Adrien Amsellem
May 5, 2016 · 2 min read

// The realities of start-up life

I always enjoyed hearing stories from early-stage start-up employees but I must admit that before I joined Improbable, I couldn’t imagine a fraction of what I was getting into…

What is left of the chair

My first 4 months were working from an office that doubled up as a barn for our staff where we ate three meals a day, and enjoyed intellectual debates from BitCoin mining to curing diseases through software. Once the house started to reach its capacity, Aaron (Head of Talent at the time) and I worked between Rob’s (CTO) bedroom and the main office, sitting on chairs that looked like they dated from the 60s - to the demise of both our backs.

Once we eventually found a suitable HQ, we rejoined civilisation by moving to Farringdon. However, we prematurely moved into a bare boned 26,000 sq/ft office where we played 5-a-side football, used it as a velodrome and frequently raced our chairs to scattered, open meeting spaces distinguished by whiteboards balancing against walls.

Our office after a few months with Talent on the bean bags :)

Going on holiday meant that you’d come back to a missing chair, monitor and keyboard (you’d be lucky if it was just that) but we’ve stayed true to our values. There’s been some impressive milestones over time: raising venture capital, considerable growth, technical breakthroughs but no matter what you do in an early stage venture, you’re hired to build a company and expected to do tasks beyond your job description - trivial or not.


Adrien Amsellem

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I hire @Improbableio