Can an 'Airbnb for offices' fly in Southeast Asia?

Waiting for the trend to kick in

Berta's unyielding confidence that coworking will take root in the region stems in part from his past experiences.

Three years ago when he was starting Easy Taxi, taxi operators who had been dominating the market for 30 years initially laughed at him when he told them the plan was to give their drivers a smartphone to facilitate the process.

"They would sell the smartphone as soon as they left the taxi depot and spend it on drinks or gambling, the operators said. But now look, you can't imagine not doing that," Berta said.

"That's the thing with technology in Asia. It takes a breaker to catch up with the cutting-edge trend, but once it does the adoption is much faster here than in Western countries."

In Western countries, he explained, there is one technology that works, but the technology improves next month and another player takes over, creating many players in the market.

In Asia, there is usually one player that dominates, it takes longer for that player to educate others, but then the idea spreads like wildfire. Economies are growing faster, and consumers are more curious. They spend more time online and get more exposed.

"That's why we're just waiting for the trend to kick in." – 

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