Jamel Oeser-Sweat featured in Medium article describing contributions to Coworking

Recently an article surfaced in which a reporter discovered that early contracts used by a WeWork predecessor looked remarkably like contracts created by Jamel Oeser-Sweat while he was counsel for Sunshine Suites, one of the largest coworking office spaces in New York City at the time. The article describes the early contributions of Jamel and his clients Cheni Yeralshalmi and Joseph Raby to the current state of coworking and describes how they were being cut out of the origin story of start up coworking spaces in the United States.

The article describes how Jamel created a new type of license agreement that replaced regular leases for startup companies. This approach was novel at the time because it governed how companies would operate in coworking spaces and also gave the proprietors the means to change the rules at a moment’s notice, which is the opposite of the stability you would see in lease agreements. This new approach, like a software license, allowed for all parties to evolve with the rapidly changing start up world and the needs of all parties involved.

Taking a page from Microsoft, which had helped pioneer the licensing of software, Oeser-Sweat wrote a contract that treated office space and other services the same way, redefining square footage as a business solution — “space as a service,” as the concept later became known — and tenants as licensees. It granted Sunshine the right to move people around at a moment’s notice and, eventually, even to update the agreement without warning, like a Terms of Service.

Aaron Gell / Medium

Check out the full Article here:

Was WeWork’s Business a Copy/Paste Job?

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