Roommates aren't just for twentysomethings. Christopher Hedge was running his solo sound-mixing studio out of a small space in Brisbane, Calif. His business, the Magic Shop, provides musical scores for video production houses. But the closest video studio was a 20-minute drive away. Hedge thought that if he could join forces -- and offices -- with a video postproduction facility, he could save clients valuable travel time. So in 1993 he approached Aldo Panattoni, CEO of $3 million Total Video Co., in South San Francisco.

Today the two companies share a common lobby, a receptionist, a kitchen area, and office machines. For a 12% cut of Hedge's monthly sales, Total Video handles much of the Magic Shop's administrative functions, including invoicing and scheduling. Hedge also pays $750 a month in rent -- just a little more than half of what he used to pay.

This article was adapted from material that first appeared in Inc. magazine in July 1997.