View My HQ - Barricade
We're starting something pretty cool here at Trends - we'll be profiling some amazing companies across Ireland, their teams and taking a nose inside their offices. View My HQ will give you guys a real feel for how these successful companies operate on a day-to-day basis and the little quirks that set them apart from everyone else. This week we headed to Barricade's office in Cork and caught up with Founder David Coallier for an exclusive look inside the nerve centre of his brand new application security management platform.
For those of you that haven't heard of Barricade, which was only founded in November 2014 - it's a beautifully designed product that monitors your infrastructure's security, detects intrusions and breaches, alerts you of serious threats and tells you how to handle it. Obviously an area that is absolutely vital to any business. David himself is also an investor in real-time e-commerce freud protection firm Trustev. Barricade HQ is nested in the Airport Business Park in county Cork in the south of the country where David has been based himself for a number of years.
What's probably different about this space is that the entire team have been involved in the design of it. David had the vision of how he wanted the 2,500 sq ft office to look and the rest worked together to make it happen. There's an obvious feel of hipster start-up to Barricade HQ. The design is based on the concept of Minimum Viable Products and the ability to throw away things. It's a free directed flow of energy design-style, which truly reflects the philosophy on product, business and execution.
And this is no ordinary office - creativity is rife. David says this is part of their DNA to be able to execute on the crazy ideas they have. He explains how this office is an "ever-evolving" space. There's a welcome addition of a shit-tonne of plants dotted around.
"The abundance of plants is an important part of the office as it constantly reminds us of living organisms and the complex systems that surround us. It keeps our feet on the ground."
They've so many plants in their office that all the other more "traditional" offices that surround them in the industrial park have begun referring to them as the "coffee shop with plants" because of the ridiculous coffee paraphernalia and their ubiquitous set of plants.
Like many start-ups, the team had to build the furniture themselves as part of a team building exercise. Woodworx.ie helped them on some of the more complex carpentry including the insanely epic Tardis meeting room. For those of you who mightn't be aware of what the hell a Tardis is, it's a time machine and space craft in the British sci-fi TV show Dr. Who (something of a cult classic amongst tech geeks).
David explained how the space in Barricade HQ is split into 5 main parts,
"The working area where we build tables made of pallets - this is where most of the work happens. Next is the design area is where we invent, argue, initiate and destroy ideas. It's an area composed of a table that's also a whiteboard, a huge wall-sized whiteboard, sketch books, paper, various colour markers, erasers, notebooks, etc. Because we are a design-led company, every feature, every discussion begins from the user-perspective. The design area is where we embody our users' journey through our product. The Third part of the office is the presentation area. Here sits our couch and large TV area. When the area isn't used, the big screen is used to display important company metrics."
The Tardis is hard to miss in this office and is used for more one-on-one meets and where employees go to make private phone calls. One of the main features here is their coffee bar, these guys are huge coffee aficionados. They've a Chemex, an Aeropress, a Syphon, an expresso machine, grinder, etc. 3FE eat your heart out. The team mingle, energise and take their breaks here. There are plenty of very well-thought out elements built into this open plan space and each of the 5 parts are visible from anywhere - no hiding here.
Even though you could say that Barricade are in their infancy, they already have 6 full-time staff and are currently on the look for more talented people to join the team. There's a very new age approach here with their employee well-being at the forefront of their company ethos.
"Open Mindedness, Respect, Accountability, Empathy. Health is also a very big part of our ethos, we truly believe a healthy body is a healthy mind and considering the paces at which we put our minds through as we are redefining an industry, we need healthy bodies."
Everyone that joins the company gets the following setup:
- MacBook Pro Retina
- Mac Displays 27"
- Bose QC25 Headphones - important for "plugging in"
- Aeron Chairs - nothing like a great investment in your back and the backs of your team mates
- Barricade Hoodies/Shirts
- Barricade Water bottle
And what does Barricade do for team bonding? David tells me they have "Family Dinners". This involves the team heading over to David's house every Tuesday night for a meal, to chat and bond beyond the four walls of the HQ. An unusual way to bond, but David's approach to business is very tactile and he really invests in people as much as people invest in his businesses, that and start-ups are generally more personable than larger corporate entities. Barricade strive more on quality, attention to detail and thoroughness rather than "start-up thing" where people get a ping pong table just to look slick. All these elements mesh to ensure they're all doing the best work of their lives in order to reap the rewards.
View My HQ will be a weekly feature on Lovin Trends. And we want YOU guys to get involved. If you own, run or work in a deadly office we want to hear from you. All you need to do is use #ViewMyHQ and mention @Lovin_Trends on Twitter and we'll get in touch.