The classic start-up story of a business starting in a garage and then over time getting really big has almost become a cliché. But you have to be impressed by the number of great companies that started in the humble garage. Amazon, Apple, Google, HP, Computershare, Disney, Harley Davidson, Lotus Cars and Mattel all had their genesis in amongst toolkits, spare lightglobes and oil cans!
Most of these companies took decades to get where they are today. They didn’t start by trying to create Amazon, Apple, and Google. They started by creating an online bookstore, a computer, and a search algorithm.
CrowdComms Sydney also started in a garage five years ago. The garage is still in use today in the form of a converted granny flat. The Goffice (as we affectionately called it) was our home for two years before the business outgrew it.
Although the Goffice is now a very comfortable granny flat, it still plays a part in the business today.
Currently we have one of our developers, Ash, over from the UK office staying in there for a month.
Prior to Ash our Dutch intern Jesse stayed there for a few months. Prior to that we had another Jess and his wife Roxanne in there who used the flat when we rented it out on Airbnb.
Now both Roxanne and Jess work for CrowdComms, one as a graphic designer and head of app production respectively!
Before that Bree lived in the flat when she was our aupair. Now Bree works in the business too as a GalaBid account manager, and so does her brother Jordan who also lived in the flat for a while.
Deirdre, our co founder, and Charlie her partner (and ex head of app production) plus kids even stayed in there for a little while before heading to the UK last year.
The amount of people who have stayed in the garage and who are now part of the business is actually quite amusing, to the point where we joke about it in the office.
But it’s been important to us too. As a growing business we rely on a tight-knit team who depend on each other like family. The Goffice has not only nurtured the business, but also looked after the people that made CrowdComms what it is today.
It also gave us a cheap and secure location to get the business up and running. The temptation to splash out on shiny new offices when you start a business is huge. A dedicated office gives your business immediate validation. It feels good to venture beyond your own home to go to work. But offices are a major overhead and can cripple a business before it gets going.
The moral of the story is that if you are thinking of starting a business then you need to get yourself a garage! It may not be the most glamorous home for your fledgling venture, but it’s the perfect place to start building your empire.
Pete Hair – CrowdComms, Co-Founder