New Office

New Office
601 Marshall St., Redwood City, CA

Last Thursday, I worked from the office for the first time since the lockdown: almost after two years. I visited the office several times, but all were only to grab some pieces of equipment or perks.

I'm working in a company, Moloco, Inc. as an infrastructure software engineer. As we grew so fast, we moved to a new office in Redwood City during the pandemic, and it was my first visit to the new office. Needless to say (as a newly became unicorn), the new office was such a spacious and gorgeous workplace. It reminded me of all previous turfs we had been before.

The first time I visited the Moloco office was in 2016. I was not a Moloco employee at the time, and I was running my own game development studio in Korea. The office was at 165 University Ave., Palo Alto, and the entrance was at the backside of the building. It was a small studio space, and I'm not sure there were other rooms, but I remember the restroom should be shared with other tenants.

I had joined Moloco in 2017 from the Seoul office and several chances to visit the US offices. At the time, the HQ was at 955 Alma St. It was a typical startup workspace with a high open ceiling - a factory style. It was not fancy or luxurious, but a comfortable and inspiring place to me; it made me think I was in a US startup.

I moved to the US in 2019, and we were at 119 University Ave. It was the first building on the University Ave. from Stanford and the Palo Alto Caltrain station; what a perfect location for a startup. It was a space for 30-40 people, and it was a sub-leased space; the landlord still used a room, and we had to share some spaces. So I hardly felt it was comfortable. But the location covered every defect; I could commute by bike, and it was only 20 minutes ride.

But the space couldn't keep up with our growth. So, we left Palo Alto and moved to Redwood City. The new location (735 Shasta St) was spacious with a high ceiling. Most of all, it was an independent space (we only had a forbidden door to a San Mateo County office.) We could have dedicated parking lots, four meeting rooms, call boxes, and good startup perks: snacks, beverages with wines (frankly, wines were everywhere all the time). Although the surroundings were a bit dreary (alongside the Caltrain railway), I loved the place. However, two months later, the pandemic came.

Two years have passed. As the people (HR) team promoted the new office (and nudged the discontinuation of several WFH perks), I decided to visit the new office at 601 Marshall St, Redwood City. Yes, now we have the luxurious tech corporation office comparable to FANGs. The space has quadrupled than before. Decent kitchens and great coffees, roomy restrooms, indoor parking spaces, tag-activated elevator system, a library with sofas, and (most of all) catering lunches. It is actually a FANG office. I heard that we sub-leased the space from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (they left for another new space); all interiors and furniture were their remains. It explained to me that all these countless rooms have their own names; I heard that, in Facebook, all rooms are named by employees - the one that I was most impressed with was "Lorem Ipsum."

Working in a Silicon Valley tech company is a great experience. And I believe it would be the greatest when you work in a fast-growing company because the volume and variety of experience are incommensurable. One of my colleagues, Wonho, put down a great article about what we've done. I have been (or created) many companies, but most of them were early or intermediate startups. Growing into a corporation is a new experience and challenge to me. I'm so happy with this precious moment.