A few weeks ago we took up camp in Twitter’s old office space on Bryant Street in San Francisco. We loved the location of our last office, but we moved into that space with 4 people in 2007 and found ourselves bursting at the seams when we finally left with nearly 30 team members crammed into that space.
Now we are at 539 Bryant, and we love it!
In addition to the awesome views, sprawling space, and great lighting, we’re also hoping some of Twitter’s good karma will rub off on us. 😉
As we were packing our desks, Adam (cofounder) and I took some time to reflect on the offices of Xobni over the past four years.
Adam started Xobni in his dorm room at MIT back in 2006. As you can imagine, he clocked lots of hours trying to understand the wealth of data hidden in email. A few months later I got a call from Adam. After some persuasion on Adam’s part I moved from the University of Maryland, where I dropped out of grad school, to focus on turning this email project into a business. I moved into MIT’s East Campus dorm with Adam. We lived and worked in that 12 foot by 12 foot space.
With school on hold* for both of us, and the dorm room getting a bit crowded, we rented an apartment near Harvard Square and were able to fully commit to this business we now called Xobni. And that we did. We worked all waking hours, usually until 5 or 6am when we’d rush to bed at daybreak, hoping to fall asleep before the sun would start to convince us otherwise. It was a crazy time.
When our summer lease ran out, we temporarily moved into the apartment of fellow Y Combinator startup founder, and now Xobni employee, Bryan Kennedy. Again, back in a cramped space, but this time with about $100k of angel funding in the bank. We began to contemplate our future. It wasn’t long before we realized we needed to be in the Valley if we wanted to give Xobni the greatest chance for success. We made the decision over a weekend and on Monday we started the 3,000 mile drive to California.
Office #4 was a “deluxe apartment in the sky” at The Crystal Towers in San Francisco. This “office” still has probably the best view of any office I’ll ever have. The place was so great that many other Y Combinator startups moved into the building. It became known as the “Y Scraper.”
Now that we were in San Francisco and closer to the action, it wasn’t long until we raised our first big round of funding, $4M bucks. Finally with cash in the bank we decided we could do two things: hire employees and get a real office.
The employees came first. Greg and Gabor. They both moved into the Y Scraper. They worked out of our apartment with us.
Office #5 (no quotes this time!)
Finally in June of 2007, over a year after starting the company and after working out of 4 different “offices” we moved into our first legitimate office** at 211 Sutter Street, one block from Union Square. This is where we launched Xobni to the world. Everything feels like it’s been on fast-forward since then.
Four million downloads and many employees later, here we sit at 539 Bryant Street in a space that will be able to hold us for at least the next year or two. (Note: we are growing fast – check out these current positions we are hiring for.) Looking back, there’s not one move that we regret. It has been a lot of fun and we and even a bit nostalgic to think about the places we’ve called Xobni’s home.
* We never went back. 🙂
** One that wasn’t our primary residence (though we did sleep our fair share of nights in the office).
Photo credits (new office): Mitch Aidelbaum