New Zealand's hottest little software company took its ethos of JFDI and plastered it all over the show in its new premises. Vend's chief marketing officer Nick Houldsworth talks about their mint new space.
Why did you decide to move premises? Your old digs in Parnell weren’t exactly shabby. And you bastards stole our tech editor, Sim Ahmed. (Yeah, we’re still sore.)
Vend’s growing really fast. We simply ran out of room in Parnell, having had six people there a year ago and now having 70-odd.
What lured you to your current location?
We looked at a lot of sites and decided it was most important to us as a maker of a retail point of sale was to be near retailers and our customers. So we moved into the middle of Newmarket, in Nuffield St. It’s the kind of investment you have to make if you really want to have retailers at the heart of everything you do.
Who did you use for the fit out?
Material Creative. We chose them as they’re fantastic at retail fit-outs, they’ve even fitted out one of our customers downstairs, Whoopie, on Nuffield St. We wanted a company that understood welcoming retail rather than corporate office fit-outs, and we love the work they’ve done – practical, warm, clever design that we’re loving using.
And what was your brief to them?
We wanted to have a space at the front that felt like a retail store, so we created two feelings in the wider space. We also wanted areas for accidental meetings and for sharing information, so the couches and kitchen areas are given emphasis. And we’re really excited about being able to host events, gatherings, meet-ups in the office, so there are areas that are perfect for that.
So what’s the idea behind the retail store front? It’s for reals, yeah?
We have a coffee machine out front and it actually operates as a proper café – using Vend to sell coffee (at a very reduced rate) to staff. We’re also able to sell and highlight products from our customers. We love using our own software and when visitors come in we can show them how easy Vend is by getting them to process a transaction. People pick it up just like that!
What’s the reaction to the new space so far?
‘Wow!’ Pretty universal wow, really. It’s a hive of activity and the teams have really expanded into their spaces – we’re on track to double again as a company by the middle of the year, so the ability to scale is so important. It could seem quite big and impressive to go through, but it isn’t made like this for fun, it’s all designed so we can ship more code and do more for our retailers.
And there’s a sneaky rumour you have a rude word somewhere in the building ...
There’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes here on making the software really robust for the scaling we’re experiencing, and to get a lot of stuff done you have to have a fair bit of JFDI going on. It’s one of our core values, so we put it in neon: Just fucking do it.
Idealog has been covering the most interesting people, businesses and issues from the fields of innovation, design, technology and urban development for over 12 years. And we're asking for your support so we can keep telling those stories, inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and keep pushing New Zealand forward. Give over $5 a month and you will not only be supporting New Zealand innovation, but you’ll also receive a print subscription, an Idealog t-shirt and a copy of the new book by David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dickinson, No. 8 Recharged (while stocks last).