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/

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My Drone is in San Francisco Bay

Should I Expect To Lose A Drone Every 3 Months Or So?

Where I think my Drone is
At the end of the red arrow, under about 15 feet of water, is the new resting place for my drone. (From Apple Maps)

My drone is sitting at the bottom of San Francisco Bay. For reasons unknown to me or DJI, it entered “come home” mode while about 400 feet in the air, taking some great shots of San Francisco as the sun was coming up. As I wrote on Facebook: “Fuck!”

While flying the drone over Dreamforce a few days earlier, it entered “come home” mode unexpectedly, but I chalked that up to all the Wifi signals around the Moscone Center. Or maybe the fog. And then when I flew it over North Beach the day before it went into the Bay, all seemed good:

On this day, I got up extra early to catch the early morning sun and to fly the drone before starting work. I think the views were pretty good. I went down to the Ferry building, and flew out over the San Francisco Bay looking back at downtown, and should have been something like this:

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 12.38.27 PM
San Francisco from the Bay. (from Apple Maps)

What Am I Doing?

I’ve been back and forth with a diver about recovering the drone. It’s not too far out into the Bay, and because I watched it descend into the water as it was just a bit too far away… I think I know exactly where it is. I really want the SD card that shows the emergence into the water. Right? But I don’t have any hope for the drone to fly again.

Just got off the phone with DJI support, and I must say these guys rock. They need me to fill out a form describing exactly what happened, and the phone rep couldn’t tell me exactly what would happen next, but he said in these situations DJI takes care of it’s customers. He was very empathetic and reassuring.

Stay tuned for updates on the drone recovery and resolution of the issue with DJI.

Drone Flying at Dreamforce 2014

Dreamforce, San Francisco and Drones. What could be better?

My official purpose of being out here is to get feedback and engagement about the product my new, and still somewhat stealthy company is working on. And you know what? The feedback has been awesome. It’s extremely gratifying.

I’ve had two moments when I was able to sneak away and get the drone flying in the air to take some arial shots of the 100,000 crowded into SOMA for Dreamforce.

At Dreamforce, looking down on Howard Street
At Dreamforce, looking down on Howard Street

First flight went great, but the second flight, I guess I was a bit too ambitious and flew the drone up into the fog of San Francisco.

The Fog of Dreamforce
The Fog of Dreamforce

This then broke the connection with my remote controller and the drone – while the drone was at about 400 feet! Luckily the drone has a ‘return to home‘ mode, so it flew back to me and auto-landed in a crowd of about 100 people. I was really worried it would hit someone, or cause damage, but it didn’t. Whew!

I’m not going to fly it today — too many people to meet with — perhaps tomorrow again.