With nearly 30 employees now calling our Brighton, UK, office their EMEA Regional Headquarters (and home), I thought I’d share some exciting insights from my last week spent there with our passionate team.
Before I do, though, check out this Telegraph feature about the growing startup scene in Brighton. (A certain company you’ve heard of gets mentioned.)
Culture can be transferred.
With its own unique and local spirit, company culture can thrive wherever your talent is. Now nearly three years into our European expansion, it amazes me how much our office, talent, vibe, brand and customer experience all very closely matches the vision we had for it when we started…with its own lovely, brilliant and cheeky hooks, of course.
Opening and scaling a regional headquarters is hard.
We surely didn’t get everything right the first time. We had some tricky bumps along the way. We hired, we fired, and we had resignations. We stumbled with location, recruiting, contracts and proper investment. But here we are: more confident than ever in the leadership and team foundation we can continue to build upon.
We run a centralized company.
It’s hard to know how to treat a regional HQ. How much independence should there be? It’s very different then a satellite office (typically one discipline) or a remote employee. What we realized is that before even opening this focused growth driver for our business, we were already a global company. We run data centers around the world and have customers everywhere. It’s about scale, reach, and impact and by tying it back to the core world headquarters, it maintains 100% alignment.
Don’t rush things.
Be slow and steady when entering a new market: whether that is a segment, buyer, product, vertical, or geography. There are similarities of course to the past success of your business targets, but it’s the slight differences that decide between success and failure. Make decisions, implement them, measure results, iterate and keep moving.
What we’re doing in Brighton is special.
When we decided to move our office from London to Brighton – evolving from a satellite to regional HQ – we got questioned. We’re building a vibrant and healthy technology ecosystem in NH, but it’s important to note that we’re becoming a solid employer in Brighton: attending events, hosting them, networking with peers and journalists and creating jobs. We’ve nailed Brighton and will keep expanding in 2014.
We’ll use all of these lessons we’ve learned in growing the EMEA team to continue moving us in the direction we set out for the region: to provide the best possible experience for our EMEA based customers and for their customers globally. These lessons will also be applied to our continued international expansion, perhaps in the Far East, maybe the Pacific, or maybe we’ll attend the Summer Olympics in Brazil.
Stay tuned to see what we do next in a city near you!