I'm checking out BigCommerce’s new space in SOMA before they fill it with the best and brightest engineers the city has to offer.
BigCommerce is a leading e-commerce platform for small businesses with offices in Sydney, Austin, and now San Francisco. They commandeered the third floor of the century old 501 Folsom St. When I step out of the elevator I discover a brick and timber space glowing with natural light bouncing around high ceilings, exposed wood beams and an open hardwood floor.
Today the space is quiet and waiting; only handful of people are hacking away on Macbooks at electric adjustable desks. A brand new ping-pong table and bike rack stand pining for attention while a glass-walled conference room remains at rest against the far wall. But BigCommerce is primed for SF expansion. CPO West Stringfellow is prepared to see 200-300% growth in the coming year which they'll support by filling tons of roles in the coming months.
Soon though, the floor (formerly leased by MoPub before the Twitter acquisition) will be bustling with engineers and designers once again. There is the promise of energy. Every employee chooses a Street Fighter character for office-wide tournaments. A neon BigCommerce sign and two giant murals lend their vitality to the space. One mural in the kitchen, painted by Austin artist Mason McFee boasts, "Remember - Keep the Client in Mind - Be Honest." It's a refreshing sentiment from a company forming the backbone of tens of thousands of online stores.
The Austin office is always piped in via a live G+ Hangout running on a Chromebox. VP of Engineering Ron Pragides demonstrates by waving at someone in Austin as they walk past the camera. After a brief conversation they parted digital ways and returned to work. "Staying connected between offices is important," said Ron, "hopefully we'll have the same thing set up with Sydney soon."
There are whispers of a secret rooftop space (perhaps accessible via the steel fire escape), but technically this isn't part the office so you didn't hear about it here. The leasing company 42 Floors did leave behind some quirky furniture, including a kind of hammock swing, a few bean bags, and a bright red Varier Move Stool. And of course there is an office kegerator.
Office design and e-Commerce tend to be dry subjects, but BigCommerce is making a splash on both fronts.