plan my day.
Mondays are Mondays. I will prepare a weekly plan for Monday’s staff meeting.
Every day begins with reviewing the goals and tasks for the day.
These tasks are not usually created on the spot but are planned using task management software and project management.
Suppose an unexpected issue arises that requires immediate attention, which is often the case.
In that case, I will prioritize it but also ensure that it does not disrupt the global schedule and adversely affect daily tasks.
How do you bring ideas to life?
My recording ideas is the same one I have used for years. It can be done by texting a message to yourself, handwriting scribbles, or email.
IT TENDS TO STICK WITH ME once I have a “hook” or tied a string to an idea.
The idea is then left to develop in my head for a while. If I have an idea that I feel must be physically realized, I will make a small mockup in our workshop.
We have a lot of models and sketches of ideas that are still in development and could one day be produced. My thoughts only make it to “full-scale.”
What’s your favorite trend?
Trend or not, I’m very excited about the new paradigm of “work from anywhere.” We are responsible for defining the future of work.
The end has changed dramatically. My excitement at the dramatic shifts in thinking about working remotely, from home or office, excites me greatly.
I consider my current involvement in this thinking a significant responsibility.
What habits make you productive?
Don’t be afraid to tell your staff, funding partners, and vendors the truth.
Transparency is a sign of respect, and it’s a virtue. It demonstrates that you mean business. After sending an email, follow up by calling.
It can also be an excellent way to set the pace for a project or deal.
What’s your advice for the Noob?
Do not be afraid to take the long route, breathe, and enjoy the ride.
You are exactly where you should be. Enjoy it.
The windshield is huge, and the rearview mirror is so small because of this.
What is one thing we can all agree on?
SpaghettiOs and baked beans taste best when they are fresh from the can.
What do you recommend as an entrepreneur?
Reassess your relationship with yourself. You can listen to the voices in your head and learn to understand their messages.
Although it sounds crazy, I believe that these voices are something we all have.
Some votes will be positive and even cavalier, while others may be negative and turn into dangerous and false narratives.
These narratives are essential to listen to and not ignore. Learn from them, analyze them, and decide when to keep the best bits and leave them behind.
What’s your rich strategy?
Do not look at the exterior of a business. Instead, look at the inside.
Write down as much detail as you can about the business’s future.
After a few days, go back to it. Your vision will likely change.
How do you overcome Failure?
My career began with high-end modern furniture design and construction.
I started a production line, hired a team, and made products.
I also attended many furniture shows across the country and around the world. My designs were well received, and sales began to occur.
I made so many mistakes with this business that it is hard to remember them all.
The top ones were not focusing upon messaging and branding direct sales and creating a distribution network.
I believed I could rely upon the press to help with my marketing and sales.
Our warehouse was full of products, and our bills were mounting.
I had to make a hard decision and stop production.
I hired a sales and market person and restructured the business to serve other interior designers and architects who required design and manufacturing assistance.
The pivot saved us, even though we still made our furniture.
Can you share a business idea?
Platforms for drone delivery of small items with locked delivery cabins.
We have many sketches and have created compelling animations for product products – this type of delivery and distribution network can be fascinating.
What’s your recent best buy?
I recently bought a pair of used sculls (oars). My rubbish rowing seems to be a lot less trash when I use my own set.
What are your favorite Softwares or Apps?
Although we use many different software platforms, Slack is my favorite.
My entire team uses the DM functions to communicate with each other, but mostly they use specific channels that keep them informed of any significant updates, changes, or action items.
You can also invite outside contractors to participate. All messaging, quotes, technical specifications, and product information are collected on one platform.
It is easy to use, convenient, and it’s very user-friendly. Slack can be linked to asana or other software.
Which book would you recommend?
Knut Hamsun, “Growth of the soil” 1917. This is about man’s relationship to the earth, modernity, and family.
Although the book contains many inspiring images and thought-provoking ideas, it mainly focuses upon principles of self-reliance, perseverance, and evidence that hard work pays off.
What’s your favorite quote?
Only those who are willing to fail can succeed wildly.Robert F Kennedy
- Keep going with your ideas and see them through to their completion.
- Your product or business is what you should be looking at, not at it.
- Transparency and honesty are key to your success with others and yourself.
- Don’t be afraid of pivoting and don’t fear failing