As you may know, for the last few weeks Dickson and I have been moving out of the office. It was early 2005 that we decided we needed a central place to setup shop and started looking around for one. We ended up at the Empire Building on 101st Street and Jasper Avenue, a building I had been in before. We moved into Suite 712 in late April. There were lots of reasons we chose this particular building – among other things, it is secure, renovated, and well-connected (can get any kind of Internet connection in there).
The biggest positive about the location is also the biggest negative – you can’t get more central than the Empire Building.
I loved being right smack dab in the middle of downtown Edmonton. The Jasper Avenue address looks good on marketing materials, for one thing. It feels like the place a business should be. More importantly, it is easy to get to from pretty much anywhere in the city. The office was more than a place for Dickson and I to code…it became a meeting place for us and our friends. Going to the hockey game? Let’s meet at the office and take the train. Out for dinner? Meet at the office and then we’ll go. It was quite handy!
But being so central has it’s drawbacks too. Parking is pretty much nonexistent…I don’t want to think about how much gas I wasted driving around looking for a meter. There’s also the issue of Edmonton’s street people – not a major problem, but sometimes an annoyance. And the biggest drawback of all – cost.
That’s the main reason we decided to bid farewell to the office. We’ve changed quite a bit in the last two and a half years, and we just couldn’t justify the cost any longer. Our servers are in a data center now, and we’ve been working remotely more and more frequently. As an Internet+software company, we don’t really have visitors in meatspace.
That said, I still think there is value in having an office, and we may find a new one before long. Being in the same room usually can’t be beat when you’re working to solve a problem. We certainly accomplished a lot in 712 over the years. A new office will certainly be somewhere else though, with a smaller monthly bill and lots of free parking 🙂
Moving is hard work. It feels like we have been moving out of the office for months! Tonight I finally handed over the keys and access cards, making it official. The broom in the picture above was one of the last things we moved out. It’s kind of funny, because neither of us remembers buying it, and it clearly hasn’t been used (the building had a cleaning staff). Moving is definitely a good opportunity to clean house.
Now it’s finally finished. Nothing left to move, and we’re officially a virtual company again. So long 712!