How We Work: The Desks of Team Foundr

 ·  10 May  ·  3 Comments
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Everyone has a different work style.

We all have different ideas of what productive means and what a good workspace looks like. In fact, taking a look at someone’s desk can tell you a lot about who they are and what they’re like.

I’d go so far as to argue that you’ll find no greater representation of someone’s work habits than by looking at their desks.

Creatives often have messy desks, detail-oriented folks usually have a variety of note taking tools and colored pens all neatly ordered. Some people don’t even have a desk, just a laptop that can be found sitting on any table in the world.

If you want a peek into what a person is like, and how they reach their own version of productivity and success, all you need to do is take a look at their desk.

In the three years since Foundr was created, we’ve grown from a single MacBook resting on Nathan’s lap to a whole team of desks scattered around the world. Now and then, we like to turn the camera around and give a little more insight into how our operation functions, and I thought taking a look at the team’s varied workspaces would be a great such opportunity. 

So if you’ve ever wondered just who exactly the Foundr team is and what we do, keep on reading for this behind-the-scenes look at who we are and where we work.

Nathan Chan – CEO and Editor-in-Chief

Nathan Foundr Desk

I’m the CEO of Foundr and my job is to make sure we’re moving the company in the right direction and ensuring we’re keeping our promises of serving our ever-growing community of entrepreneurs. When it comes to my desk, it can sometimes be very messy. But for the purposes of this photo I made sure it was reasonably clean. This is my setup at my home office in Melbourne, Australia, where I get the majority of my work done.

I have a standing desk that has motor with controls to raise it up and down. Standing desks are the new hip thing these days, and with people saying sitting is the new smoking, I think it’s good to work standing a lot of the time.

You’ll see I also have a notebook, where I scribble notes constantly, and also a set of yellow Post-it notes. The Post-its help me structure my day in terms of tasks I need to tick off and complete. I also have a red pomodoro timer on my desk to help keep me accountable while using the pomodoro technique.

I’m usually doing a lot of interviews on Skype at home, so it’s only natural that I have a high quality microphone to produce great sound, with a cable arm to connect it to the desk. Having this setup at home allows me to do interviews any time of day. I’ve very often rolled out of bed at 4 a.m. to do an interview with someone I’m eager to talk to, as a lot of the entrepreneurs we feature aren’t based in Australia.

I have two high-resolution screens on my desk (a 27″ iMac and a 27″ Mac monitor), because design is very important to us at Foundr. I’ve worked with two screens for many years now, even back before leaving my day job. It allows me to be much more efficient and have many tabs and applications open at once.

Lastly, I do have a few little knickknacks on my desk. These are mainly collected from my travels overseas (India, Cambodia, Vietnam, and US).

David Hobson – Community and Growth Manager

DMH Foundr DESK

Hey guys,

Dave Hobson here. Many people know me from Foundr’s private membership Foundr Club where I have been heading up community and growth. I have been working closely with Nathan and the team to help create, grow, and run what is fast becoming the #1 community for entrepreneurs. It’s an epic home base for entrepreneurs and fans of Foundr. The best part? The members—entrepreneurs from every industry and country have made Foundrs Club a wild success.

In terms of my desk, since we work with people all over the world, at different times of day and night, my actual desk isn’t so important. As long as I have laptop+wifi+iPhone+headphones, I can work. The main thing is to simply GSD as the posters says (excuse the French) and keep moving forward. This friendly little poster reminds me of that every single day.  

And what’s with the Sean Connery pic? Not telling. If you want to know the answer, you’ll need to stop by sometime and say hi.

Alright, that’s it from me. Take it easy guys, and don’t get too caught up on where you work—it’s HOW you work. That’s something I have learned from a previous mentor of mine and now Nathan, every single day.  

The most important thing about your work space is to simply GSD.  

Jonathan Chan – Content Crafter and Marketer

JC Foundr Desk

Jonathan here, otherwise known as “JC” around the office, and if you’ve been a longtime reader of the blog then you’ll probably already know me through the various articles I write as Foundr’s Content Crafter and Marketer. As the Content Crafter for Foundr, my main job is to oversee all our online content and make sure that we’re always consistently producing great stuff for our community.

This is my desk at our office in Melbourne, Australia, and it’s where I get the majority of my work done. Please excuse the mess.

I have a Varidesk Pro Plus 36, which lets me turn my workspace into a standing desk anytime I want. Atop of it sits an external monitor to help me keep track of all the different windows and tabs I have open when I’m doing research for an article, or the variety of other tasks I’m responsible for at Foundr. Taking a page from the book of our good friend Natalie Sisson from Suitcase Entrepreneur, I keep a Samson Go mic on me at all times so I have excellent sound quality no matter where I am.

I like to keep a variety “fiddle toys” around my desk like the Rubik’s Cube (fastest time 32 seconds boo-yah!) for whenever I feel particularly braindead and just need something to help get the creative juices flowing again.

Last, but certainly not least, you can see my trusty notebook that pretty much regulates my life. Everything from my daily schedule, to article ideas, to notes and flowcharts all go into that little notebook using the Bullet Journal method.

Suffice to say my desk is an absolute mess, but it’s my mess and I like it.

Tate Williams – Copy Editor

Tate Foundr Desk

I’m copy editor for Foundr Magazine and the blog, which means I review all of the content we publish for grammar and punctuation, and generally make sure everything’s in solid shape. While Foundr is headquartered in Melbourne, I’m one of a handful of people on the team working remotely, so my desk is at my home office in Boston, Massachusetts. Like a lot of people these days, most of my work and communications happen online, through apps like Trello and Slack. As such, I keep my physical space pretty light on paperwork, with just a small Moleskin for daily to-do lists.

Because I stare at text all day, a large external monitor keeps me from going blind, while allowing me to easily unplug and move to a coffee shop. But two screens are apparently not enough, so I keep my Samsung Galaxy close at all times, a Nexus tablet to scan the news and social media, and an old iPhone exclusively for streaming music. All this keeps my aging MacBook from slowing down under the weight of a ton of applications. I’m usually juggling a bunch of deadlines, so I keep my share of tchotchkes and trinkets on hand for stress relief, including a Tibetan meditation bowl and often a plush Cthulhu for creepy comfort (not pictured).

Angela Aguinaldo – Virtual Assistant

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

As the virtual assistant to the whole Foundr team I always make sure that my desk is organized to keep track of my daily tasks here at Foundr.

I use various colored pens for my notes, in coordination with our Trello boards, to organize assignments according to the different functions I perform. I serve as one of the magazine’s customer support specialists, social media manager, and virtual assistant for Foundr CEO Nathan Chan. 

Specifically, I enjoy my daily and weekly tasks that includes regularly updating the magazine’s social media pages, formatting blog posts for our content writers, uploading our podcast episodes to different websites, keeping our social media accounts and groups up to date, assisting in our Instagram Domination and Foundr Club community, and creating standard operating procedures for the various tasks we all work on together.

Assya Barette – Publishing Assistant

Assya Foundr Desk

Natural light really energizes me, so I placed my workplace in front of two big windows. My lamp is mostly decorative thanks to all of the sun that pours in. It also makes for the perfect setting for taking selfies and Instagram photos!

I work with Foundr as a publication assistant, putting together the magazine, managing our awesome Foundr Club community, and managing various other exciting projects!

Jesse Song – Support Crew

Jesse Song Foundr Desk

Hello there,

My name is Jesse & I am the ICT Biz Dev Guy at Foundr Magazine. Basically, I utilize my ICT skills and background in marketing and align it with the business needs of Foundr. My main task is supporting the team with setting up some crazy digital marketing wizardry for all of our products.

Aside from that, I also head up the support component with our international team, where many of our members contact us with both standard and technical questions regarding our products, such as Foundr Club, Instagram Domination, and the webinars we host.

Like Nathan, Dave, and JC I also use a Varidesk Pro Plus 36, sent to us by the great team at Varidesk.

As most of my work revolves around a ton of SaaS, I like to use an external monitor, which acts as a dual screen on my awesome adjustable desk. I find that it helps with my productivity as I am able to switch between window tabs easily and keep in contact with the team on Slack (Before you ask, yes, that is a wallpaper of the four IMAX Star Wars posters!).

I took a page out of Sir Richard Branson’s book by making a habit of writing down as many notes as I can from meetings, random sessions of advice with the team or any random thoughts that I believe can assist in bringing Foundr to the next stage of our journey. BB-8 watches over me as I get sh*t done, while often listening to the likes of Novo Amor and Greg Laswell. The box behind BB-8 is a digital polaroid camera, to capture any epic moments at the Foundr office.


We hope you’ve enjoyed this roundup, and maybe even picked up a few ideas and tips along the way. Or at the very least, maybe it helped you feel a little more normal regarding your own messy or hyper-minimalist workspace. I know for me, exchanging these photos and notes certainly drove home the different styles of work people embrace, and how important it is to have and respect that variety on every great team.

How about you Foundr Family? What’s your workspace like? Any items you couldn’t live without? Or are you a laptop- and smartphone-only kind of worker? Let us know below!

Jonathan Chan
jonathan@foundrmag.com

Jonathan is the Content Crafter and Marketer for Foundr. You can often find me happily writing about anything to do with entrepreneurship and the startup scene. Or spending way too much time pretending to be the next MMA star at the gym.

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  • The Psychology of Business

    Thanks for the insight! I think companies can too often be universal in the desk options for employees. It’s all about how your employees will work at an optimum level and their best work self.

    • http://foundrmag.com Jonathan Chan

      One of the best benefits that come out of working for a startup is that there’s ample opportunity to let your own individual personality shine through!

  • Gin McInneny

    Great post Jonathan! We did a “Show us your desk Friday” post in our WP Elevation members’ Facebook group and it was the most engaged post we’ve ever done. It was great to see how everyone sets themselves up for the day. Thanks for sharing!