Here’s our unofficial (but pretty accurate) tongue-in-cheek guide on how to be a tech-startup (or at least, look the part!).
- Laidback dress code. No suits allowed! But glam-hipster is unspokenly encouraged – effortlessly stylish is the Shoreditch uniform, and Shoreditch is the (self)proclaimed centre of the British start-up world.
- ‘Chill-zones’ in the office. Yeah yeah, desks are all well and good. But you seriously need a beanbag. Preferable a Fatboy – but old school bean bags are just about acceptable (Our tip – they are the next big thing because they are retro!)
- Activity zones in the office. As well as chilling physically, you simply Must have at least one wacky sport/game available to the employees. Ping pong is good – twister is good, old arcade games are super cool but can be anti social. TV-games are ok – as long as the games are chosen carefully – think Super Mario, not WoW. Choose with care!
- Untraditional office layout. Reception area, lift, hallway offices? Pffft -that’s, like, so corporate. A true start-up would choose a cheaper space, e.g. an old factory building with exposed brickwork, high ceilings, big, industrial style windows, staircases on the outside of the building (having them inside is fine, but just a bit..expected!).
- Flat structure. Start-ups and hierarchy are as incompatible as water and grease. There is only one level, no one with more power than others. At least on paper.
- Pretentious coffee. Still drinking Nescafé? Throw it out and sign your office up to a barista class immediately. Start-ups drink fancy coffee. Micro roasts, aero-press, cream and aroma are all words that should go into your vocabulary immediately.
- Exceptional self-belief. Start-ups have to be passionate – your product or service is the best there is. Enthusiasm and big dreams are important!
It’s not easy being a start-up. It requires a high amount of cool, chequered shirts, stylish jeans, well groomed hair, geeky-gorgeous glasses. It also requires big offices with loads of free space (for your ping pong table, duh) and a fancy coffee counter.
At Loyalzoo? We’re not quite there yet. Whilst we have tons of enthusiasm, our style is heavier on the laid-back than on the hipster-glam and we are in serviced offices. The coffee on offer is instant (but we also have builders brew). Because we’re in London the lack of space is noticeable – we have a cozy fit in the office. We don’t have games and rely on lifts to move vertically (there aren’t stairs, so this is not by choice – we’re not that lazy).
How does your start-up look like?