David Abraham of Outpost on Leading A Meaningful Life

Bali, Indonesia | June 19, 2019 | Zhixin Tan for KrASIA.

Founded in 2016, Outpost is a co-working and co-living space with properties in Bali’s Ubud and Canggu, as well as Phnom Penh in Cambodia. The company’s business model is simple: it acquires and takes over the management of underperforming hotels or cottage properties and transforms them into communal work and living spaces catered to anyone who is looking for a conducive environment to work on their projects away from home. 

The company’s founding coincides with the rise in demand for flexible work arrangements that many millennials have adopted. Seeking a better work-life balance, some members of the workforce who are in their 20s and 30s are utilizing web-based tools and stable internet connections to link up with their colleagues. This mode of operation isn’t replacing conventional nine-to-five arrangements, though it has created a new way of working that Outpost is capitalizing on. 

The company occupies a niche. Most other co-working and co-living brands’ locations are in urban areas for the sake of convenience, but Outpost has chosen to set up their three current locations outside of city centers. The decision to do that is traced back to Abraham’s own experiences.

The founder’s professional background spans many fields. He was a consultant at the United Nations Support Facility for Indonesian Recovery, oversaw budgets and foreign assistance programs at the White House Office of Management and Budget, and even had a stint in risk management at Lehman Brothers. He also ran a non-profit organization in Uganda, lectured in Lithuania on negotiations, and wrote a book titled The Elements of Power that discusses the effects of the growing demand of rare metals on the environment. 

To say that he is peripatetic would be an understatement.

Abraham spent most of his time working in cafes in Beijing and São Paolo when he was conducting research for The Element of Power. In these locations, he met people who, like him, were working on various projects that didn’t fit into a conventional office environment—and in fact demanded them to be in the field.

Whenever Abraham needed to focus and write, he would travel to Bali. Its distance from urban hubbub induced productivity in him. “[I] would see people working there [in cafes] and wonder why. Who were these people and why were they stuck in metropolises? Couldn’t they be based in idyllic locations at least some of the time?” Abraham wondered.


 To see the full article written by Zhixin Tan for KrAsia, click here.

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