Virtual reality... for now at least
Why Zapnito is going virtual...
Back in the very early days of Zapnito, Jon and I met with a prominent venture capital firm in San Francisco. They were located in one of the prestigious Ferry Buildings, and I was pretty impressed with their space. Sadly for them, their landlord had just doubled their rent - again - and, ironically, this highly successful, growing firm was now on the hunt for somewhere more affordable. This is one of the reasons why we didn't establish Zapnito in San Francisco.
And yet here we are, in less glamorous Old Street, and the same thing is happening to us. We are saying goodbye to our warehouse studio in Silicon Roundabout.
So why are we doing this? Let's put aside for a second the fact that the landlord has doubled our rent twice in 12 months, on the yet-to-be-realised promise of fixing the place up to make it worthy of our clients. Or the fact that they want us to re-sign for a four-year term, by which point we will have out-grown this space 10-fold.
Much as these factors are annoying, the reasons for us to move on are more interesting (at least to us). And this is why we won't be taking a new office right away but instead will be going 'virtual', for an experimental few months at least.
Of course, we already have a flexible working model, where we all work wherever and whenever makes most sense for our business and our customers. By no means is this always our office.
Going properly virtual temporarily allows us to make best use of the tools and discipline we already have in place and assess what we - and our customers - really need from an office.
Also, to us, our current space represents our start-up phase, and as we continue to grow we want our next office to be suitable for what Zapnito is today. We want to take our time to find somewhere that is the right fit.
And as a bonus, we can save a bit of cash and put that money back into the product and service!
Personally, I love having an office space for meet ups. But I don't love the commute and sure, one day, would love to work from my kayak, so I can see great positives in our new way of working. Plus, I am a fan of Jason Fried's book Remote: Office not Required, so will be using this as my bible as I embrace our virtual working experiment.
Soon we will welcome you to our new awesome location, but for now we will sit at home in our bathrobes and do some great work, virtually.
But don't worry, we won't be showing up at our clients' offices dressed like Brian Wilson.