Initial Gangplank Impression

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Note: This post is written by ASU Business Senior, Dev Mehta. Dev is one of five interns that elected to do their senior project with Gangplank.

I’ve been to many companies in my life. None of them have resembled my experience at Gangplank. Everything is so out in the open. There are no offices or cubicles. Arcade games tempt workers in one corner and board games in another. Music plays at all times of the day and people are chatting all the time.

In theory, this type of environment should be completely unproductive. In reality, it is an environment where lots of work gets done.

As part of my internship, I interviewed Jonathan Kressaty, founder of VUUR. I asked how the environment helped him work. Jonathan told me he’d had the same apprehensions as I did when he decided to visit Gangplank. In reality, he finds the environment stimulating and that the constant buzzing helps him work better. Jonathan elaborated, explaining that his Gangplank companions occasionally help him with problems or blocks that he encounters with his products.

Though there are many benefits to working in an environment such as this, there are some costs – the most significant of which is privacy. Since there are no offices or cubicles, there is no real feeling of privacy. Everyone can see what you are doing. Even the project rooms, which are meant for meetings or phone calls, have no ceiling. If a person is talking in a relatively loud voice, everyone who walks by will be able to hear them speaking.

Overall, I believe the benefits outweigh the costs. The Gangplank culture creates a fun place to work and an environment that people actually want to come to.

3 thoughts on “Initial Gangplank Impression

  1. Leslie, I’m an introvert myself, and I suspect something like half of the other Gangplankers are as well. It’s definitely not meant to be a club for extroverts. It can be hard at first, and it requires some discipline on the individual’s part to push forward rather than retreating to a comfort zone, but I personally have found it to be a very rewarding experience, despite my natural inclination to hide in a corner by myself. It took a while to get over myself, but once I did, it was totally worth it. :-)

  2. As an extrovert I can see how I could thrive in this creative, collaborative environment but what about my introverted friends? Not sure they would use the word “thrive” perhaps “tolerate” until all the stimulation wore them out.

    I will come visit sometime !

  3. Great comments, Dev!

    Regarding the privacy issue, I say privacy is overrated. :-) Gangplank works *because* everything is out in the open, rather than despite it. It does take some adjustment because it’s so contrary to common convention, but our company has been at Gangplank for around three years, and it has worked just fine for us.

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