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Silicon Valley Thinks It Invented Roommates. They Call It 'Co-living' (theguardian.com) 337

An anonymous reader shares a report: Have you heard of this cool new trend called co-living? It's a bit like co-working, except instead of sharing an office with a bunch of randoms you share a home with a bunch of randoms. Oh, you might be thinking, is it like ye olde concept of "roommates"? Why, yes. Yes it is. As a viral tweet pointed out earlier this week, "co-living", which has inspired a spate of trend-pieces in recent months, is actually "called *roommates* ... you invented ***roommates***." Now, to be fair, co-living isn't just living with a bunch of roommates. No, it's rich millennials living with a bunch of roommates in a fancy building in a recently gentrified part of town. The co-living space is also full of cool amenities like yoga classes and micro-brew coffee bars, meaning you can minimise unnecessary interactions with the outside world. In startup speak, this is what is called "community." The Collective, for example, a co-working space in London, describes co-living as "a way of living focused on a genuine sense of community, using shared spaces and facilities to create a more convenient and fulfilling lifestyle."
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Silicon Valley Thinks It Invented Roommates. They Call It 'Co-living'

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 17, 2017 @09:04AM (#55569071)

    I think we actually used to call these nursing homes! ;).

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Welcome to the future, we've renamed everything to make it better.
      • by houghi ( 78078 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @11:04AM (#55569955)

        Sounds doubleplus good to me.

        • That is assuming that you are a people person. For the introvert spending a day in an open office, having to go to a living center where you still need to interact with a bunch of people to take advantage of these shared services. Sounds like hell to me.

          This is why I became a morning person. I would wake up at 5:00 am in college just so I can lock myself in the computer lab where there would be no one there at that time, even during a deadline. And I can just sit there do my work alone with just my though

      • by CodeHog ( 666724 )
        reminds me of the article I saw recently about having plants in your house. Imagine that! you can have plants in your house! only now they are calling them 'urban rainforests'.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Opportunist ( 166417 )

      So... from mom's basement to assisted living to nursing home.

      Back where I come from we only have such programs for retards. Then again...

      • by naubol ( 566278 )
        Isn't this essentially the hunter gatherer lifestyle? For most of humanity's existence, we basically lived this way until we were forced to give it up to adopt agriculture.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by zifn4b ( 1040588 )

        So... from mom's basement to assisted living to nursing home.

        Back where I come from we only have such programs for retards. Then again...

        It's funny you got modded funny because it's pretty close to reality. I honestly hope California becomes its own country then they can go bankrupt with their socialist economy without dragging the rest of the country down.

        • I hope it falls into the sea...and I grew up there.

          Right up to the Sierra. I like that part.

        • by werepants ( 1912634 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @11:22AM (#55570097)

          I honestly hope California becomes its own country then they can go bankrupt with their socialist economy without dragging the rest of the country down.

          California's "socialist economy" apparently works a hell of a lot better than that of most red states, considering that they get only $0.78 from the federal government for every $1 paid. Mississippi, on the other hand, gets $2 from the feds for every dollar of federal taxation they pay. I don't think this will work out like you are hoping.

          Citation: https://taxfoundation.org/pres... [taxfoundation.org]

          • by zifn4b ( 1040588 )

            California's "socialist economy" apparently works a hell of a lot better than that of most red states, considering that they get only $0.78 from the federal government for every $1 paid. Mississippi, on the other hand, gets $2 from the feds for every dollar of federal taxation they pay. I don't think this will work out like you are hoping.

            It only works out better for lower ability people because in an ideal "California World", all your income would go directly to the socialist government to do what's best for you on your behalf. Now maybe you would prefer that and perhaps you can't do better. I can do better than that and have a better life without this type of system because I'm intelligent, I'm hard-working and I have a lot of drive and ambition. I know how to strategize in a free market economy. That's the price you pay for freedom an

    • I think we actually used to call these kindergartens.

    • by Gondola ( 189182 )

      Responding to top comment to say, the writer is obviously a satirist and this "article" should never have been submitted. Read the writer's other work.

    • Actually this seems like moving back to a feudal system.
      Sure we get fancy adult dorms now. Then they will be company owned housing, then to a point where an entire community will be owned by the company. Where it will take care of all your needs, just as long as you work for them. They will just deduct all the expenses out of your paycheck, so you have nothing less to save, because using the company housing, you have access to bunch of services, that you may not use or want, but are paying for it anyways.

  • FFS (Score:2, Insightful)

    $subject already says all I've to say on the matter.

    • Pre-owned (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I, for one, am enthusiastic about this new form of living. I'm also quite enthusiastic about my "pre-owned" car, which I wouldn't have even considered if it was "used".

      • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )
        I think I'll create a start-up where a bunch of people pay $200-300 monthly fees and get to "co-own" a car. 1 car for every 4 "co-owners", at $200 a pop, comes out to about 50% profit after car note and insurance costs. If anyone wants to invest hit me up.
        • by gnick ( 1211984 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @10:22AM (#55569661) Homepage

          Why would you want the inconvenience of having to schedule car time with 3 other owners? My start-up is different. I'm creating a pay-per-use model where you rent one car out of a fleet. They'll be delivered directly to your location and will come with a driver to take your car to its destination. Ready to head back? Rent another on demand! All I need is a name.

          • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )
            You misunderstand. The 4-1 is just the ratio. They can grab whatever car is available. Would be a perfect pairing with a "co-living community" too!
      • by sabbede ( 2678435 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @09:54AM (#55569405)
        You mean multi-user iterated ownership? It's a great concept where the cost of becoming the next user decreases with each iteration to offset the increased wear. Totally brilliant idea that nobody thought of until now.
  • synonyms (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 17, 2017 @09:06AM (#55569085)

    'The Collective, for example, a co-working space in London, describes co-living as "a way of living focused on a genuine sense of community, using shared spaces and facilities to create a more convenient and fulfilling lifestyle."'

    We also may refer to that as a 'commune', 'compound', or 'cult'

    • Re:synonyms (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @09:16AM (#55569125)

      'The Collective, for example, a co-working space in London, describes co-living as "a way of living focused on a genuine sense of community, using shared spaces and facilities to create a more convenient and fulfilling lifestyle."'

      We also may refer to that as a 'commune', 'compound', or 'cult'

      I always thought that large residential buildings where lot of people shared bathrooms and kitchens were called "slums". That, or "college".

      • I always thought that large residential buildings where lot of people shared bathrooms and kitchens were called "slums". That, or "college".

        "Barracks" is another appropriate term.

    • 'The Collective, for example, a co-working space in London, describes co-living as "a way of living focused on a genuine sense of community, using shared spaces and facilities to create a more convenient and fulfilling lifestyle."'

      We also may refer to that as a 'commune', 'compound', or 'cult'

      The self affirmation benefits will be great as well.

    • Re:synonyms (Score:5, Insightful)

      by flink ( 18449 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @09:56AM (#55569411)

      A "genuine sense of community". If it were genuine, it wouldn't require a mission statement. The genuine community is probably around the corner holding a "spare change" sign.

    • So, like hippie communes, but with hipsters.

    • 'The Collective, for example, a co-working space in London, describes co-living as "a way of living focused on a genuine sense of community, using shared spaces and facilities to create a more convenient and fulfilling lifestyle."'

      We also may refer to that as a 'commune', 'compound', or 'cult'

      Or the Borg [wikipedia.org].

  • So... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 17, 2017 @09:11AM (#55569103)

    ...it's "Friends"?

  • It is called ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Templer421 ( 4988421 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @09:15AM (#55569123)

    Poverty.

    Make 100K a year and live like you are 18 with your first apartment, all your life in SV.

    • Poverty.

      Make 100K a year and live like you are 18 with your first apartment, all your life in SV.

      San Francisco has always been a place where money has been turned inside out. And its mostly relative. I could have worked and lived there, and made more money, but it would all have been sucked up by that cost of living. Same goes for DC. Could have made more, spent more, and dealt with the horrible DC traffic.

      But aside from some folks thinking that this is somehow a liberal wet dream - what it really is - an example of tribalism. Most people are very social, and urban environments usually work against t

    • Make 100K a year and live like you are 18 with your first apartment, all your life in SV.

      Yes, you can make an informed, rational choice to do that.

      Or, you can make an informed, rational choice to live in one of any number of other places in the country where the salary to cost-of-living ratio is much higher.

      What you can't do is live exactly where you would prefer to live, under the exact living conditions you would prefer to have, for the exact amount of money you would prefer to pay.

      That's a lesson that seems hard for millennials -- and quite a few adults as well.

  • "We are The Collective. Your Millennials will be assimilated. Resistance is effort and will hurt your feelings. You will become one with The Collective."

  • they could live better in NY, despite NY's expensive reputation. Rent an entire apartment in Queens for the price, work in corporate/healthcare/academic I.T rather than chasing the dream of making it big in an "app" "startup". (As if other cities don't have those as well.)

    Problem with Silicon Valley is congestion, lack of decent public transport, and the fact that former cities have become bedroom communities for former suburbs, leading to travel patterns not intended by planners 20-30 years ago.

  • by Austerity Empowers ( 669817 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @09:29AM (#55569193)

    News at 11. The similarities between millennial hipsters and yuppies are significant, including the absolute hatred towards them by those that are outside the culture. I feel like I'm living the 80s all over again sometimes.

    • The 80s are back. Just replace the 80s fear that the Japanese are going to take over, with the fear that the Chinese are going to take over (or AI if you are a real hipster).
  • If I make $50,000 in IT in Silicon Valley can I join your co-living space?
  • The place roommates used to congregate and had places like pools, rec rooms, bars (sometimes) that roommates liked to use to hang out. I wonder when millennial decide they invented this thing called sex?
  • by chispito ( 1870390 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @09:34AM (#55569237)
    Could the summary possibly be any more condescending? I'm fine with the occasional "SV is silly" story, but do we really need another story crapping on millennials?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Opportunist ( 166417 )

      As long as they keep pretending they invented the world while at the same time not getting anything accomplished, we'll keep mocking them.

      • Just like the generation before them. And the generation before that. You know what the thing about millennials is? They're young. Most of us old farts prefer to remember an idealized time when we were in child's bodies with our current judgment, and did everything right.

    • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

      The summary is spot-on, TFA is just as condescending, if not more.
      But yeah, we need stories crapping on the next generation, it helps us feel superior, just like our parents, grandparents and all our ancestors since the beginning of civilization.

  • After all, we are in the era of the "side hustle". Which I guess is not a side-job in the same way co-living isn't "roommates".
  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @09:48AM (#55569349)
    but this sure as hell is it. Folks can't afford their own place, even into their late 20s or even 40s? Not getting on with the kind of life normal humans are expected to have? No problem, just change the name for all your social ills. A tiny apartment with 5 people crammed into it becomes co-living. Millennials now want 'experiences' instead of houses and cars. You're not single and lonely due to your crap economic position, your an independent free thinker. Now get back to work. These mansions, yachts and private jets (and accompanying private airports) aren't gonna pay for themselves.
  • And this is exactly what I am looking for. I am a single, 40 y/o man who does not even need a space the size of a one bedroom apartment. I would like something small and studios are hard to find in my area. There is not a huge demand for them. The prices are sky high. By choice, I work in a low-skilled, fairly menial job so I would like to make my meager earnings go a little bit farther. Instead of paying almost 1,000.00 per month for this one bedroom, I could really like a 300 sq foot space with common liv
  • by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Friday November 17, 2017 @09:57AM (#55569433)

    Everthing is called differently now.

    Hitchhiking is called Ubering, your granny's bed-and-breakfast is now called Airbnb, mooching off your friends is now called Couchsurfing and living with Roomates are no longer a Hippie-Commune but Co-living.

  • by cahuenga ( 3493791 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @09:58AM (#55569445)

    I remember the first time I heard the term "Makers". It was as if garage tinkerers and fabricators hadn't existed before the vaguely sci-fi Makers had arrived

    And the same goes for "Tiny Houses". They are trailers people.... Ridiculously heavy and expensive trailers

    Rebranding run amok.

  • Living near NYC, I'm not one to throw stones about expensive housing markets. But, California's real estate markets (especially around SF/SV) are a level above everything outside of Midtown Manhattan. When old, crappy houses on tiny lots start in the low million-dollar range, and 1-bedroom apartments are renting for over $4000 a month, the system needs to be fixed. Rebranding having to share a small space with "co-living companions" is not the answer. I know not everyone wants a big house and a big lawn, et

  • This isnâ(TM)t new to SV. Everyone before them did this. Itâ(TM)s called marketing and we all fell for it. They were called villages, towns, military posts, military bases, mining towns, factory towns, retirement homes, campuses, UGA, dormitories, roomies, friends with benefits, cube hotels, etc.

    Just 10 years ago the real estate industry was freshening up âoeThe Villageâ. You know, âoeDonâ(TM)t you want to go back to the village?â But the dirt replaced by concrete, met

  • by Maritz ( 1829006 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @10:24AM (#55569667)
    Shoes, maybe? Perhaps they'll invent things you can put on your head if it's cold, or something.
    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      They'll call shoes: "foot helmets".

      Toothbrush: "Dental maintenance amenity" or "Bristled breath freshener".

      Door: "Controllable privacy barrier".

      Floor: "Soil-and-human boundary management system" or "Inverted ceiling".

  • by TheNarrator ( 200498 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @10:25AM (#55569671)

    It's this super cool way where you hack your monthly rent bill by having other people live in the same house!

  • by XSportSeeker ( 4641865 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @10:26AM (#55569685)

    Look dude, it's quite obvious you hate silicon valley and millenials, plus the idea of gentrification, but this is nothing really new nor recent, much less exclusive to millenials or silicon valley. Including the renaming of the idea or separation from stuff like frat houses, roommates or student dormitories.

    Think you are some sort of genius for making the association? Think again.

    Co-living and other shared styles of housing have been around since early 20th century in one form or another, in several different countries if you didn't know about it including Japan, Denmark, and others.
    It's far from being a Silicon Valley thing, and it's targeted towards single people who just graduated and are looking for jobs or just started working, particularly in urban areas where rent is cost prohibitive.

    And neither the idea of having ammenities in commonground areas, the gentrification part, positive spins or the general philosophy of it is anything new. It's just how the market works. This is ad targetting. It passes a specific image not only of what you should expect of the space you'll be living in, but also of people landlords are looking for in tenants.

    While some people might find this kinda fake or stupid, it's actually not. Saves a whole lot of money and time, plus it's a very effective marketing strategy. And more importantly, this isn't so dissimilar to things like stars and categorization of hotels, vacation spots, and whatnot.

  • by OneHundredAndTen ( 1523865 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @12:49PM (#55570767)
    A six-figure salary, and you have to resort to room sharing in order to be able to live there. Thanks but, no, thanks. I'll earn less somewhere where I can get my own home and a decent standard of living.

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