OK, OK, it’s a story that needs to be told. Here is the chair blog.During the dotcom boom in 1999 anyone in technology had to have an Aeron chair.
This is the chair that all tech workers aspire to. (I have 2 in my home office.) As far as I can tell everyone in Silicon Valley has an Aeron. They seem to be about $US595. After the dotcom boom there must be warehouses full of slightly used Aeron Chairs.
In New Zealand an Aeron chair is $NZ2300 – over $US1000. So while we would love to give everyone an Aeron chair we just can’t spend money on that. So instead we called up Formway, a leading New Zealand design company, and asked what they could do for us. They gave us a great deal on their Life chairs. We were even able to get them in Xero colours. We know how important good chairs are for developers so this is one of the areas of spend we invested in, but that meant no shower, old carpet, tiny kitchen – at least until we hit break even.
Here is a standard Xero Life chair:
We have other interesting chairs in the office that can tell a story. This racing chair, is currently occupied by our CTO Craig Walker. The racing chair was handed down from Blair Wright from the old Glazier Systems days.
Another interesting chair is the Eames Lounger that sits behind Craig and has been the venue of many ‘Craig, wouldn’t it be cool if we …’ discussions. This is one of my personal chairs. In New Zealand these are 3 times the price as in the US so when the currency was high a few years ago I asked Rowan to ship one through his Shipbuktu account. That service was designed for forwarding envelopes so we blew that up sending a 60 kilo chair. After 9 months of chair tracking through freight forwarding warehouses, planes, boats and trucks the chair finally arrived – but my wife pointed out that we had nowhere for it in the house so it is temporarily part of the Xero furniture.
We have some chairs in the office that remind us of absent friends. This chair came down with Kate from Auckland and sits lonely in our office waiting for her return after she completes her ‘move-to-sydney-so-that-he’ll-marry-me’ plan which seems to be working very well.
Anyone that knows the team here at Xero knows the impact Catherine has on our business. Catherine is ‘Orange Girl’. Her workplace is a shrine to Orange and she is obviously the person who owns the Xero help center.
This, of course, is Catherine’s official Xero chair …