Dear Landlord: On the danger of relying on free internet services
Right after this guy posted this, Posterous announced they were shutting down.
So, although your offices are crowded, that actually doesn’t provide me with any security that other people have thought things through and decided you are a good bet. For all I know, they could decamp tomorrow for some other hot, free thing. This feels like fashion, not business, and it’s going to keep feeling that way until you can show me some tenants who actually pay, not just squat.
I have a more serious problem with your offices. A lot of folks just like you build these great offices, lure people like me in, and then wind up getting jobs as architects working for someone else. Sometimes, what we thought were office buildings ended up being exhibits in someone’s portfolio, whether deliberately or by happenstance. I think the real estate guys call this the “talent acquisition” business: A bigger company buys the office building, gets the designers as employees, and promptly knocks the building down. Who needs it now that the architects found high-paying jobs doing something else?
Me, that’s who. If I move in, I’m committing my business to your place. I don’t want to read a six-page letter telling me what a great ride it’s been and how much fun you had building this place and how much you’re getting to sell out, and oh yes, the loading dock is open 24 hours to help me move my stuff the hell out before you bulldoze.
Architecture models often have these tiny plastic figurines that look like people walking around. If I'm supposed to move in before you sort out your “monetization strategy” and “exit plan,” this isn't an office and I'm not a tenant. It's a model of an office and you're asking me to be the plastic figurine sitting at the foamcore desk.