Want to build a good software company? Squeeze four people into an office for one

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I’ve been working with a new startup for the last few months (which explains my silence here).

This company is crammed into a single office. There are usually three people working in the office…and when I’m there, I make four. I work from on a small “piece” of an Ikea desk, kindly lent to me by my colleague (who also snapped this photo of us working today).

And this is among the most exciting and satisfying work environments I’ve ever had. Stuff gets done in this environment. Consensus is reached quickly, often with simple nods and clipped phrases. There are no secrets, no politicking. Just amazing productivity.

And even when we’re getting on each others’ nerves, it’s productive. In such a confined space, you have to get past whatever pissed you off fast, because that’s the only way you can continue to be just feet from three other people.

And, as you might imagine, the proximity makes lighter moments even more humorous. Jokes ripple ’round the room, acquiring layer on layer of humor.

This can’t last, of course, even though personally, I am in favor of cramming the next three hires into the same office with the four of us. But for as long as it does last, it’s the most intensely creative and productive office environment I’ve ever worked in.





5 responses to “Want to build a good software company? Squeeze four people into an office for one”

  1. James Avatar


  2. marla Avatar

    does anyone know if the smart-looking intense man in the tangerine shirt is Neihaus, the author of these writings/essays

    1. Alex Neihaus Avatar
      Alex Neihaus

      Yup, that’s me. But I thought the shirt was orange, not tangerine.

  3. Humberto Avatar

    If I were working behind such an attractive woman, as in the photo, I would not mind that environment either.

  4. Maya Avatar

    So true!

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