Sunday, July 31, 2011

    My First 10 days at Wednesdays

    Working at Wednesdays has exceeded my wildest expectations. After working here for a week I realize I would work here for free just because I am learning so much and having a blast as well.

    On my first day, just walking to the office was a joy, as there is this startup vibe in the SOMA area that just makes me smile. On the street, every other person is carrying latte and their style of dress ranges from geek casual to strictly professional. Walking to work, I hear people talking about startups and later at lunch I hear people talking about startups at the next table over. I have this feeling in SOMA that we all kind of do the same thing and with it comes a sense of belonging.

    Beautiful SOMA

    The action started as soon as I arrived at 215 2nd street (drop by!). I hit the ground running at Wednesdays and have not really stopped. My first day of work did not feel like a first day at all. I was getting asked for inputs on all sorts of things from the design of the site to the how to manage upcoming lunches. It felt like I was starting day 30 of my internship rather than one. I have never done an internship where I was so quickly thrown into the deep end.

    My work at Wednesdays includes a little of everything, from managing customer relations, to graphic design, scheduling lunches and of course some administrative work. I feel like an essential part of the team. There is a strong feeling that my work directly affects the company and that if I dropped the ball at any time, there would be real consequences to the company. In short, I feel important at Wednesdays.

    The feeling of importance is directly related to the size of Wednesdays. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the entirety of the office was just four desks pushed together. Wednesdays sublets its tables from another startup and I believe that there are two other startups in the space that are doing the same thing. I thought I had worked at small organizations, but my stint at Wednesdays definitely raises the bar. The whole company currently only consists of me and the two founders, so every day I go to work and sit at one of the four desks, directly across from them.

    The Wednesdays office, ALL of it

    Us and our huge laptops, up close and personal

    Hugh and Scoble
    Robert Scoble, a living Silicon Valley legend, came and interviewed Hugh...

    ...and Andy on Friday.

    If the group dynamics of three people could be called a corporate culture, then I would describe Wednesdays’ as incredibly open, relaxed and quintessentially geeky. Wednesdays is open because the founders answer all my questions about fundraising, themselves and customers without hesitation. Relaxed, because we all come to work wearing clothes that do not qualify as business-anything and shaving seems to be optional. Also, jokes abound in the office with most of them coming from Hugh and many times they are used to scare me into thinking I messed up. One day I will learn. As for geeky, for starters we lug our huge laptops, which are slightly more portable than desktops, to work daily. Then there are the founders themselves. Hugh once instructed me to “align margin left and align margin right” the white board and Andy shared how he had registered his daughter’s name as website the day she was born.

    The only downside to this internship is that it requires me to wake up at 6:30AM and commute four hours a day. However, this is balanced out by the free coffee at the office, which I take more than full advantage of.

    All is going well at my first tech internship, so well in fact that I am not minding the admin work at all and thinking about how to stay involved once my two months are up.

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