What Does The Ideal Remote Office Look Like?

This week the guys talk about their office equipment and remote workspaces which range from working in a winery to building a standalone office in a backyard. They also go full old cranky developer mode on the new office paradigms and warn the youths of back issues stemming from working on couches and bean bags. Don't get them started on open floor plans or unassigned desks! Learn what has, and hasn't, worked for each of the guys on their quest for the perfect coding space.

This week the guys talk about their office equipment and remote workspaces which range from working in a winery to building a standalone office in a backyard. They also go full old cranky developer mode on the new office paradigms and warn the youths of back issues stemming from working on couches and bean bags. Don't get them started on open floor plans or unassigned desks! Learn what has, and hasn't, worked for each of the guys on their quest for the perfect coding space.


Joel Spolsky
Joel Spolsky's Blog - Bionic Office
International Residential Code

Full Transcript:

Starr:              00:00          So you just got out there and you reached a moment, you reached a point of decision, and you decided I'm just going to keep going.

Ben:                00:07          That's right, yep.

Starr:              00:08          Yeah, all of us I think dream of that.

Announcer:          00:10          You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike. Time to start a fire, crack open a can of Tab, and settle in for FounderQuest.

Starr:              00:22          And sometimes it's like you go out to buy some milk for your child, or whatever, it's like I'm just going to keep driving. Just keep going. Really. No, I love my child.

Josh:               00:33          Before I became a father, you always hear those stories like, dad went out for a pack of smokes, never came back, and I'm like, "How could people do that?" But now that I'm a dad, like I totally get it.

Starr:              00:43          Yes, it's not ...

Josh:               00:46          I mean it's still wrong.

Starr:              00:47          It's very wrong, but it's like I understand the sentiment a little bit better.

Ben:                00:53          Of course, my keep going moment just happened to be when I was doing a loop, so I don't know what that really says about me, but ...

Starr:              00:59          Oh, that's deep. We're getting really into the weeds now.

Ben:                01:03          So how's your shake coming, Starr?

Starr:              01:06          It's coming pretty well. Maybe we should ... Should we talk about offices work environments and then we can save it for the podcast? Save it for the-

Ben:                01:14          Oh, yeah. That's a good plan.

Josh:               01:15          This is the podcast.

Starr:              01:18          Holy shit, Josh.

Josh:               01:19          Did I just blow your mind?

Starr:              01:21          You blew my mind.

Ben:                01:22          Because we just fix it all in post around here.

Starr:              01:28          We do. Yeah, actually since we're restful, wouldn't we fix it all in put?

Ben:                01:36          That's deep, man.

Starr:              01:37          Yeah, that's a bad ... That's like a combo, like a dad joke or something. All right. So today I think we're going to talk about offices and work environments, which is, I mean we don't really have offices here at Honeybadger headquarters. Honeybadger headquarters is more of an idea than a place, I think.

Starr:              01:57          Each of us has our own customized work unit in the place of our choice. We all set it up to achieve maximum efficiency. And so I thought it might be fun to talk a little bit about that. It's like what do we like in an office? What don't we like in an office? Do you think we'll ever have a big Honeybadger open floor plan office?

Ben:                02:21          No.

Starr:              02:22          No?

Ben:                02:23          Never, no.

Josh:               02:24          If we had an office it definitely wouldn't be open floor plan.

Ben:                02:27          Do you remember the business and software forums back in the day with Joel, and he had this ... When he wrote his blog, he had some awesome stuff about making an awesome development environment, and he had this one about his office space. So they had office space, I think it was in Manhattan, and he went into great detail about how they made it perfect for developers and he just-

Starr:              02:52          I realize that. I remember that.

Ben:                02:54          Do you remember that blog post?

Josh:               02:55          Yeah.

Ben:                02:55          And he talked about how each developer had their own office, with a door, and I believe all of them had exterior light, like they all had an exterior window. And I remember him describing it. They had to angle the walls in a certain wall so they could all get a little sliver of window. Anyway, reading that-

Starr:              03:13          This was at FogBugz, so Joel Spolsky, FogBugz.

Ben:                03:13          Yeah, that was FogBugz, yeah. Yeah. So after I read that I was convinced, yep, that's the way to go, that was the gold standard right there. So I determined that I would never be happy in an open space ever again.

Josh:               03:27          Well, I currently am in an open space because my other company, Hint, which is a software, Ruby consulting shop. I'm the only one who likes closed offices, I think. So yeah, I'm currently in an open office but I don't like it.

Starr:              03:47          So you're telling me there's developers that like an open floor plan office?

Josh:               03:51          I think they're starting to come around. I think that if we ... We did this office back when it was the hip thing to have the open office space, and I think people are starting to come around a little bit.

Starr:              04:03          So what if we did, instead of your regular open floor plan office, what if we did one of those where you don't actually have an assigned desk? Where you just float? My sister-in-law works for a tech company here in Seattle, and they don't have fixed desks. It's like a co-working space, basically. You go in, you pick whatever desk is available, you plug in your laptop, you go to town. You don't get your special ergonomic keyboard. You don't get your special standing desk, or whatever, or your ... It's just that. What if we did that?

Ben:                04:38          I would quit. I think that's ridiculous. No, I think that's absolutely asinine. The ideal, everyone has their own office. If you can't have that for some reason, because your company is too cheap, then everyone has an open plan. But if you can't have that for some reason and your company is maniacally insane, and you have this rotating desk thing, quit. Because that's just ridiculous. Who puts up with that? I'm sorry. I'm very opinionated on this particular topic.

Starr:              05:07          Man. Okay, we're getting into like talk radio level of passion here, I like it.

Josh:               05:11          That's basically like a co-working space where you're not even paying the permanent desk option.

Ben:                05:17          Yeah. Now, co-working space I can totally understand. That's what you're paying for, right? You're paying for a hot desk, that's the cheapest option, I get it, right? But when your office, your company, decides that everyone's going to have a hot desk, that's utterly ridiculous. Why ... Oh, man.

Josh:               05:34          Better yet, don't have an office at all.

Ben:                05:38          Yeah, don't have an office at all.

Josh:               05:38          And let people work from home and pay that money to set them up however they want in whatever location they want.

Ben:                05:46          For real. For real.

Starr:              05:47          Well, I don't know, like she doesn't seem to mind. My sister-in-law doesn't really, like she doesn't really love it, but it's not a deal breaker for her. She's not going to quit the company over it or anything like that. But she's also not a cranky, like old developer.

Ben:                06:07          Are you saying I'm an old cranky developer, is that what you're saying?

Josh:               06:09          I think that makes a difference.

Ben:                06:11          I'll own that.

Starr:              06:12          Yeah, you're a bit of a crusty crab, Ben-

Ben:                06:14          Yeah, I know.

Starr:              06:14          ... but we all got a little crust under our elbows here, here and there.

Ben:                06:18          The number one worst part of an office is the commute. That's the biggest problem that I have with offices, is you're shuffling everyone into one location, which is hard to get to because no one wants to live there, at the same time every day, typically. And then everyone tries to get out of there at the same time everyday, typically. And you have to again, do this in reverse, right? So if I have to deal with that ridiculous commute like on the bus, or driving in my car, or whatever, and I'm dealing with that ridiculousness every day, and then I show up and I don't even have my own place to go to? No, mm-mm, uh-uh. Nope, not doing it.

Ben:                06:52          Because I'm going to adjust my chair to the way that feels good, right? And like you just mentioned, keyboard, right? I'm going to have a keyboard that feels good for me, and not some generic keyboard. And if I want to work on my lapboard all the time, why don't I just do that from my couch, right? The point of going into a place to work is to have it set up to be nice to work, according to what you need, not whatever Joe needed yesterday because he happened to be sitting in that spot that you're sitting in today.

Josh:               07:21          Yeah. But for the record, the reason you shouldn't work on your laptop on your couch is because of your back.

Starr:              07:29          Oh, yes.

Josh:               07:31          At least in my experience. I did that for two long and that's how I got back issues.

Starr:              07:38          Yeah, I see pictures of the kids in these hip start-ups, or maybe these bigger tech companies where they have these nests full of bean bags and people are just laying around with their laptops open, they're coding away. This is like oh, my God, honey, you're going to pay for that in 10 years.

Josh:               07:56          Right. Yeah, cut to 10 years later.

Starr:              07:59          Yeah, you're going to wish you had sat upright with both feet on the floor in your Steelcase leap chair, and with the optional head rest.

Ben:                08:11          I write a lot of code in my La-Z-Boy, though, on my laptop.

Starr:              08:15          Oh, you do?

Ben:                08:15          I do. I spend several hours on a regular basis, yeah, per day I would say, in my La-Z-Boy writing code. When I get up early, when I get up at 4:00 or 5:00 or whatever, then I go hop in my La-Z-Boy and I'm there for two or three hours doing stuff. And yeah, I don't have any back problems. It's great.

Starr:              08:32          Well, maybe you don't have the genes. Maybe you have the strong ... like you're the strong-backed Honeybadger.

Josh:               08:39          That could be.

Starr:              08:46          Sometimes it feels like I've got a thin, glass rod running through the very bottom of my spine, and sometimes it breaks. I don't know, not recently, though because I've actually ... We can talk about this later, but I've actually got all the ergonomic style down, like I figured it all out and this is part of growing up, I think, for me at least. Part of growing up is recognizing all the things you're doing that are destroying your body slowly, over time.

Starr:              09:21          When you're young, you're like, when you're 20, you're like oh, my God I just feel like crap. Why do I feel like such crap? And then you turn 30 and you're like well, no shit, I just ate a whole box of Oreos last night. Now I feel like crap. And then you're 40 and then you're like okay, well, also I just have to get up at 7:00 a.m. or I can't sleep in until 10:00 a.m., And I feel like crap. So, I don't know. Do offices. I'm sorry, I'm getting off topic.

Josh:               09:50          Did I mention the reason that I have been working out of this office as opposed to my beloved home office, which is where I would prefer to spend my time?

Starr:              10:01          You got a sweet home office, why aren't you there?

Josh:               10:03          I do. I'm not there because I have an almost three year old and a one, actually yeah, 18 month year old, or 18 month old and yeah, that's a little tough working from home with two little kids under three running around.

Ben:                10:23          Yeah, it's like when Daddy's home it's time to play, right? They don't understand this concept of Daddy's home but he's working.

Josh:               10:31          My office is downstairs and they spend most of their time upstairs, like the playroom and kitchen and everything is upstairs so I've got it pretty dialed in, in that sense, but it's just, it's tough like our walls are not completely sound proof, though. There's a lot of noise. If I ever leave my office, that's when the fun starts usually. That's an excursion. It's usually, you get the feeling that you're trapped in a box that you can't leave if you want to be productive.

Starr:              11:05          Why don't you describe your home office a little bit, Josh? You can't really go there now, but eventually the infestation will diminish I imagine, and you'll be able to go there again.

Josh:               11:17          Yeah, the kids will be in school one day.

Starr:              11:18          You've got it sweet, so why don't you tell us about it?

Josh:               11:20          I don't know, I've got a standing desk, it's a sit-stand desk so it's got a motor so I can, got a motor and pre-sets. Basically I just use two pre-sets, really. But I don't know, I think I usually prefer to sit. I'll stand occasionally if I'm feeling like it. I have a split ergonomic keyboard, though I recently got an ErgoDox and I've been really happy with that. I've gradually moved through different types of mechanical keyboards, mostly because I get wrist, hand and wrist pain from typing a lot, and this is the only keyboard that has actually completely eliminated that pain, which is cool. That's basically it. I've got an ultra-wide monitor.

Starr:              12:18          Which one is that? You recently got one and then you returned it and stuff. Which one did you end up with?

Josh:               12:23          I ended up with the LG 5K-2K ultra-wide. It's 5K across and 2K up. It's flat, it's not curved, it's not one of the curved ones. It's a 34 inch ultra-wide monitor. It gives you basically the resolution of 4K, but it's ultra-wide.

Starr:              12:52          Okay. How much extra screen real estate do you get on that? Like 33% or something like that?

Josh:               12:58          Yeah, it's about a third extra. I found it's pretty good for splitting your screen into thirds, you can do pretty comfortably. You can have three windows side by side that aren't too scrunched.

Starr:              13:17          That's interesting. I thought about getting one of those, but then I'm just like, oh, I just keep putting it off because I just want to see how they work out.

Josh:               13:24          I still have that one at home. I've moved a lot of the rest of my setup down here to the office in downtown Vancouver. But down here I already had two 4k displays that are just like 27 inch 4Ks. But recently I tried ... I have one in regular orientation and then on the left I put the second one in portrait, and I've been trying that out. Usually if I'm coding I have Vim, or whatever, my code running on the main monitor and then I'll put my browser or whatever documentation that I need on the portrait mode monitor, and that's been a really nice thing lately.

Starr:              14:14          Oh, cool. I tried that briefly. It didn't really stick for me, but-

Josh:               14:18          Really?

Starr:              14:19          Yeah.

Josh:               14:20          I've been liking it. I'm not sure which I like better, the ultra-wide or the two 27s. I have to admit, I really am liking the portrait thing.

Starr:              14:34          Oh, cool.

Josh:               14:36          I don't think I would do a second monitor with the 34 inch ultra-wide, because it's just excessive.

Starr:              14:42          That's too much.

Josh:               14:43          Except maybe another 34 inch ultra-wide. Stacked on top.

Starr:              14:50          Oh, yeah. You need one of those stacked displays where you've got one in the front, two on the sides, and then one above the one in the front that are angled down at you.

Josh:               15:02          Those stacking ones?

Starr:              15:03          Yeah.

Josh:               15:03          Yeah. We'll see if I end up with one of those, whatever the Apple, the 6K. It's a 6K monitor, but it costs $6,000 dollars. Either the resolution or the price, I think.

Starr:              15:18          Can I just tell you guys something? This is disturbing for me, because I'm a historically very cheap person, but the fact that we run this company and we hire people and we pay an ungodly amount of money to AWS, and I see something that's like a $6,000 dollar monitor, and I'm like oh, okay. I'm not going to buy it myself, I don't really need that personally, but meh, okay. Whatever. And then I'm like wait, Starr, that's a lot of money for a monitor. You can get a monitor for a couple hundred bucks these days. But it's just this ... I've gotten anchored at these high price points by reviewing our budgets. I don't know, it's just weird. I got to get out of that habit. I got to un-anchor myself.

Josh:               16:08          I'm not going to go buy a Mac Pro with that monitor because I don't need that. That is excessive, but I'm fine with spending a lot of money on computers. It's the only equipment that I use for my career, so I figure buy a nice computer at least, or whatever you like working on.

Starr:              16:29          Yeah. But don't make it cost as much as a factory certified refurbished car.

Josh:               16:38          I don't know. I know contractors who have to have a truck.

Ben:                16:43          Yeah. Make a lot more money with our laptops than we do with our cars, so they're probably worth the money spent on them.

Starr:              16:49          So, Ben. You are like a notoriously minimalist office person.

Ben:                16:54          Ah yes, yes I am.

Starr:              16:56          You can't see this in the audio, but basically Ben's background is a white wall. There's a copier behind him. Ben's just like ... You just like a blank room and a desk, right?

Ben:                17:07          Yep. Basically, which is funny considering how much I hate the idea of hot desks because I'm really the kind of person that doesn't have much on my desk anyway. So I could actually conceivably swing the hot desk thing because I just show up with my laptop and then I leave and ... it's like Shadow, right?

Starr:              17:24          That's what I think every time you leave. Was he even here?

Ben:                17:31          Exactly.

Starr:              17:32          That's why I started this podcast, just to have documentary evidence that you exist.

Ben:                17:36          Right, okay. Yeah, my office, I like to keep it minimal, but I do like to have a nice monitor so I do have the LG ultra-fine 5K, which is a fantastic monitor. It does Retina, and that's all I care about. The resolution is what I need, I don't care about the size so much, but I need sharp resolution for my aging eyes. And it's beautiful, it pairs nicely with my MacBook Pro, which is why I bought it.

Ben:                18:04          And I love, back to the minimalist thing, I love the one cable and I'm done thing, right? I plug in the Thunderbolt cable and then I've got power, I've got video, I've got audio. Everything I need is right there. One day we will have wireless video. That's not cost prohibitive, and I will have that and I will be happy because then I don't have to plug in anything when I have the wireless power and the wireless video. It'll be great.

Starr:              18:32          You'll be able to play some nice pranks on people then, hopefully. Hopefully, they don't secure it very well so you can just take over people's screens. That would be nice.

Ben:                18:41          I've never had the home office, though. When I started doing freelancing, like when I left the work-a-day world, I tried to work from home and that just didn't work. I too had kids at home, and they're great and they know how to leave me alone when I want to be left alone, but still there's ... Like you said, going out of your office and going to get a snack or whatever, and it's just an interruption, and it breaks the flow. There are noises around because your walls aren't soundproofed, and things like that. So it lasted oh, probably two days when I was working at home and before I decided I've got to have some office space. So what I've done, because office space is ridiculously expensive to acquire, because you have to get this minimum size of typically 1,000 square feet or something, and you have to commit to this one year or three year or six year lease, or whatever.

Starr:              19:32          Yeah, as a solo person a normal office space lease is just ... It's not impossible, but it's insanely expensive and kind of dumb.

Ben:                19:41          Yeah, it's mostly out of reach, yeah. So your options are well, you could buy an office condo but that's pretty limited.

Starr:              19:49          Wait, what's an office condo?

Ben:                19:51          An office condo is ... You know what a condo is, like a residential condo. You buy this unit inside of a big building, right, typically. Well, an office condo is the same thing. You buy a unit inside of a big office building. So instead of renting or leasing your office on an extended basis, you buy the thing, right? Obviously, they're not cheap because you're buying this office space, and since I have an office building that gets leased at crazy rates, but you basically own it. You don't have to rent it.

Starr:              20:20          That's pretty cool.

Starr:              20:20          I had no idea that existed, but it makes sense.

Ben:                20:23          Yeah, yeah. There's not a lot of them out there, and I don't think there are any on the east side of Seattle where I am, which is one problem with the office condo approach. So what I typically do, is what I've done over the past, I don't know, 15 years or whatever, is sub-lease. So there's always office space out there that someone has that they're not using, and the circumstances vary widely but you can typically find something that's good for development work that's not a budget-buster and that's pretty close to home.

Ben:                21:00          So what I did is, I live in again, the east side of Seattle, so the Kirkland area, and near me, I live right by Woodenville, which is a winery district and it's transitioning into the rural area of the King County in Washington. And there just so happens to be a number of wineries here, some that are, to have a little bit of vineyard here, but some that are just like a retail shop, like a tasting room. So there's an individual here who owns a building that used to be like a Jiffy Lube kind of building, and they converted the garage spaces to these retail wine shops, tasting rooms, and the upstairs is like normal Class A office space.

Ben:                21:48          So he has an office, my landlord does, and then he had two offices that he's not using upstairs next to his, and so I met him through a friend and found that he had this space, and so I subleased that on a month to month basis. That's worked out pretty well for me. It's quiet, except for on Thursday and Friday afternoons when the tasting room is in full swing, and they've got the music going and they've got people downstairs having a good time. Then I might have to check out and go to the library or something for a couple hours, but in the mornings it's very quiet. I'm the only one here, and it's nice. It's close to home so I don't have to deal with that ridiculous commute. And I have my own space, i don't have to share it with anybody. It's great.

Josh:               22:32          Yeah. Except a copier.

Ben:                22:34          Except a copier. Well, that's my landlord's copier. He's like, "Oh, can I just leave that in the room?" And I'm like, "Yeah, sure." It's a really big copier, so ... Yeah, so I have my Aeron chair set up just so, and I have my ... I used to do the ergonomic keyboard thing, I used to just swear by the Microsoft , I can't remember what it's called, but the old one, the beige looking one that's really, really big, the battle tank of-

Josh:               23:02          Yeah, I do. Forget the name.

Ben:                23:04          ... battleship of keyboards, yeah. I think it's before the curve, but anyway, it doesn't matter. I used to have, I still have it, it's in my garage, but what I found was when I moved to doing freelancing I had my laptop, I would be transitioning between my office and then at home, like I said, I worked for a couple hours in the La-Z-Boy, and my hands would just get confused, right? During the day I'd be on this really big honking keyboard that was ergonomic and split, but in the mornings I would be on my laptop and be cramped up on that small keyboard. So I gave up that keyboard, the ergonomic keyboard, and I just got an Apple wireless keyboard, which basically matches the layout of the laptop, so now I don't have to transition between the two sizes, and fortunately I don't have RSI problems, so I can just get away with being on the cramped keyboard, so that's fine.

Josh:               23:56          Yeah. Yeah, I think if not for the RSI problems that makes sense, because it's the least confusing for your hands.

Ben:                24:07          Yeah, yeah. It's nice to have the same function keys in the same places, and that sort of thing. Of course, the MacBook Pro with the touch bar threw that off because now there's eight keys not where it is on my keyboard, so I do have a preference of actually using the keyboard separate. It's like I have my escape key, but-

Starr:              24:25          The thing about that, Ben, is it's your fault. It's your fault for expecting that.

Ben:                24:31          That's true.

Josh:               24:31          Yeah, you just need to be more adventurous.

Starr:              24:37          I'm getting ready for a job at Apple, like customer service.

Ben:                24:44          So another option, oh, I guess I should mention that. For a while I was doing an executive suite. That's where you can, it's like Regus has these, where you can go and you can lease a single office, a single person office or usually it's up to three or four people is the biggest office they would offer. That's expensive, it's not as expensive as having a full office on a long term lease, but it's still pretty pricey, like basically double what I pay for a sub-lease. But you get like a full service office. You have a mailing address, you have a coffee service, and all those things that you don't ever use.

Josh:               25:21          They even give you a reception service, so you can have someone answer your calls and forward your voice ... Take messages for you.

Starr:              25:30          A lot of people don't know about this, but a Regus is, are, a company that's ... They have offices in pretty much every city of any size in the country, and you can go rent an office from them. What we do all the time is we rent conference rooms from them to have our meetings and stuff, just because it's nice to have an actual conference room to have a meeting and not have to try and do it at a coffee shop or whatever. At first, I thought that sounds like basic and boring, and whatever, but now I'm a real big Regus fan, like it's just super convenient and nice.

Ben:                26:07          And pricey.

Starr:              26:08          And pricey, yeah. I think when I looked into that it was $600 to $1,000 dollars a month for a dedicated office.

Ben:                26:17          Yeah, and they're smart about charging more for the exterior offices. The cheapest ones don't have windows.

Starr:              26:25          Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Josh:               26:27          When I started, like starting out my freelance career, one of my first offices was an executive office in the middle of the building, like basically a closet and I had a desk, it was one of those narrow desks. It was basically like a side table and it was ... It's giving me post traumatic stress right now.

Ben:                26:56          I'm a big believer in natural light. You got to have a window. You can't be shut up in a closet.

Starr:              27:01          So, okay. Can I go?

Ben:                27:03          Go.

Starr:              27:05          All right. I'm currently talking to you guys from my beautiful home office. My house is incredibly small. You people who live in these 2.000 square foot houses, et cetera, I think my house is 1,100 square feet. It's tiny, and basically I'm in one of the four bedrooms and that means we don't have any guest room or anything like that. So one of my big projects over the past year has been to construct a office in my back yard. So it's like a legit 350 square foot structure, it's the whole deal. It's a real building. I had to go down to the city, I had to get permits, pay somebody to do the foundation.

Starr:              28:00          Then after the foundation I basically have been doing it all myself, with a little bit of help from people when I just can't carry something by myself. But yeah, for the most part it's by myself, and we're getting really close. The walls are up, the windows are in, the doors are in, I started putting siding on yesterday. And I'll probably have it completely sided in a couple more days. And after that, it's just electricity and insulation and drywall, and then it's done. So I hope to move in there in the next couple months.

Josh:               28:33          That's super exciting.

Starr:              28:35          It is, yeah. A couple tips on that. If you ever want to build an office in your back yard, first of all, really consider not doing it. Or not doing it yourself, unless you just really like construction. I enjoy going out there and doing something physical, but it has taken an insane amount of time and thought and work and all that stuff, because if you come to it from a developer perspective, like I have very minimal background in construction. I worked construction briefly.

Starr:              29:11          I had an idea of roughly how things fit together, but there's actually a lot of detail that you have to get right when you're building any sort of structure, and you have to deal with getting inspections, and you have to deal with, I don't know, it's just a lot. Even for something as basic as ... This is basically like a rectangular building with a closet. It's the simplest possible building you could get. Even with that, there's just so many details that you have to figure out so that it will be waterproof, so that it will meet code.

Starr:              29:56          For example, did you know that walls in a seismically active place, like Seattle, walls have to have a certain amount of bracing on them. There's a lot of calculations that you have to do, not to necessarily do the engineering for it but the code lists all these things you have to do. You've got to have so many inches of bracing per inch of wall, openings can't be any bigger than xyz. But the one thing that's interesting that I'll share, that is a little bit surprising, is that the code was the National Residential ... I'm sorry, the International Residential Code. It's pretty standard, it's accepted by a lot of different cities.

Starr:              30:44          If you actually read the code, it will basically tell you how to do everything you need to do. I mean not everything, but the important stuff, like the structural stuff. It'll be like, okay, you need to have so much bracing on this wall, or you have to call an engineer and have them do it. And you don't want to do that because that's expensive and this is like a little 300 square foot rectangle, so they don't want to deal with that. It's not worth their time. So you're just like, do everything like the code tells you to do it, which is just a lot of research and a lot of work. So, I don't know. Yeah, unless you just want it to be your hobby for a year, don't do it.

Josh:               31:27          Plus, you even bought a tool belt, like that's how serious you were on this, right?

Starr:              31:36          No, I didn't buy a tool belt, Josh.

Josh:               31:38          You didn't buy a tool belt?

Starr:              31:39          I didn't buy a tool belt, no. I don't like having all that stuff hanging off of me. I don't like it.

Josh:               31:47          This whole time I was imagining you with a tool belt.

Starr:              31:50          Well, I'm sorry I couldn't match your expectations, Josh. I did have to buy lots of different types of nail guns.

Starr:              31:57          Yeah, pro tip?

Josh:               31:58          Those are fun.

Starr:              31:59          When you're building a building you use a lot of nails. And if you use a lot of different types of nails, each one of those needs it's own gun. Because you don't want to be hammering those.

Ben:                32:09          So how many nail guns did you end up buying?

Starr:              32:11          I have three right now. And I'm really making some them do double duty. I really probably should have four.

Ben:                32:21          I never would have thought that you'd have to have more than one nail gun.

Josh:               32:27          You mentioned that if Ida's home, that you just take off because it's easier to just hang than try to work with the distractions. I think that's a really good thing. It's okay to throw in the towel and just admit that you can't work today, if there's too many distractions. I think that's better than trying to stick it out and work under miserable conditions.

Starr:              32:52          I agree. It's one of my favorite things about having my own thing, is that I don't have to pretend to work when it's impossible for me to work. I can just be like, okay, this isn't working out. We're going to reschedule this.

Josh:               33:16          So, conclave at Starr's next time. Let's move it out of the vault.

Starr:              33:21          Oh, yeah. We totally could do that. We totally could do that. I could get a ping pong table and put in there if you guys want. And we could have a Honeybadger ping pong table. Totally.

Ben:                33:33          Got to get the hot tub in there.

Josh:               33:39          Yeah. Foosball, hot tub, ping pong.

Starr:              33:42          Yeah. That'd be pretty sad. I'd just be in the hot tub all day by myself, in my little room.

Announcer:          33:54          Founder Quest is a weekly podcast by the founders of Honeybadger. Zero instrumentation, 360 degree coverage of errors, outages, and service degradations for your web apps. If you have a web app, you need it. Available at honeybadger.io. Want more from the founders? Go to founderquestpodcast.com. That's one word. You can access our huge back catalog or sign up for our newsletter to get exclusive VIP content. FounderQuest is available on iTunes, Spotify, and other purveyors of fine podcasts. We'll see you next week.
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