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Coffitivity: the coffee shop vibe on your desktop


How would you like to have the vibe of a coffee shop on your desktop? A group of creative and coffee shop lovers have launched Coffitivity to help boost creativity at work! Justin Kauzler, one of Coffitivity’s founders, noticed that going to coffee shops helped him to get work done. However, once he returned to his subdued and quiet office, his productivity decreased significantly. One day, when Kauzler’s boss denied his request to work from a coffee shop, his colleagues and him decided to record their favourite coffee shop hubbub and bring it into their office.

With some audio equipment they recorded their first favourite coffee shop sounds. “It had just the right mix of everything,” Mr. Callwood said. “You could get the coffee machine, and you had people talking and eating. It has two levels, and we got the vibe upstairs and downstairs.” Having experienced the soundtrack at their office and enjoying it, the team created a website http://coffitivity.com which provides the coffee shop vibe to people all around the world. Nowadays, Seoul is their top user city, New York the second and then comes London, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Although, Kauzler and his colleagues work experience has led them to create Coffitivity, they don’t count only on that to advertise their project. They are aware and share on their website a new study published in the Journal of Consumer Research . The research explores the effects of ambient noise on creative cognition. According to this, a moderate level of ambient noise stimulates processing information, leading to abstract cognition and thus enhancing creativity. On the other hand, a high level of noise weakens creativity by reducing the extend of information processing. Finally, “extreme quiet ambient tends to sharpen our focus, which can prevent us from thinking in the abstract.”

I have listened to one of Coffitivity’s soundtracks, I must confess I felt productive. I must also admit that it is a very creative idea and the fact that there are so many people interested in downloading the coffee shop vibe amazes me. However, the idea and its popularity also makes me question how lonely we have become, how disconnected from reality we are willing to be when we try to reproduce, sell and download every experience. I still think that real coffee shops, its aroma and people that come in and out are irreplaceable.


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