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The Hive Paonia’s New Format (Part 1)

By | COWORKING | No Comments
By:  Hive Founder – Chris Yates
When we opened the Hive 2 years ago, the idea was to create a space that was more than “just an office building.”  We wanted to create a culture of collaboration where people could come together and create things, share ideas, and make a difference.  We achieved that by gaining over 100 members, hosting countless meetings, events, workshops, gatherings of all kinds, and seeing ideas become reality.  It’s been a lot of hard work, and we’ve had a lot of fun along the way.
If you’ve visited the Hive recently and noticed that the front door is always locked, there’s a good reason.  Originally, we wanted the space to be open during all business hours to create maximum “buzz” and really get things happening.  It worked.  The Paonia Chamber of Commerce moved into the front suite which brought all sorts of visitors to the space all summer long.  Countless locals came to workshops, community events, art exhibitions, and perused our space.
So, what’s the problem?
Last summer, we started hearing the same feedback from many of our members.  “I can’t get any work done here.”   Why?  “It’s too busy.  I feel constantly distracted.”   Yep.  Buzz overkill.   To resolve this, we tried building a second co-working room that was for quiet work space.  Unfortunately, making a room quiet can be more expensive than one would think, and it still doesn’t change the volume level of a half-dozen community members who come to socialize rather than work.  What’s more, is that we noticed the members who couldn’t get work done were the people who invested in full-time co-working memberships and had serious projects to focus on.  The “distractions” were mostly coming from well-intended, highly social non-member visitors, or members of our least expensive plans that enjoyed attending workshops and events but didn’t really need to utilize the space to get work done.
Hmm….  So, how do we serve everyone at once?  How do we provide focused work space and the highest quality experience possible while being open to the whole community?   Answer:  We don’t.
After conducting a financial analysis and surveying many of our members, we realized something very important;  About 80% of our revenue was coming from 20% of our consistent members.  Of the members and non-member community that contributed the other 20% of our revenue, they created nearly 80% of our overhead expense (coffee, increased need for cleaning, internet bandwidth consumption, utility usage, the need for employees to manage everything, etc.)!   The 80/20 Rule is REAL!!!
Now that we know what the problem is, how do we make the change?  How do we make sure that our members receive the value that they deserve, give them the focused work space that they need, while building a collaborative culture that invites the community to participate and holds The Hive as a gem of the town and acts as a magnet for other like-minded freelancers, entrepreneurs, and digital nomads?   Sometimes the best answer is the most simple one:
Step 1:  Lock the door  (80/20 Rule)  Only full-time members/tenants and event hosts have front door access.
Step 2:  Only One Membership Option (Attract the people who will be most committed to the business and culture.)
Step 3:  Re-Engage the Community
We are at Step 3 of the plan now.   From Step 1 and Step 2, our membership numbers are way down, but so are expenses.  The members that we see using the space most often are happy, productive, and feel that the space brings them more value now than it did before.  Re-engaging the community will be an educated experiment.  We know what worked before, and what didn’t, so we will now re-open the valve carefully until we have just the right temperature.
Watch our announcements in the near future.  You’ll see things like “Free Coworking Fridays,” a new format for our Coffee and Cocktail Colliders that will allow guest participation, special member events (guests welcome), and more.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this update!   There is more to announce, but not just yet.  Soon you’ll hear about faster internet, sunlight in our Nectar Meeting Room, background music, new perks for members, and a few surprises.  To be continued….

paonia coworking

What’s New in 2015 at The Hive Paonia?

By | COWORKING | 2 Comments

hive paonia happy new yearThanks for a spectacular first-year of coworking at The Hive!

As we enter this new year filled with unlimited potential, it’s a great time to reflect on what just happened, what we learned, and how it shaped us.  The Hive took a glorious risk in 2014. When we began, we saw a community made up of amazing people, vast resources, and a surprising cultural separation that created an illusion of scarcity.  That scarcity, we found out, was caused by a lack of communication across invisible lines of separation created by decades of false assumptions about the people that live here.

Our goal was to see what could happen when we smudge those lines of separation, shine a spotlight on the abundant resources that surround us, and find ways to draw very different people together from a place of possibility rather than an attachment to an old story.

Our risk seems to have paid off so far and we have this community to thank for it.  The Hive was named the “Most Exciting and Innovative New Business” by the Paonia Chamber of Commerce, we hosted globally-renowned speakers, room-filling community events, and a wide assortment of workshops to support entrepreneurs, small businesses, and those wanting to increase their knowledge of technologies that would help small town businesses participate well in the global economy.
steve jobs

We have a lot planned for you in 2015!  Here are a few things to look forward to:

  • A new private desk membership option for those who want a fixed space to call their own, but don’t require the privacy of a closed door
  • Opening of the Queen’s Kitchen – a large new upstairs kitchen with workspace and event catering options
  • The unveiling of upgrades to the Colony Room which will include our new digital projector, surround sound, and additional amenities for presenters
  • A new line-up of tech and business workshops, special events, art exhibits, themed “colliders”, community talks, and more
  • Movie nights, where we gather around a film (think documentaries, TEDx, etc.) and host discussions
  • Big improvements to our high-speed internet network and building security featurestedx paonia
  • A full range of member perks to enhance and improve your business and projects in the tech world, as well as special deals and Hive-member-only discounts at area merchants
  • …and we have this dream called TEDx Paonia (more on that later)

We don’t want to be the only ones having fun though.  Post your ideas and requests in the comments below.  We’ll see if we can wave our magic wands and make your wishes comes true!

We have a lot more in mind for the new year and will be sharing more new ideas here soon!  Check back to see what else we have planned and what others want to bring to the Colony!

2015 will be a time of great change and great prosperity.  The Hive is honored to host a part of your adventure!


By | Gratitude | 6 Comments

gratitude hive paoniaWhen The Hive was initially conceived in the spring of 2014, the plan was a far-reaching idealist concept with the intention of bringing the community together, attracting new and amazing people from far reaches, sharing resources and ideas, and collaborating on new ways to create a better future for our local community and the world. Because of overwhelming contributions from our members and the community, we’ve already succeeded , and at a reality-questioning speed!

In the spirit of the season, we’d like to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to so many people without whom The Hive would not be possible.  In no particular order, we are building a list of gratitude on this page below and thanking people and organizations that have helped us along the way as we reflect on them daily and remember the gifts that they have shared with us.  We will continue adding to the list throughout the season as we seem to never run out of people to thank, so check back here to watch it grow.

Since gratitude is a universal concept and always welcome, please tell us what you are grateful for!  We’re not just talking about The Hive here.  All expressions of gratitude are appropriate and welcome, so please add your comments to the thread below.  Our goal is to create a long and heart-warming list that can be shared throughout the community and beyond.  Thanks for your contribution!

Thank you to all of our amazing Hive Hosts who volunteer your precious time every week to keep our doors open and greet visitors with a smile.  You are fine stewards of both The Hive and of the Paonia community as a whole.  We are so fortunate that you are here…

Thank you to Joanna Calabrese, our charming “Queen Bee,” for your commitment to our space and our members, for being a beacon of professionalism and grace in our community, for always setting the bar high, and for your faith in our important cultural mission.  You have transformed a “lone nut” into a leader and created a movement.

Thank you to John Records for your countless hours and days of consulting, the use of the flat screen TV that now completes our Nectar meeting room, your unfailing support of The Hive, and for your commitment to creating a better world for us all.

Thank you to all Hive Members for your faith and contributions to our collective vision.  You have shaped the Hive into something great and we stand back in awe to watch what you will do with this next.  The world is watching and we continue to be grateful for you every single day.

Thank you to Chris Faison of Boulder Dehydrated Foods for our Verizon mini-tower that now enables Verizon clients to use their phones in Paonia (at the Hive, at least), and for your generous contributions to the North Fork Valley.

gratefulThank you to Vince Fandel and Region 10 for our new digital projector, for funding the KVNF advertising budget for our tech workshops, and for spreading the word about The Hive. Your contributions to the Hive and small businesses across the western slope are having a huge positive impact.

Thank you to Mayor Neal Schwieterman, the Town of Paonia staff, and the North Fork Valley community for supporting our dream to create something great. Our success is yours.

Thank you to Jordan Schevene, our friend and brilliant local filmmaker, for contributing your time and work to The Hive and our community.  Your talent is profound and your gifts infinite.  We look forward to collaborating with you more in the year ahead as only magic and amazement can come from it.

Thank you to John Gavan of Delta County Libraries for your generous time spent consulting us on creating the most technologically-advanced space possible in the North Fork Valley, and for doing everything in your power (which is a lot) to bring Delta County into the modern age so we can compete well in the global economy.

Thank you to DMEA for having the foresight to install high-capacity fiber optic cables throughout Delta thankful all the timeand Montrose which make it possible to bring high-speed broadband internet to our community. Choosing to complete the final mile of this network will attract businesses, create hundreds of new jobs over time, and ensure our economic stability well into the future.

Thank you to Delta County Economic Development for your continued support and encouragement.  Our goals are joined and we are grateful to stand beside you in service to our community.

Thank you to Frederick Zimmer of Elemental Design Build for constructing such a spectacular habitat for our bees to thrive within, for fixing everything and sending us help when needed, and for all the emotional support when challenges arise.  We are so much stronger for having you with us.feeling-gratitude-quote

Thank you to Elsewhere Studios and your inspiring creation of the CSArt Library!  Because of you, The Hive has world-class local art adorning our walls every day and we are so visually vibrant because of what you have created.  Your leadership inspires creativity in all realms of our community and continues to be a thriving example of what is possible.

Thank you to Adrian Hoppel of Adrian Hoppel Websites for blazing the trail of gift economics and making the new story real.  Your leadership has inspired so many to experience the world differently, abandon old belief systems that were preventing our bliss, and to seek new ways of relating to another.  Also, thanks for our awesome Hive website.  You’re incredible…  “This Guy Stopped Charging Clients And He Has Zero Regrets”

gratitude4Thank you to Alexis Halbert and the Paonia Chamber of Commerce board and staff for collaborating with The Hive in its launch, for supporting our endeavors, and for entrusting us with the highly important role of acting as Paonia’s Information Center.  We have met many fascinating people and learned a lot about our community through our relationship with the Chamber.  We look forward to an exciting 2015 spent working closely together for the greater good of businesses in the North Fork Valley and beyond.

Thank you to Nancy Murphy, our generous and thoughtful Hive Host, for calling in Clay MacDonald to rescue us!  Clay, thanks for fixing our door even when the locksmith couldn’t!  What an incredible gift that saved us countless hours and money.  We are truly grateful…


Don Huber Art Opening at The Hive Paonia

By | ART | 2 Comments

Don Huber Art Opening Hive Paonia

The Community Supported Art Library and The Hive Paonia are pleased to present this art opening:

Friday July 18 from 6-9pm.

Hive members are invited to a special reception with the artist starting at 5pm with complimentary wine, music, and special guests from the BMW motorcycle rally!

Come meet and see artwork by Don Huber, Zen Da-da Libertarian Artist and Paonia Resident.

About the Artist, Don Huber
Don was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1946.  He studied art at the University of Cincinnati, BFA 1969, MFA 1971.  He was a Professor of Art at Pensacola State College in Florida from 1971-2001. “I paint in a variety of styles depending on what interests me at any one time. Sometimes I work on 10 paintings at time.  Subject matter is relatively unimportant to me.  I do stuff just to see if I can.  It all gets down to shape and color relationships.  There’s not much difference to me between figurative and abstract.  I like BIG paintings.  They are easier to see and have more impact.  This is America.  Size counts.”

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Collaborate with Award-Winning Filmmaker Jordan Schevene in Paonia!


Jordan ScheveneThis week, we are pleased to begin a new endeavor in which we feature one of our members and promote their work while fostering collaboration between them, our members, and the greater community.  Our first featured member is Jordan Schevene of Shevene Films.  Jordan is an award-winning photographer, filmmaker, and producer, and has been making films for over a decade both locally and abroad.  To learn more about Jordan and his work, take a look at his video blog.

Collaboration:  On Wednesday, July 16th, from 12pm to 4pm, Jordan will be filming interviews with Hive members.  Half-hour time slots for video interviews will be scheduled on a first come, first served basis for members (reservations required).  Jordan will record up to a 30-minute interview with members to find out who they are, what they do, and why they work at the Hive.  He will then edit the videos into short segments that will be used by the members to promote their own businesses or projects, and by the Hive to help promote its members and create a successful, vibrant community.  Jordan will be offering this work as a gift for up to 8 Hive members.  What would it be worth to have a professionally-produced short film about your business, non-profit organization, or special project, that you can put on your website, share via social media, and more?  What would it be worth if the Hive’s web and social media experts then utilized its resources to share your video and spread the word about you?  If you’re a Hive member, all of this is offered to you at no extra cost (limited spots available, so act now!).  If you are not yet a Hive member and would like to become one and take advantage of this and other collaboration opportunities, simply visit our membership page and choose an option that works for you.

Here is a short interview with Jordan talking about one of his recent local film projects:

To learn more about Jordan and Schevene Films, please visit:

An Evening with Charles Eisenstein in Paonia

By | EVENTS | 4 Comments

The Hive Paonia welcomes the author of Sacred Economics, Ascent of Humanity, and The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible: The Vision and Practice of Interbeing

charles eisenstein hive paoniaJoin us for this Hive Member Event
July 1st, 2014 at 7PM

Eventbrite - An Evening with Charles Eisenstein

Hive Members are Invited to a special VIP reception with Charles Eisenstein beginning at 6PM

Click Here to learn more about Charles Eisenstein

 Registration is free for Hive Members and $30 for non-members. 

Hive Paonia Members receive free tickets and priority seating, as well as an invitation to a VIP reception with the speaker one hour before the event.

General Admission Tickets for Non-Hive Members are available on a first come, first served basis and seating is not reserved.

GIFT PRICING:  In alignment with principles discussed in “Sacred Economics” by Charles Eisenstein, all general admission pricing is on a gift basis.  The ticket price is intended simply to reserve your seat.  The Hive will have an event host on site during the event and you may request a portion or all of your ticket price to be returned to you at the event (no judgment, and no questions asked).  If you feel that the event has a value beyond the ticket price that you paid and you wish to contribute to the venue and/or speaker further, we welcome your gifts.

If you wish to attend the event, but cannot afford the $30 registration fee or cannot pay online, please contact us and we will accommodate you to the best of our abilities.

How to Build Community (and Chairs)

By | COWORKING | No Comments

On the morning of Wednesday, April 30th, the Hive sent out a call for help to the Paonia community via e-mail and Facebook.  We had 35 new chairs in boxes that needed to be assembled for the coworking room and the pile of boxes appeared very daunting.   With a promise of local pizza and root beer, over 25 people showed up that evening to help with the task of building the chairs.  In less than 90 minutes, all the chairs were built and we were out of food.  This was the first of many opportunities to collaborate in the spirit of giving and community-building at the Hive, and it was a tremendous success!

Thank you so much to all of the wonderful people who joined us to help.  Special thanks to John and Mary from Back Country Bistro who saved us by preparing a dozen pizzas with less than 3 hours notice when we found out that the local pizzeria was closed for remodeling.  You saved us (and the pizzas were awesome)!!!  Thanks also go to Revolution Brewing for making a mean handcrafted root beer.  It was the perfect fuel to keep those allen wrenches turning.

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