By Deane Barker on June 25, 2005
Our company is sort of in the market for office space. We have an office now, but we’re casually looking for something we’d feel a little more at home in. We’ve been talking about it, and all of us want the same thing: something very hip, very cool, like…oh, I don’t know…a converted warehouse, loft-ish space.
Big shock, right? Every tech company wants converted warehouse space. It’s practically become a cliche. Hardwood floors, big rollaway fire doors, exposed beams, rock or brick walls, etc..
Joe and I got to talking over the lunch the other day, and we’re curious: what’s the allure of converted warehouse space? And why do tech companies gravitate towards this type of environment so much? It’s become so ingrained that we like it, but we don’t know why.
We came up with two theories:
Tech companies deal in very sterile, very digital worlds, and this type of environment gives us a link back to a simpler time. It’s a juxtaposition against what we do from day-to-day. It’s nice for the same reason that taking a simple walk in the park is nice when you’re burned out from writing too much code.
Small start-ups have a mild persecution complex: “It’s us against the world, but we’re plucky and earnest, so we’ll suceed.” Converted warehouse space is…humble? It reinforces the identity of being the revolutionaries out to change the world — like the small bands of rebels that created Apple and Microsoft, etc.
Does anyone else have any thoughts? What is it about converted warehouse office space that companies like so much? Why does every look at it and think…that’s cool?
(The above image was blatantly ripped off from this listing at Craigslist. As long as I’m ripping off their stuff, I suppose I should give them a link. The office is in Raleigh, North Carolina, if you’re interested. $1,600 a month for 1,200 sq. ft.)