In early 2000 we incorporated and started looking for Real Office Space. Eventually, we found a place that felt right. It was $2300/month for 1800 square feet, which was a great price for that part of town but it was more than we could really afford. The whole thing was exciting, scary and way out of our comfort zone.
There would be many benefits to getting the office space even if we could barely afford it. The courier might begin to respect us, for example. McDonald's wouldn't be the closest restaurant, and we could do job interview at the office instead of at a local cafe. Best of all, though, we'd just would have more space.
The rental contract was scary, including clauses that could be paraphrased as, "if you violate this agreement in any one of the following 23 ways, we're allowed to come in without warning, kick you out, confiscate all your stuff and put it in storage. If this happens, you will not only continue to pay rent, but you'll also pay the costs to keep your stuff in storage."
Evidently, all rental contracts contain that stuff, and so we signed on the dotted line and the space was ours.
Aaron's apartment breathed a sigh of relief, and quickly reverted to it's natural state, Extreme Mess.
This is how things looked once we moved in. Not much to see, really. We did receive many emails asking why Cara got stuck with a deck chair. "It's just her turn." we always replied.
Our tell-a-friend service was picking up steam, and we needed more hands on deck. In November 2000, Judd arrived as a co-op student from Uvic. He joined Blake in wrestling our servers, which were misbehaving due to the fast growth of our network. Eventually the servers were forced to submit, which was quite remarkable since they're located in San Antonio, Texas. We upgraded hardware constantly, going from a 600Mhz dedicated server at the beginning all the way up to a 6.733 Gigahertz cluster-setup. Whoosh.
The next step was to improve our office layout, which was initially in what we called "Clump Formation." We had learned that while there are some things to be said for an 'open plan' office, most of those things are, "it's too loud,"
and, "who's phone was that?
" Life got better when everyone had their own desks, which we did as soon as we could afford it. People are happier and get more work done when they have their own personal space.
As you can see above, having our own personal space brought out the inner neat freak in everyone.