SMI #007: Build the WeWork for Weekend Musicians

Jam Space as a Service (JSaaS)

Opportunity in a Tweet:

Casual musicians love to jam and hang with friends, but it’s a big investment of space and money to create the ideal setup. If you are not an aspiring professional, and just do it for kicks and social interaction, you don’t want to dedicate a space, lug gear around, or clean up after. 

What This Is:

  • A monthly membership for a place to jam

  • A playground for adults with TVs, loud speakers, beers on tap

  • Fully equipped with mid-tier quality instruments (or bring your own)

  • A community atmosphere with common lounge areas to meet new jam partners

  • Accessible through mobile booking

  • Cleaning included

What This Isn’t:

  • A recording studio

  • Rentable by the hour

  • Meant for professionals


Not Everyone is Trying to Record the Next Abbey Road

  • There are 62 million amateur musicians in the US

  • Amateurs vastly outnumber the mere 41K professional musicians in the US

    • Takeaway: There are a lot of amateurs who like to jam - in aggregate, about 1.5x the population of California.

Lugging Around a Drum Set Sucks

  • No one wants to play roadie and drive instruments around in the family Tahoe

  • Ideally you could show up and use whatever gear is there, or BYOI (bring your own instrument) if it’s not a 300 pound cello

    • Takeaway: Give your back a break and use the Zildjian’s on site

Significant Others Hate When You “Have the Band Over”

  • Believe it or not, after the 37th attempt, your wife decided she was sick of listening to you guys trip and fall through “Livin’ on a Prayer”

  • Also, the Cool Ranch Dorritos Dan brought stained the family room carpet last time

  • Ideally you would just show up, jam, mess the place up (within reason and short of breaking guitars over each other’s heads), wash off the Kiss face paint, and go back to civilian life

    • Takeaway: The best jam pad is the one you don’t have to clean up after

A Place Between Work and Home

  • The average person has one or two favorite places they like to frequent outside of work and home

  • For some people it’s the gym, a favorite coffee shop, the hardware store, the local bowling alley, or the town dump (at least that’s where my father in law always disappears to)

  • This “third place” was a driving philosophy of Howard Schultz when growing Starbucks

    • Takeaway: Just because you’re a garage band don’t mean you gotta play in a garage

Back of the Napkin Market Sizing

Do you know a guy who knows a guy who should steal this idea and run with it? Punch that button and let it rip.

Share Steal My Idea

Kinda Biased Competitive Landscape

How It Makes Money

Waves This Rides

  • Subscription Memberships for Group Experiences

    • People pay to join dart clubs, bowling leagues, professional networking groups, and online video game communities; this is no different

  • Excess Supply of Retail Space and Commercial Space

    • Amazon is buying up defunct JC Penny and Macys stores for pennies on the dollar

    • The confluence of online shopping and work from home are making industrial spaces cheaper to rent

  • Specialized Space as a Service

    • Aside from WeWork, there are niche coworking spaces popping up in major cities

    • The number of global coworking spaces, thought to be around 14,000 in 2017, is expected to reach 30,000 by 2022

    • Examples include: Alma, which offers shared space for therapists; Spacious, which offers shared spaces for restauranteurs; and Glitch City, which offers shared space for Game Developers

Future Expansion Areas

  • Skateparks as a Service (for yuppies who like to shred)

  • Art Studios as a Service (for leisure artists who don’t want to build a kiln at home)

  • Pet Washing Stations as a Service (for dog owners)

Why This Might Fail

  • High overhead, capital intensive business model

    • Commercial real estate in high population areas may not always be cheap

    • Outfitting them takes significant CAPEX

    • Guitars, amps, drum sets need to be maintained and serviced

    • The business is counter intuitively more successful when less people show up, as it can then sign up more people for memberships based on the ratio of average activity to building fixed capacity (similar to a gym)

  • Bands breaking up = churn

    • The business’ initial growth is predicated on people bringing people they know to jam with

    • The business’ long term viability is predicated on being a match maker between people who want to jam

  • A Strictly 80’s Joel Rebellion

Potentially Reliable Stuff I Read at 3 AM

Irrelevant Post Script No Reputable Publication Would Allow

Get Hyped

Get Loud

Get Wise

“You have to enjoy it like a boy, play it like a man.”

-Marvelous Marvin Hagler