I’ve made a lot of mistakes when it comes to business building and I’m constantly looking to improve.
One of the areas that I could have done better in the past was related to the physical office, building it out, and the overhead expenses related to keeping it up.
What I’ve come to realize (and what I can’t wait to execute against) is that office environments, despite how cool they can be, oftentimes provide very little overall value in the grand scheme of things.
And… unfortunately… I would know… I blew some serious cash for one previous company… just check out this 8-bit retro mural I had done:
So, although this was awesome, I’m not sure that I would do that again, especially during that stage of the company’s life.
But, whatever. Live and learn! But the point is this: The perks of having the best furniture (or most stylish) in the best parts of town does not do much to actually help a company move the necessary needle(s) forward.
In fact, they can be a distraction and a huge bite into your overall burn-rate. I think the last few months have been stark reminders that you can build some really neat stuff without a physical office.
Sure I love remote / virtual work and distributed teams like most people but there’s something really important and powerful of being physically present in the beginning, together, as you build something out of nothing.
This is partly the reason why I’ve been traveling so much as I work with my founding team and make sure we have the face-time necessary to put things in motion.
The office layout doesn’t really matter. The types of furniture within the space doesn’t really matter. The types of other so-called “perks”… those don’t really matter either.
I think it’s an exciting challenge to find out clever, creative, and most importantly, effective ways to provide a healthy physical environment for your staff while saving money.
I think there’s also something somewhat romantic about it as well, but, maybe that’s just me.