WW presents "Distant Voices," a daily video interview for the era of social distancing. Our reporters are asking Portlanders what they're doing during quarantine.
'Tis the season for cabin fever. Working from home lost its luster months ago. Your turn for a coronavirus vaccine is months away. What you wouldn't give for an hour in the local coffee shop, right?
Darren Buckner hopes you feel that pang.
Buckner is the founder of Portland startup Workfrom. Nine months ago, his company was in the business of helping people find the nearest coffee shop, cafe or co-working space to spend an hour. In March, those "third places" closed—and Workfrom lost 95% of its business.
As Buckner explains to WW correspondent Anthony Effinger, Workfrom tried another business: the virtual cafe. In this interview, Buckner gives attendees of WW's TechfestNW a tour of those cafes, and explains who you'll find next to you.
"It opens up your ability to connect with humans when you are not near humans," Buckner says.