America, June 20, 2008
The down-low on IAD to SFO
Now that I live in Washington, DC and work for Inveneo, based in San Francisco, CA, I am living a bi-coastal lifestyle. I spend an average of a week every month or so in the Inveneo offices, living at the "Inveneo Hotel" - the home of Mark and Kristin, Inveneo's co-founders.
Before you cringe at the thought of working all day in the same room as your boss and then spending the evenings with him or her too, I have to say that Inveneo isn't your standard company.
First, we're a social enterprise, which means we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, yet we're run like a business. We're out there selling product and hustling for business like any other company. At the same time, we have a strong social mission that permeates everything we do.
One example is my task - to develop the skills and opportunities for technology entrepreneurs to serve rural and underserved communities. While we do train them on Inveneo product, making them Inveneo Certified ICT Partners, we also share expertise that can be used with other vendor's products and actively promote our partners to our own clients, effectively and purposely cutting ourselves out of a middleman role.
Another example is the organization's culture. We may have Silicon Valley start-up roots, but how many firms have an impromptu BBQ on a random Thursday night? Better yet, a geek fest where the nights conversations centered on Iridium flares and the booze-inspired conspiracy? A Mt. Diablo to Mt. Shasta WiFi link.
So while the hours are long and the pay is low, I love me this bi-coastal BBQ lifestyle