Space for Growth

On October 1, I’ll be taking a step with my business in a really exciting direction. I’ll be alleviating the stress felt from point 3 of my list of things I’ve learned as a C.S.B.O. I’m moving into a new office shared office space with Manifesto and a couple other smaller companies here in Portland.

I recently got myself a hardware upgrade of a MacBook Pro to further increase my nimbleness. I gotta say it is a breath of fresh air as far as the performance bump and desk-free way of working. I’ve been sitting on my couch in the living room for the past couple weeks of work. Any time I need to do production stuff, I go in the back room, start up renders and then come back out. I think when I’m in the new place, it will work pretty much the same. Especially now, being able to remote into the production computers. Easy peasy.

While the space is unfinished, here are a couple shots of the space as it is now:

I had a great talk with a colleague the other day about perceived value of designers based upon where they work. Moving into a new space is definitely going to give me a little more “street cred” rather than pointing clients to my spare bedroom for conference calls. At least for now.  Take the example that I discussed with my advisor: Look at a company like Ziba. They charge upwards of $1,000,000/project sometimes and all the client is getting is a designer and a 3D modeller. There is an illusion of comfort that the client is feeling like dropping that kind of money at that kind of firm is giving them some sort of edge. In reality, (while some great work comes out of Ziba, no question), they are getting on par service offerings with the rest of the local industry. It is brand loyalty. Now it is true I wear Gap shirts religiously. But it brings me a comfort to feel that soft cotton wrapping my torso, but I know full well, there are cheaper and “as good” shirts out there. But I’ve made a conscious decision to wear them. Same goes for a client approaching a design “leader” within the community. There is a sense of comfort. Is it their new building? Is it legacy? Is it the comfort that the more money you throw at something the more value you place on it and justify it’s cost as a “truth” as “best”? Honestly, I don’t know.

However, I do know that you have to spend nickels to make quarters. This makes me feel like if I’m spending the money to be in a more centralized and “legitimate” space, I’ll produce better work.  Maybe it is reversed? Maybe because I’m attaching value to it, others will too. Either way, it is the right thing for me to do at this given moment. I recommend it for anyone that is starting a business to separate out a space away from “home” that reads mentally as “business”. If nothing more than mental separation, it does a body good. It creates more routine. I’ll be looking forward to walking to work in the morning again.