Ryan Salva holds coveted spot number nine spot here Office Nomads. Good thing he likes The Beatles (I caught him singing under his breath today). He may be the ninth regular monthly member, but Ryan started as daily drop in long ago. In fact, I don’t really remember a time when he hasn’t been around.
Ryan is one of the partners in Capitol Media, a web design and development agency which provides technology to support a host of online marketing endeavors. He and his other partners started the company in 2003 when one of his freelance clients came over to work with Ryan as a project manager. Before long, another client offered to incubate the newly forming company which Ryan says was an offer he just couldn’t pass up.
When they started their company, Ryan that they thought the idea of a centralized office didn’t seem to make sense. Although they never wanted to have official offices for Capitol Media, he and his partner did want that communal feel one finds in offices. In an attempt to make this happen, they held a 15-minute conference call at the start and end of the day between them and two other people. The effort didn’t really work though and was soon killed off.
At the beginning, Ryan worked at home but says, “That drove me crazy because I was alone all the time.” He moved to coffee shops like Capitol Hill’s Online Coffee Company which he loved for the racket they provided. He then became a regular at daytime coffee shop/nighttime bar Liberty where the owner gave him a key so he could get in before opening time.
Although Ryan felt comfortable at Liberty, as a permanent space, it wasn’t a good idea. Standing next to dumpsters in the rain to take phone calls got old he says. But he couldn’t go home because of his need for that community feeling. Enter, Office Nomads.
Ryan started out coming in as a daily member and was often here three and four days a week. When he found himself bringing in collaborators, using the conference rooms and acting almost like a monthly member, he felt like it was time to get a monthly membership. It’s worked out. “Just phone calls and emails don’t give much of a sense of community,” he says.
Membership at Office Nomads has an extra benefit for Ryan: It allows him to bring his five-month old long-haired Chihuahua Cortez the Killer in to work most days, something his girlfriend can’t do at her office. “If he was left at home everyday, he’d be so pissed,” Ryan says. Cortez is as important a part of the office here as any of our other members. His antics keep us all entertained and often provide a welcome distraction. He is also an excellent playmate for Stella, our other office dog.
All in all, Ryan is happy to be working at Office Nomads thanks to some welcoming distraction from his coworkers. If left to himself, he says, he’d sit at his desk for 12 hours at a stretch. Between us and Cortez, that doesn’t happen so much anymore.
Stay tuned for our next installment of “Meet the Nomads.” Next up: I Eight the Member!