There’s nothing like a little bit of unbridled cynicism. When experienced eyes see the ‘new’, oftentimes there’s one of those sneery smiles and gentle head shake with a little roll of the eyes to complete the perfect sarcastic trifecta.
And so it is when you spy the photos on LinkedIn as Eric McNewjob shows off the welcome pack at his new desk-with-a-view over Manhattan, London or wherever is cooler than where you are. Like a wide-eyed child piling into a stack of Apple-branded packets under a Christmas tree at Yuletide, we get peek inside trendy techville as we stare longingly at gadgets, right-on snacks and toys all presented impeccably to make the newbie feel right at home from the get-go.
Only it’s not new. As far back as 1988, on The Founders first day as a salesman for Peugeot he was presented to the keys of his 205 GTi 1.6 demonstrator (if you know, you know), a PDH Garages blazer and most importantly his Lombard Finance payments calculator. Even before that, when The Founder was a mere scrap of a lad on his first paper-round, aged 13, on his first day at Sandy’s newsagent in Morden, he was presented with a prestigious over-the-shoulder paper bag and a bobble hat with The Mirror emblazoned across the front. Ah, the halcyon days of yore….
But spare a thought if you will for the new starter at Shuttle towers in a couple of weeks; a reconditioned Dell Latitude, Moleskin pad (which pilfered from a lender’s stand at the NACFB Expo!), a Lamy pen and a pre-paid Oyster card*. But she’s lucky! The Straight Line Guy had to make do
with a Chromebook that he bought himself and a Wiley Fox phone.
These are the realities of the start-up. Much is made of ‘boot-strapping’, ‘lean’ and ‘fail fast, fail cheap’ and it’s true, it really is. It would be lovely to be able to give our newbies a newly price-inflated Mac Book Pro with a 29 inch screen for the desktop moments, a funky t-shirt and some healthy, nutty snack wonders but we’re just not there yet. But there’s no reason to be miserable, we have the tools to get the job done and we’ve just had news of a lovely grant from Reigate and Borough Council who want to buy us some rather nifty equipment to help with our UX and UI testing.
How cool is that?
*the Crunchie in the picture may or may not be there in a couple of weeks.