As our bootstrapped eCommerce startup, LemonStand, grew steadily, it demanded 2 additional employees. We started feeling the pinch of being away from where all the local action is in Vancouver as we continued to grow and needed to bring on even more people.
Building a team
Finding the right team members for a startup is a challenge as it is. They need to comfortable with some growing pains. They need to be OK with, or even enjoy, helping out in various areas and not sitting in a cubicle doing a very narrowly defined job for exactly 8 hours. They need to see the potential and truly want to contribute to the company's success.
The pool of people like this is growing in Vancouver as the startup scene there expands.
For a while, one justification we made for staying in Mission was the cost of leasing office space. It seemed more affordable, in comparison to what we saw in realtor's flyers with commercial space.
But Josh Owen had some lucky timing and contacted us right when we started feeling the pain of being in Mission. He helped us find several suitable spaces that not only fit our budget, but fit our culture and style. They were in restored heritage buildings in downtown Vancouver, had a lot of character and were home to other tech companies. Perfect.
We were surprised to find the spaces we did. All the listings we saw were for stuffy, clone-like office towers with absolutely no character. Oddly enough, these were normally the most expensive, probably because of the traditional business types they attract like law firms and accountants.
Making the leap
In March, we decided to go to where the people were and make the city our new home. We'll be in the heart of the startup scene, have access to meetups and other industry events and be able to invite like-minded folks over for coffee.
We're now in the final stages of negotiation on a 1000 sq. ft. office lease just outside Gastown. It's 2 blocks away from waterfront station, so getting their from Mission by train works out perfectly.