Tech Layoffs - Opportunity for Tech Cooperatives?

Thanks to @BillySmith for registering for tomorrow’s chat (despite his tech puritanism!) as well as @Graham. Can confirm this is happening if anyone else wants to join us :+1:


I’m not in a position to offer advice or build a application so I don’t think I’d be of much use at the meeting, however I’d be happy to setup one or more sub-domains and a hosting account for a static or PHP based site, I’d need to know the sub-domain(s) required and the URL(s) of the SSH public keys to add to the account.


It’s not puritanism.

It’s called “eating your own dog-food”. :smiley:

Edit: Chewing over this while waiting for the meeting to start.

It can also be called “Enlightened Class Self-Interest.”

It can be called Solidarity.

In SME terms, it’s passing the work on to someone who will pass work on to you. :smiley:

1 Like

:pray: Many thanks to @chrislowis @Graham and @BillySmith who joined me for a chat about this topic just now. Notes here: Etherpad

Next steps:

  • Doug to set up appointment slots using Google Calendar, embed in simple web page
  • Doug to write content for page
  • Ask @chris for subdomain
  • Billy, Chris L, Doug, and Graham to be available via group chat on this forum to see who can field booked chat (Weds PM / Fri PM)

I’m planning to have the world’s simplest web page with an embedded form up on GitHub pages in a week’s time. We’ll then CNAME that to a CoTech subdomain, and start promoting. Perfect, as Chris L reminded us, is the enemy of good.

If you couldn’t make the meeting but would like to be involved in some way, here’s some ways you could get involved:

  • Meetings - can you volunteer some of your time to talk to people? (Doug will be fielding the initial enquiries)
  • Copywriting - what should the web page say? how can we encourage people who are co-op curious while putting off people just looking for ‘a job’?
  • Design - how can we convey what co-ops (and CoTech) are about simply and effectively?
  • Tech - once we’ve proved the value proposition, how could we do this in a more streamlined way?
  • Marketing - which are the different channels we could use to promote this once it’s up-and-running?

As mentioned on the call, v. happy to do some copywriting, and also to help push it out with some relevant tweets, linkedin posts and the like.


I’m happy to contribute time for meetings

1 Like

Hey all, this is now live:

(it would be awesome if it didn’t have my name on it, but it’s just the MVP)

We’ve already got give people booked in if anyone wants to lend a hand? Co-ordination via a chat channel on this forum and a spreadsheet.

All that’s needed for the initial 30 minute chat, I think is:

  1. Ensure they’ve read Cooperative identity, values & principles | ICA so they actually know what a co-op is(!)
  2. Listen to their story and give some encouragement
  3. Explain that, unlike regular businesses where you have a ‘business plan’ and then find people to execute it, co-ops are more likely to be successful if you find the people you want to work with first

I think everything else is a bonus, but depends on the situation. What do other people think?


Sounds good to me Doug. I’m looking forward to chatting with people. Good work!


I’d be up for being on a rota to talk to people, partly becuase I’m looking into developing a “Co-op clinic” for on a similar concept of a volunteer pool of people, able to have an intial talk to co-op with a problem that needs solving. So this is a good pilot!


Thanks @athertonjohn! I’ve tried to add you to the chat channel here on Discourse but it doesn’t seem to let me :thinking:

Weird, because I’ve successfully just added @bevangelist

Also, let’s have a chat about that strategy doc as there’s a bunch of things that WAO can get done on that list!

1 Like

I’m not technically a member of Co-tech as I don’t work in a tech co-op. So that might be the reason.

1 Like

Same here, though i’ve been added to the chat. :smiley:

Once i find some co-founders, we’ll be happy to become a CoTech co-op. :smiley:

@BillySmith it sounds like you have been added to the Members group on this forum in error (I’m not sure when that happened or who did that?) – it is only for people who work for tech co-ops that are members of CoTech I’m afraid.

The Chat functionallity was originally set to only be available to members of CoTech but yesterday it was also made available to the Sisters group, perhaps we need another group for people like Billy, something like Friends, so we can grant them access to the Chat as well?

1 Like

That may have been @dajbelshaw adding me so i could talk via the chat about the sessions.

Happy to take part however you want to categorise me, as long as i can help. :smiley:

Also, if you know anyone who is interested in working on hardware in a co-operative business, please put them in touch. :smiley:

Sorry, that was me :grimacing:

Great to see this convo going as I’m currently in the stage of seeking out folx interested in forming cyber security/data privacy tech coop. I’m familiar with coops as i’m also co-founding some in other areas(learning, educational, wellness…) however tech does seem to have some of its own intricacies’ I would be candidate for the friends category in the chat and possibly signing up to chat. Pretty dope how you all put this together so quick :slight_smile:


Please do book a session @melba! And yes, this is the most MVP-like thing I’ve ever been involved in :sweat_smile:

1 Like

Hey everyone, just to say three things:

  1. The Digital Candle experiment was a success! We had 17 bookings in total, despite minimal promotion.
  2. I’m heading on holiday for three weeks, so I’ve removed the Google Calendar embed from
  3. There’s some discussion to take this over as a thing. More details when I have them.

My thanks to @BillySmith @Graham, @chrislowis, @athertonjohn, @bevangelist, @KingMob, & @laura for volunteering their time as part of this experiment! :slight_smile:


Hi all,

It is brilliant to see some quick action on something that could be a great opportunity. That said, I’d like to try and reignite option 1 from way back up in the thread… hiring into an existing coop. It’s a much easier proposition for prospective joiners!

At Equal Care, we’re trying to hire for a mid-senior tech position now. It’s very difficult to stand out in the crowd of tech jobs (especially on the salary front), but I know there are scores of people that would trade some salary for the chance to work on something meaningful. This is especially true of those who might have become disillusioned with Big Tech.

Can anyone help us out by suggesting groups/forums/communities etc. that they think might be receptive to this message (which would be just as much “there’s another way to do tech” as it would be a job ad)? Are there any existing resources for collating these spaces? Should we make one?