Matthew Perry was in a tough spot. The serial entrepreneur had been a member at WeWork for for six years, but his latest venture wasn’t bringing in enough money to pay for an office.
“I couldn’t afford to spend money when this new company wasn’t making money yet,” says Perry.
Perry decided to bootstrap his new company Winston out of his apartment, with plans to “fight, scratch, and claw his way back to being able to justify paying rent.” Having spent over 6 years in the WeWork community Perry sent a notes to WeWork team members, thanking them for always making him feel at home.
That’s when WeWork cofounder Miguel McKelvey, who had known Perry for years, intervened. McKelvey wrote to Perry offering him a free year-long hot desk membership with hopes that it would help to “get your new business off the ground.”
“Hopefully it will help you on the path to more success,” McKelvey added in an email.
Perry gratefully accepted the offer, and is now a member at New York City’s WeWork Bryant Park. Perry says “there’s something about WeWork that feels like family to me.”
Perry is no stranger to launching businesses. At 18, he ran a courier service called Beetle Express out of his red Volkswagen Beetle. Launched “long before Uber Rush existed,” it failed within six months. His next venture, The Shop Interactive, lasted three years.
Admitting that he “didn’t know how to run a business,” Perry decided to “figure it out before he tried it again.” He earned a degree in theoretical math before continuing along his entrepreneurial path.
After visiting many office spaces that weren’t the right fit, Perry joined WeWork in 2011.
“I walked into WeWork Empire State, and it was much more me,” says Perry. “The spaces are very well designed, and when you bring a client to your office, it has an appeal.”
Perry says for an entrepreneur like himself, WeWork lets him focus on growing his business.
“From someone at the front desk, to the garbage, to the cleaning—all of that stuff is taken care of for you,” Perry remarked. “If you’ve never had to do it yourself, you may not appreciate it. But if you have, you really appreciate the value WeWork brings to your peace of mind, employees, and brand.”
In the six years he’s been at WeWork, Perry says his company’s needs have changed many times. That’s why a flexible space is so important.
“We had a month or two that went south and I had to reduce our headcount in order to save the company,” he says. “Because I was at a WeWork location, I was able to downsize during this temporary low point.”
Perry recently shifted his focus to Winston, an app that helps parents schedule play dates for their kids.
“Being a parent, I found it crazy that there weren’t any decent products that made life easier for them,” he says. “I started Winston with the idea we could transform how busy parents juggle their responsibilities. Playdates are just the beginning.”
With thoughts on Winston’s future, Perry says he’s grateful to McKelvey and the staff at WeWork.
“From the bottom of my heart, there’s nowhere I’d rather be doing it than at WeWork,” Perry says. “That’s just been my experience over the past 6-plus years as a member.”