The 6 most awesome and inspirational startup offices

If you’re starting up in business and looking for some workspace inspiration – you won’t go far wrong taking some tips from these award-winning, diverse and sometimes outright strange startup office spaces! From ultra-modern to vintage chic – there’s something that’ll reflect any business brand…

You might be thinking that these big names aren’t just starting out – you’re right of course… but you don’t have to dial the clock back far to the point where any of these companies were just good ideas and empty office spaces! From their humble beginnings less than 10 years ago to the incredible office spaces and building that they now occupy, in cities that across the world, many of which has been built in commercial steel framed buildings that have been for sale – each of these has gone from a few people in a room – to a household name, meaning you might want to emulate more than just their taste in wallpaper!

  1. Spotify

Ten years ago, Spotify was 8 people in an office, now the music startup boasts around 140 million active users and 50 million paid subscribers – with their tracks occupying around 2 billion playlists. From its humble beginnings in Stockholm – to its 20 offices in 2017 – it’s doing a lot right in the competitive world of music streaming…

In 2014 Spotify opened their flagship office in New York – and the place has more than a few nods to the historic NYC music scene. The Spotify success timeline playfully decorates the main entrance walls and there’s a slightly stripped-back industrial vibe to the rest of the building – which has amazing music making facilities dotted throughout. Banks of iconic Marshall amps prop up Fender Stratocasters – assumedly on hand in case of a bored rock star in house! 80s style graffiti adorns the walls and there’s even an external deck that gives an awesome vista of its New York setting.

  1. Etsy

Etsy is the online place to be if selling vintage and handmade goods is up your street! Create a store, fill it with your products and Etsy does the rest. With millions of sellers and customers, it is without doubt the biggest vintage and custom-made marketplace in the world – and it’s run from extremely quirky offices in Dumbo, Brooklyn.

Imagine a large studio style office with enormous windows, clean white walls and a stripped back wooden floor – now imagine your mad, knitting-obsessed Aunt has been given a few days to decorate! The result is patchwork woollen covers around the exposed pipework, custom painted doors that give you the impression you’re stepping into a London phone box or a seaside chalet – and a wonderful mix of vintage and modern desks, chairs and storage. A site like Etsy was never going to have a boring office!

  1. Airbnb

Airbnb is the innovative company that makes it easy to find holiday rentals, homes and places. It does this by operating as a middleman between you and the owner of the space. Don’t expect to find hotels on here – instead, you’ll find people’s apartments that you can occupy when they’re out of town, spare rooms that mean you can holiday alongside people’s lives and even longer-term rentals for those who choose the city-to-city nomadic life.

Airbnb took an incredible approach to decking out their headquarters – they drew inspiration exclusively from their team’s favourite listings on the site! If you’re looking for a breakout area to hold an impromptu meeting you’ll find one that’s reminiscent of someone’s quirky shabby-chic home office. Looking for the bathroom? Expect the oddities that you’ll find in some of the most interesting bathrooms on the site’s rental holiday lets (one even including a copy of a customer’s picture of Burt Reynolds watching you wash your hands!)

  1. Evernote

Evernote is the innovative multi-platform organisation and productivity tool that seems to feature in the toolkit of most successful entrepreneurs. Whether you’re on your phone, tablet or computer you can capture, organise and share your notes across all your platforms – meaning Evernote becomes, as they put it – “your second brain”.

If clean and uncomplicated is your thing you’ll love Evernote’s headquarters in California. There’s a definite minimalist vibe to the place – and the masses of space (around 80,000sq feet) means there are no end of individual areas where employees can duck out and do some quiet work. The space gives more than a nod toward being green too – the walls in the entrance area have water conserving plants that recycle some of the building supply and create an eye-catching feature.

  1. Quirky

If you haven’t heard of Quirky you might want to grab a coffee and write off a little while to pondering how you could collaborate with them! They take product ideas and make them happen – so, let’s say you’ve got a daily problem and you’ve daydreamed your way to a design idea that would fix said problem – you submit it to Quirky and if they like it, they’ll put a research and design team on it! Many of their products end up in international stores and you’ll get a cut of the final idea’s profits too…

Quirky’s office is awesome, a fantastic blend of office space, specialised design workspaces and actual workshops with sophisticated 3D printing facilities. If you’ve seen the futuristic workspaces in ‘Westworld’ you’re thinking on the right lines, glass partition walls and floating workstations – although Quirky have more stripped back wooden floors , original warehouse fittings and significantly fewer robotic killing machines… as far as we know.

  1. Instagram

Instagram is the world’s favourite photo sharing social media platform – an absolute must if your day is not complete without a hefty dose of cat, coffee and mealtime pictures! Instagram has made amateur photographers out of us all – and now boasts over 700 million users…

The mind behind Instagram’s office look is Lauren Geremia – who has some incredible Californian startup clients under her belt. She went for a look that very much encapsulates what Instagram is all about – simple photography, uncomplicated design – and some vintage tones and hints. As a result – you get fairly plain walls, high quality furniture that’s a mix of new and retro – all highlighted with tones reminiscent of that sepia style effect you can put your pictures. If we’re talking in Instagram language we’d be saying modern meets vintage – with a ‘toaster’ filter…

Patience is a Virtue but Persistence Pays the Bills

Recent figures indicate that as many as 8 out of 10 new businesses fail in the first 18 months. In fact, if you’re any good at the game you have a better chance of walking away from the blackjack table in Vegas a winner then you do of starting a successful business.

But there’s no need to abandon your business plans and start buying lottery tickets just yet, because one of the least talked about secrets to entrepreneurial success isn’t angel investors, it’s good old fashioned persistence. If you can weather the storm at the point when most people would be toss the towel you might just come out the other side on top.

Here are 6 companies that were staring into the abyss but stuck it out to become big time winners.

1. Apple – Few remember it now but there was a time in the late 20th century when Apple was on the verge of going under. It was 1997 and the company had just re-hired founder and former CEO Steve Jobs to help pull it out of a death spiral that had started in 1985 when Jobs walked away to pursue other interests. What he returned to was a company on the verge of bankruptcy; one in desperate need of capital to jumpstart new initiatives.

Where Jobs found that capital sent more than a few Apple nerds running to the freezer for a pint of Ben and Jerry’s to soothe their wounded psyches. Because to rescue his now fledgling company Jobs turned to the evil empire itself: Microsoft. Bill Gates agreed to invest $150 million in Apple and Jobs used the money to launch the iMac and perform a branding makeover that started the company on a now 20 year run of market dominance. The moral here? Never be so full of yourself that you are unable to act in your own self-interest.

2. SpaceX – Seems like a month doesn’t go by these days when we don’t see video of a SpaceX launch. The company has become a beacon to an up-and-coming generation of forward-thinking, outward-looking designers, engineers and visionaries. But it wasn’t always that way.

In 2008 the company was just getting its legs when the global financial crisis hit and knocked it for a loop. Investment capital dried up and founder Elon Musk contemplated closing the company down, or closing down his other startup, Tesla, and folding resources from that company into SpaceX to keep it flying.

Unwilling to accept defeat Musk instead submitted a bid to NASA to supply the Space Station and wound up beating out the competition. The $1.6 billion he received from that contract reinvigorated SpaceX and allowed him to keep Tesla afloat as well.

3. FedEx – FedEx was the brainchild of Fred Smith who proposed the idea in a paper when he was a college student during the 60s.

His professor thought the concept untenable and gave the paper a C but Smith was undeterred. In 1971, shortly after leaving college, he started Federal Express. But 2 years later the company was haemorrhaging cash and heading for bankruptcy. After General Dynamics turned him down for emergency financing, Smith took a flight to Vegas on a lark and won $27,000 playing – you guessed it – blackjack (the equivalent of $153,000 in 2017 dollars).

He used that money to meet payroll and shortly after secured an estimated $60 million in venture capital that allowed him to turn his stumbling delivery experiment into what is today the world’s largest delivery company and 4th largest airline by number of planes.

4. Reddit – Reddit today is a household name and reddit.com the 9th most visited website in the world. But it almost didn’t make it out of the starting gate. For months after launching in 2005 the website had a hard time attracting any more than the occasional accidental visitor.

Things were looking desperate and bankruptcy loomed when the founders decided that if the mountain wouldn’t come to them, they’d have to go to the mountain. They established a slew of fake Reddit accounts and began to hold fake conversations on the site that slowly began to attract some real attention.

Once the number of visitors hit critical mass the fake accounts were deleted and, well, the rest is history.

5. Airbnb – Airbnb is a company formed around a single airbed and an idea for creating lodging for travelers unable to secure rooms in overbooked or overpriced hotels. It had the unfortunate luck however to launch just as something called credit default swaps began swallowing the economy bones and all.

As such, the company’s founders were shunned by investors left and right who were turning inward and focusing on short term survival. They had a number of opportunities early on to fold up their tent and go home. Instead they pulled out all the stops in order to raise enough money to build a website and spread the word (including creating custom breakfast cereals based on the 2008 presidential candidates).

Their machinations worked and in 2009 they were able to raise nearly $9 million in venture capital. Today the company has 150,000,000 users and is valued at $31 billion. Pass the milk.

6. Uber – Depending on who is talking, Uber is either the greatest thing since sliced bread or Satan’s personal vendetta against taxi drivers. And yet without some incredible persistence on behalf of founders Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp it certainly wouldn’t have made it into this discussion.

You see being perceived as the devil’s favourite company has a way of attracting negative attention and the company has had plenty. From cease and desist orders to class action and wrongful death lawsuits to charges of operating an illegal taxi business and even charges of sexism. It’s been a steady barrage of negativity levelled at the company but Kalanick and Camp have kept the blinders on and today sit atop a company that generated $6.5 billion in revenue in 2016 and operates all over the world.
The Bottom Line

Success in business requires a good idea hitting the market at the right time. In some cases though persistence – the simple refusal to take “no” for an answer – is every bit as important to avoiding bankruptcy as the idea itself.

4 Mistakes That Will Affect Your Tech Startup

No matter what industry you’re in, starting a business is hard. What’s even more challenging is launching a startup. In addition to attempting to build a company from scratch, entrepreneurs often have little experience and knowledge in the tech and business world and tend to try and do things themselves which eventually leads them having to often seen financial and even IT Support.

As a result, most often settle for DIY finance handling and hiring workers on a budget which often leads to having to business overcoming barriers with many of its staff, despite their amazing ideas. To ensure that you don’t fall for the same mistakes, we’ve listed down the top mistakes to avoid at all costs.

Here are 4 mistakes that will affect your tech startup.

Going Solo


How many start-up companies do you know that has met success with just one founder? While you want to bask in the glory of doing it all by yourself, establishing a company is hard work and takes more than one individual to launch the business. Don’t be afraid to seek partnership and get help in launching the startup.

Quick Fixing the Business Plan


Without a solid business plan, your dreams of success will quickly fall. A business plan is meant to guide the start up towards the right direction of a solid foundation of the company. What is the purpose of the business? Who is the target market? What is the values and mission of the company?

Basically, without a solid plan, the business will get stuck trying to find itself mid-way. This will help determine the mission of the company over the long term.

Improper Financial Management


When it comes to building a startup, money is essential. One of the major mistakes entrepreneurs make is spending too much or even too little. This is especially common when you hire quantity employees over quality. Not only will this burn through your finances faster but also prevent quality work to increase.

Lack of Backup Plan


Not every business success will go according to plan. That is why it is important to keep a backup plan for every scenario and be flexible if the original strategy doesn’t work.

Conclusion

Launching a startup requires the appropriate timing and location. While circumstances may lie far from control, be sure to launch the company at the right time.

4 Reasons Why Your Financial Tech Startup Needs Visual Marketing

No matter how small or big a product may be; every customer can be infatuated with too little or too many choices to make an informed decision. When fin-tech start ups need to capture the attention of customers, there is no better way than through visual marketing which is one of the best marketing techniques for your website.

Here are 4 reasons why your financial tech startup needs visual marketing.

Quick Dissemination of Concept

When someone wants to know about the concept, they have two options: a quick 3-minute video that summarizes the information or a ten-page document that explains the concept thoroughly. Which option would you choose?

Nobody wants to spend more time on something than they should. That is why it is important to understand the concept quickly. This is where visual marketing comes in. Visuals are processed faster than text and have the ability to attract more customers in less amount of time.

Make a Long-Lasting Impression

As human beings are attracted to visuals, we tend to remember 80% more of what we see rather than what we read. That is why is it crucial to make use the visual approach in marketing as it will ensure that your brand reaches the attention of your target market.

Simply the Concept of the Business

Consumers are not always familiar with technical and business, especially when combined. To make things easier for clients, project a quick and easy image that is approachable. Use visual elements that will take the focus away from the complex issues and direct the reader’s attention towards the true value of the startup.

Capture the Younger Generation

As the younger generation is already intrigued by financial tech, their attention needs to be focused on your business. Today, the popular tech sites of Instagram and YouTube have lead us to assume that they respond to visual communication versus text. Readers need to be shown what they’re getting within 140 characters and how it can add value to their lives. Visual media is able to do just that.

Conclusion

Visual marketing will enhance the value of a startup. Whether you are looking to increase your customer base, secure funds, or beat competition, visual marketing will provide amazing results.

4 Tips on Launching a Ecommerce Startup for Successful Results

Regardless of the latest recession, there is always room for businesses that are willing to give into the demands of human kind. As entrepreneurs, we must be willing to create, innovate, and sell products. That is where technology comes in.

We must use technology to help shape our behavior online and grow our reputation past the completion. In this guide, we have narrowed down the top tips on what it takes to build a successful business. Whether you’re selling sports equipment or stainless steel banding

Whether you’re selling sports equipment or stainless steel banding globally here are 4 tips on launching an e-commerce start-up for successful results.

Go for Mobile Development

Developing a mobile app will showcase your startup products and increase the success of your business. As the mobile commerce is continuing to rise, the global usage will become a daily part of our lives. Therefore, you must be in tune with the demands of the customer and their behavior in what makes them want to buy your products.

Establish a Structured System from the Beginning

Focus on building a working system that defines how each region of your business works. This will help promote a stable culture of responsibility and achieve more time as the business grows. To make a working system usable, you must use the right tools to handle daily activities. Most e-commerce startups build their system with a complete service that includes POS software, integrated CRM, APIs, and customized programs.

Aim for High Impact Marketing Strategies

There are plenty of ways to market your startup business without running out of ideas. The main key is to market your startup through the ability to relate to your target audience. You can choose to run a blog or advertise, but customers won’t care about what you say until you create an emotional response about why your product will bring value to their lives.

Build Strategic Partnerships

Set your startup company in collaboration with other brands that offer unique value to both yours and their customers. Build friendships with potential influencers to help pitch your business and give you the push you need to endorse the company.

Got any more tips that you would like to share with us? Comment below and let us know!

Infographic by: B2B ecommerce Infographic