We asked the Parkbench team what they thought of the new office space. Take a look at what they said.
The Journey To 3,000 Sq. Ft.
For those who read last week’s post, you might have read that we just moved into our biggest, most badass office space yet. Well, it happened. We finally found an office home where we can wear our work boots proudly. Years of hard work finally paying dividends in the form of 3,000 glorious square feet.
Just give me a second to stretch my feet, sink back in my chair, smile wide, and look around this massive space of neighborhood worship while I type this blog post. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh. Okay. I’m good now. I promise. Time to type.
This new office wasn’t just handed to us. The work gods didn’t drop this space in front of us via a Dumbo-sized Pelican flying majestically into the night. We didn’t take a massive investment from some billionaire Silicon investor. Nope. We earned every square foot. All 3,000 of them earned by overcoming 3,000+ obstacles. With straps on our boots, we did it all by ourselves. With a lot of hustle, very little sleep, and a whole lot of coffee. What started as two people and a dream, has now turned into a 15-person army, and 3,000 square feet of home turf to polish our skills and take over the world. But we’ll start with a neighborhood.
Parkbench started the way most entrepreneurs do — in a condo. Home was work. Work was home. It’s here where a place intended to sleep, eat, and rest became a work factory. A place to work out the bugs and figure out how we could turn our grand ambitions into a legitimate, real world, plan of attack. Little by little we closed the gap.
Well, sort of. Our first ever “office space” was right above an AA rehab centre. Which I guess was sort of fitting, considering Parkbench was our addiction. Also, since drunk people usually pass out on park benches when they’ve had too much to drink from their paper bag Moonshine. Only difference is we didn’t want to cure our addiction. While the drunks below us tried to get sober. We just got more addicted to our dream of becoming the number one neighborhood website in North America.
That office might have been an old, rickety, piece of shit, and felt like it was somewhere where we should be visiting our 90-something-year-old Great Aunt rather than going to work with a bunch of young twenty-something’s, it didn’t ruin our vibe. We weren’t spoiled. We weren’t entitled. We knew we hadn’t earned anything yet.
But after a while, we wanted to clean the drunks off our bench and disassociate ourselves from alcoholics, so we moved. Back to condo hopping we went. Our founders then packed their suitcases and became entrepreneur gypsies, travelling across the continent to sell new neighborhoods in new territories. From there the Parkbench office turned into a suitcase, a laptop, a hotel room, and Air B and B accommodation.
After new sales staff were hired, we moved into shared office space. But this wasn’t ideal. The best way to describe it is like growing up in a house where you had to share a room with your brother or a sister. In other words, while we were happy to be out of condo offices, it wasn’t what we wanted. We were selfish. We didn’t want to share our creative and entrepreneurial moxxy with another start-up.
This past summer it all came together for us. The best sales team to date was hired. The sales skyrocketed. And our founders started to grow tired of working out a suitcase and a makeshift apartment, and decided to come back home to Toronto to finally plant some office roots. Those roots were 3,000 square feet of office space.
As I type this blog while in my stocking feet on a Friday afternoon, looking out the window at the lowering sunlight and the weekend ahead, I think about what Drake said and how much more you appreciate the view from the top when you started at the bottom. It’s like growing up in a family that’s on welfare. You never got to own nice clothes, play on sports teams, or take nice family vacations. BUT NOW. Your family is rich, you move into a big house, you get to play with expensive toys, and you can’t wipe the million-dollar smile off your face.
Cheers, to 3,000 square feet.
Until next week everyone.