John Snow was my Uber driver

Would you give this man a 5-star rating?

Would you give this man a 5-star rating?

It was one of those really strange dreams.

I was having dinner in my hometown of Huntington, NY, with a woman who worked for me in the early part of the century. We were a bit estranged in real-life, with my having fired her and all. Employment situations aside, I always really liked her and was glad to have reconnected.

Of course she needed to tell me she had terminal cancer, which put a bit of damper on the evening, but she seemed in good enough spirits.

In my dream Huntington was a maze of twisty little streets, many of them one ways. When it came to leave, and I called an Uber, John Snow had a lot of trouble finding us. In fact, we had to walk to a mutually convenient spot that just to find him.

He was apologetic about getting lost.

What was that all about?

WeWork: One Year Later

team-spiro-copy

Team Spiro working hard at the WeWork office.

With my past companies, I’ve leased commercial space all over Boston, and after having spent a year leasing from WeWork, it’s been great. Highly recommended for any start-up.

Our primary office is in WeWork’s South Station (Boston) office, and we’re in WeWork SOMA (San Francisco) about once a month. I tend to describe the environment as “a college dorm for start-ups”. Rows and rows of glass offices filled with promising young companies.

Best Things About WeWork

As an entrepreneur, it’s super convenient and easy. No big deposit, no long-term commitment, and included furniture mean that it’s extremely capital efficient. We’ve moved offices twice as we’ve grown, and it’s been seamless.

The locations are super: right near the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and literally steps from Boston’s biggest train station in South Station. You know what they say is the most important thing in real estate? Exactly.

The offices themselves are very ‘space efficient’ which basically means that they fit a lot of people into a small amount of square feet, but somehow they don’t feel overly cramped because around 90% of the walls are glass. The glass also has a cultural impact as it reinforces corporate transparency. It also gives a buzz to the place as you see everyone working hard, even if you have no idea who they are or what they’re doing.

It's too bad for our intern, but you need to be 21 to drink beer at WeWork.

It’s too bad for our intern, but you need to be 21 to drink beer at WeWork.

WeWork promotes their “community” and social app. I’m not sure about the app, but we’ve made good connections here at WeWork but for suppliers and customers. TriNet, who provides our HR and payroll services, came through WeWork and we even received a big discount as a WeWork member.

There is always coffee and beer on tap, and almost every day some sort of event where there is free food or drinks. The team in both locations is top notch and extremely helpful. Somehow the bottle of Macallan we keep in the office to celebrate was emptied one night and they promptly replaced it.

What’s Not To Like?

My new company, Spiro Technologies, is focused on breathing new life into sales technology. We’re a bunch of extroverts. I spoke with a CEO who is temporarily in the WeWork space who is an introvert and leading a more introverted team. They weren’t quite as excited by the rah-rah attitude around here.

It can be a bit nosy, and occasionally we get into a “who can play the music louder” war, but that quickly resolves itself.

Even though we have a team office, when the guys across the hall insist on dribbling a basketball, it does seem to disturb the peace.

But — whatever! Each and everyone of the 20+ leases I’ve signed have turned in to challenges in some way. Much less headaches here in WeWork.

We’re Planning On Staying

The experience has been great for us. As we grow, I expect there to be a point where it makes sense to lease our own office space, but I’m going to try to push that out as long as possible. It’s just too easy and good here at WeWork.

Become A Legendary Salesperson

Spiro will soon be releasing an amazing app that will turbocharge the professional life of salespeople. Apply for our private beta program: http://spirohq.com/download-spiro/

My Top Albums of 2014

Best albums of 2014

It’s been an interesting year in music for me. So much great stuff tumbling out of Spotify, it’s been hard to keep up! (I did pull together mixes based on my favorite tracks from the spring, summer and fall.) With all of these great songs, there really haven’t been many albums that have kept my attention.

But the one that did were great! Here were my favorites:

Ex Hex – Rips

I love the meta description from their website: “Ex Hex is what your older brother’s friends listened to. It’s what your babysitters listened to.” My description (to my brother): the Ramones crossed with Sleater-Kinney. (His response, “isn’t that what Sleater-Kinney is?”)

St Vincent – St Vincent

As discussed before, it’s an electronic, rock, vocal mix of songs that really catch me.

Spoon – They Want My Soul

Great album from one of the all time great bands. If you haven’t read the New York Times Magazine article on them, I suggest you check it out.

Todd Terje – It’s Album Time

Loungy (loungey?), moody and strange. Caused my assistant to come into my office and say “what is that you’re playing.” But captivating at the same time.

Real Estate – Atlas

These ‘surf rock’ dudes fill an important ecological niche in my household: great sounding music that isn’t too ‘hard’ for the kids and Veronica. Managed to push Jack Johnson off the radio.

I took a quick gander at Metacritic and it seems that some top albums are represented on their Best of 2014 list: St Vincent was #2 and Ex Hex was #18. Well, at least I didn’t like A.K.A. by Jennifer Lopez, their lowest rated album of the year!