When we first started Chapter Three, I had just relocated to rustic Trinidad California in beautiful Humboldt County, experimenting with a different pace of life from breakneck bike-borne Brooklyn. Being out in the country gave me the focused time and low cost-of-living that were essential in bootstrapping our new business, but with Matt and Zack based in SF, we always knew that's where the natural HQ would be.
While we're all more than comfortable with the "virtual office" setting -- and we still take advantage of that kind of freedom/flexibility to combine productive work and travel, as well as to meaningfully engage our network of partners and collaborators -- there are few channels with more bandwidth than face-to-face, a fact that remains true even in the era of iChat, especially when it comes to understanding client needs. We made a decision early on to go for it, to have a real office, and opened our lovely lofty 3rd Street headquarters within the first six months.
I've spent quite a lot of quality time there since. It's a great space that's given birth to some great Drupal sites, as well as a San Francsico's #1 Boutique Fixed-Gear Bike Manufacturer. Still, I always thought there was a lot of potential for a satellite spot up here in Humboldt (the "H.C." as I like to call it).
There are a lot of other bright tech minds up here who prefer to make a living telecommuting and enjoying the North Coast quality of life rather than joining the fray down in Silicon Valley. Seemed like an opportunity to tap into a whole new pool of talent, maybe even prove a different kind of model.
The idea appealed to my sense of how the internet is shifting economic realities and allowing new opportunities for creative minds. In contrast to the typical model of money evaporating as citizens spend their wages at franchise chain-stores on externally-manufactured goods, which let store-managers and workers draw a paycheck, but move all profits outside the local area, here we'd be positioned to bring new jobs and new capital in from all over the world.
Well I'm proud to say that as of this week, that idea is now a reality. We signed a lease to share space with the good people of Humboldt Bay Coffee Company:
The Humboldt county team is in full effect in beautiful Old Town Eureka. We've got high ceilings and lots of natural light in a recently renovated historic building:
And we've got internets and workstations up and running:
Of course, the space is pretty bare at the moment, and our meeting/scrum space is still being assembled:
But, thanks to our neighbors, we've got the most important piece of equipment set up and on the scene:
There are big plans afoot, as we look to pursue, discover, implement and extend the best practices for excellence in Drupal development, next-generation organizational structure and company culture. There will be plenty more to come, but for now I'm excited to be able to say our new office is open for business!