Death by Square Feet

Rob Hof

Ross Mayfield is finally looking for an office for his startup, Socialtext. That may not sound very momentous, but these days, the best startups seem to operate a very long time working out of homes and coffeehouses. Given that Socialtext has already been producing its corporate wiki software for two years with a truly virtual company setup, its team spread around North America, it's no surprise that Ross is ambivalent. As he reminds us, "Real estate is the leading cause of death for startups."

The biggest challenge, Ross notes, is how to make the cultural transition, grafting an office corps onto the distributed team. It'll be interesting to see how he and many others do it.

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