We moved out of our Palo Alto office yesterday. After five terrific years in our cozy space on California Avenue, we’re heading to new digs on Mission College Boulevard in Santa Clara.
Thanks to the pandemic, we waved goodbye to the old office on Slack. We didn’t get to rally in person for one last lunch luau, or a group happy hour at Antonio’s Nut House.
Sure, the new office has a bunch of perks: it’s a brand-new building with five times as much space and a view of the mountains. It has a gym and a huge kitchen, modern HVAC, and a sweet game room.
I won’t miss the 60-minutes-to-go-12-miles commute and the traffic jams on 280, but I will definitely miss a lot of things about our home base in Palo Alto.
1. The restaurants on California Ave! We were lucky to have so many amazing lunch and dinner options within two blocks. Goodbye Zareen’s, Kali Greek Kitchen, Med Wraps, Palo Alto Sol, Terún, Italico, Calave…we’ll be back to visit.
2. The camaraderie that comes from working in a small space with a completely open floor plan. When I first started at Forward, I was coming from an office where I actually had an office, so the new layout and steady chatter took some getting used to. Now, after working at home for six months, I miss hearing about everyone’s families, sports team loyalties, and foosball trash-talking. And where is Denis, bursting in and barking “Happy Tuesday!!!” loudly enough to rattle our chairs?
3. The red couch. Doesn’t every startup have a favorite, well-loved piece of furniture that is as old as most of the staff? Granted, the red couch is making its way to the new office, but it will be tucked away in a private office…it won’t be the de-facto “collaboration space” that has served us all so well.
4. The Great Conference Room Shortage of 2019. One of the biggest drivers of our decision to get a bigger HQ was the need for more meeting room space. We witnessed normal, mild-mannered people starting to use aggressive tactics as the staff grew and the number of conference rooms did not. But I’ll miss the crowded all-hands gatherings. I might even miss Bali, the sweaty last-choice room with HVAC so terrible that we joked about renting it out as a “hot yoga” studio.
Pretty soon, we’ll be settled into 2390 Mission College Boulevard, with its gleaming glass board room, covered parking, and massive outdoor patio. No doubt we’ll enjoy the ability to spread out, and it will certainly be nice to welcome guests into a space that looks so polished and professional. But it feels bittersweet to close the chapter on our time in Palo Alto. Moving Forward.