Then there was that time we took a road trip to Nashville.
We were out celebrating a new addition to the Driftt team by enjoying a team dinner out at La Brasa. Turns out, Marshall — the first Driftt engineer — is from Nashville. He’s always ready to sing the praises of his beloved hometown, but on this particular evening he was even more convincing of its charms than usual.
By the end of the evening, we’d decided to hold our next offsite meeting in Nashville. Most of the team had never been there, but that didn’t stop Marsh from planning all the details, booking a beautiful AirBnB house for the whole gang, figuring out an itinerary of fun things to do, and setting a date for just a few weeks away. All on his own. All because he wanted to show his Driftt family a rocking good time. And all on account of one brief conversation over dinner.
Needless to say, it turned out great.
When we weren’t hacking away on Driftt itself, draped across one of the comfy couches or overstuffed chairs in that amazing house we stayed in, we were running off to boxing classes in the mornings, dining on some of Nashville’s most exceptional BBQ, and visiting with friends at Emma, one of Nashville’s most successful tech companies. We had so much fun with the folks at Emma, we even worked out of their offices for a day. Why not?
We saw snow in the south for the first time and finally understood why southern cities need to shut down after just a dusting of snow flakes: They have no salt on hand for their roads! No wonder, we thought. We’d be lost without salt in the winter, too. Fortunately, we had a trusty rented vehicle that we could all pile into for the week.
Of course, we were in that one engineer’s hometown (remember him?), so naturally we had to meet his parents, take them out to dinner, and meet them for drinks more than once. They were outstanding hosts, and even invited us into their home for an evening.
That month’s regular company meeting was held in the living room of our rented digs in Nashville, after one incredibly large breakfast that had us all loafing around in sweats for hours. Sometimes, you just don’t want to give up that large, forgiving elastic waistband.
It was in Nashville that we realized we wanted to go mobile first with Driftt. And by the time we’d landed in Boston, the team had developed a prototype of the very first mobile Driftt app.
I don’t think we’ll ever forget that week we spent in Nashville. It’s already become an indelible part of our shared history as a team. It’s an experience we’ll look back on in the months and years to come as an early milestone in our time together as a rapidly growing team.
Building a company from the ground up is a lot like going on an epic road trip with friends. It’s never quite what you expected, but it’s often even more amazing than you’d planned. You hope you’ll meet new friends along the way, discover new ideas, and explore all those unexpected twists in the road as you go. And the most important thing is to make sure you’ve got the right friends along for the ride.
We know these days won’t last forever. We won’t always be able to take the whole company on a spontaneous trip halfway across the country. Someday we’ll be too big for those kinds of shenanigans. Someday we’ll need a way, way bigger house. But we hope we’ll always be up for those new ideas, new encounters with like-minded folks, and unexpected twists in the road. That kind of spontaneity, team spirit, and experimental verve is what we’re all about. And we think we can stay that way, no matter where the road takes us next.
We’d sure like to head back to Nashville again someday, though. That was fun.