Since startup companies are building and promoting the coolest new apps and tools, their offices have to be just as cool, right? The stigma surrounding the quintessential “startup office” is sometimes just as fun as the latest products and features that come out of it. From chalkboard walls (guilty) to ping-pong tables (guilty), this work environment is totally recognizable. We asked some of our friends here in Indianapolis what they considered to be the tell-tale signs that you’ve just walked into a startup. From genuine to tongue-in-cheek, here’s what they had to say:
“People are throwing a dollar in the pot to participate in Tie Day Friday: remember the joy that filled your heart in anticipation of Casual Friday? That used to be really special, and startups have pretty much ruined the sacredness of that day. There’s a growing trend among startups to create special days where employees go a step above ‘snappy casual.’ Chuck Taylor’s with a tie … that ought to do it.”
– Isaac Pellerin, Tinderbox
“Way too many Starbucks cups on desks and in the conference rooms: whether you are a triple shot espresso kind of player or a fan of iced green tea, a drink from Starbucks is the preferred fuel for many of those who call startups their home. And be on the lookout for the Starbucks Gold Card carrier in the crowd — they get free brewed coffee and iced tea refills!”
– John Wechsler, Launch Fishers
“To those not familiar with the startup culture, here are a few things they might notice:
– Are those developers or a rock band? They dress the same …
– The #1 drink around the office is Red Bull.
– There are parking spots outside for bikes and scooters.
– (when referring to the company’s brand) ‘And that name means …?'”
– Andy Clark, Right on Interactive and Doug Karr, DK New Media
“In a startup office, the people-side of a company is everywhere. It’s in the furniture, the layout, the design; you’re not just seeing glimpses of character in desk pictures or cubical walls. The entire environment is a showcase of the organization’s brand and personality.”
– Denver Hutt, Speak Easy Indy
To those who work at a startup (or former startups), what essential elements are found in your office?