We met Gavin after we ran into someone using a Mountie in the wild. For those who haven’t heard of it, the Mountie allows you to add additional “monitors” to your laptop setup. For example, if you’re using a Mac setup, you can connect an iPad and now have a dual monitor setup anywhere you roam.
After sharing some of the things he’s learned trying to get a physical product into the Apple Store, we chatted about how and why a physical product company works out of coffee shops.
“We’re about a lifestyle where work is balanced with family and fun. We think it’s pretty awesome when you get to do what you love wherever you want.”
Did you start with the intention of having a distributed or nomadic team? If not, when did you decide to support people working remotely.
Nope, we weren’t quite sure where this journey would take us. As we grew, we realized that we wanted a structure that allowed us and anyone who joined our team, to work wherever we wanted.
What are some of the challenges you face as a team without a central location or office?
Communication is always a challenge. FaceTime is awesome, but it’s much easier when you’re all in the same space. We’re also all pretty good friends and when we get together, it can be difficult to remember to balance work talk with social talk.
What’s the upside that comes with not having a central location or office?
1. Really, really, really low overhead. 2. Ability to hire from anywhere in the world. 3. Live and work anywhere in the world.
Are there important non-office workspaces in the history of building your company—a favorite coffee shop, bar or similar space?
The house where it all started, 50 Christopher St and Las Vegas.
Any advice or best practices for supporting the work styles of your teammates from a distance?
Be flexible on schedules. Part of what makes working remote so wonderful is the opportunity to create our own work schedules, be with our families and live life. Sometimes it takes a day or two to connect and catch up, and that’s ok.
What types of places do your teammates choose to work from when remote?
Quality coffee shops with strong wifi and low foot traffic,
What qualities do you look for when hiring for a distributed team?
Confident, self-driven folks who know how to work in their pj’s, whatever they may be.
You’ve built great products that help the distributed workforce at large. Why did you choose to do that?
Truth: We really like being comfortable while being productive. For us, that meant productivity while on the couch and at coffee shops.
What are your thoughts on Workfrom’s role in the way work is getting done—now and in the future?
Working on the go has its own set of challenges. Finding a spot to get some focused time in is near the top of the list. Having a resource to find a place that suits my work style and schedule is pretty awesome.