By David Leeds – Founder and CEO, Tango Card
We just finished an office remodel and expansion and it is
expensive, the best ever, disruptively good, award-winning, appropriate.
Every young company remembers its humble beginnings. There is usually a story of working in coffee shops, squatting in someone’s conference room, or maybe working in a shared space or an incubator for the lucky few. Tango Card was hatched in my cold, window-scarce, 80 square foot basement home “office”. The word I often associate with this very modest beginning – other than cramped, smells like coffee, cold, or some other four letter words – is appropriate. That tiny basement office was 100% appropriate for that stage of Tango Card.
We had big insights, big ideas, big goals and big plans but we had zero results: no paying customers, no proof of product and market fit and no revenue. It would have been impossible to justify an amazing office tricked out with modern furniture, game rooms and a chef. Even if we could have done this (we couldn’t) it would have sent a very wrong message to potential employees, partners and investors.
Things have changed for Tango Card. We have moved three times, continuing through over-crowding, an angry masseuse, diesel train fumes, an office getting torn down and finally into an incredible new office. The remodel made it completely open, with great windows and natural light and four much needed conference rooms. We also went in on some great colors, flooring, a sweet Big Chill orange fridge and a shuffleboard table. Located in the heart of West Seattle, we are right in the middle of a vibrant commercial area filled with restaurants, bars, groceries and retail. A perfect spot!
To geek out a bit, our new office is 50 times larger than the original basement office, 100% of the construction was covered by our tenant improvement budget, and the new furniture and entertainment items cost a fraction of a month’s revenue. We were able to accomplish a lot with our remodel, recognize the fact that we are not struggling to keep the lights on, but also build an office that is attractive and sustainable.
Best of all? Our space is great for where we are as a company. We now have hundreds of enterprise customers, our products are delivering real value, we have gelled and are executing as a team, and we’re growing quickly – 40,000% since our first year. BUT, we have a lot more to do. Our products can do more and they can help our customers more. We need to continue to evolve and groom our technology to make life easier for ourselves and our customers. We definitely need to do some more hiring. One thing we can count on – our new space reflects where we are as a company and provides an inspiring backdrop for the work we do. We have a space to think, to be creative, to move around, to collaborate, and to have some fun. Lastly, it’s appropriate for where we are as a company and it always will be.
Here are some pictures of the new Tango Card office:
David has great experience starting, scaling, and managing large enterprise businesses.He was cofounder and Senior Vice President of Strategy, Sales and Marketing at FiberTower. He has a MBA from Stanford and an undergraduate degree from University of Vermont. He generally leaves his baja hoodie at home.