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Just a few blocks off the strip

I am writing this from the Hotel Mardi Gras in Las Vegas during a two-day visit to an insurance technology conference. Courtesy of Hotwire, I booked this room at the bargain rate of $71.50. Including taxes. For two nights.

It’s a retired (and very tired) Comfort Inn, and the bar/casino/check-in area reminds me a little bit of Nicolas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas. Once I booked the room and found out the hotel name, I checked out the reviews on Trip Advisor. Two of my favorite pans:

Not sure this is the full story

and:

That must have been a very small bar of soap.

At the end of the day, the hotel is just fine, particularly if you remember to take all of your empty bottles of booze home and remind yourself not to run your fingers along the molding in the hallways. My room is clean, it’s close to the convention center, and, not incidentally, it only runs $30 per night before taxes.

Life is a little different when you’re on a budget.

The founding team at Gain Compliance came from a highly successful startup. When we started there, our working conditions were pretty standard fare for an early growth company — crowded space in a business research park — and probably more similar to where we are now than not. But, by the time we left (post IPO), we were enjoying top-of-the-line working conditions — beautiful building, company chef, thousand dollar espresso makers, all-you-can-eat snacks and drinks, Aeron chairs, gym, game room, top-drawer technology resources.

If you work for a successful company that is able to invest in these perks, life can be very, very good. By way of a specific example of the lush office space at our last company: for common meeting and networking space, we had an indoor atrium featuring thirty foot trees. As the landscape architect described: “With the seasonal cold of Iowan winters, the interior atrium can be a verdantly green space that is welcoming and inviting throughout all seasons.”

 

Image courtesy of Pinterest/Shaw Contract

Contrast this to our current situation: our space at Gain Compliance is far more modest. One of our favorite investors, to poke fun, made an office warming gift that highlights how far we’ve fallen in this one dimension:

 

Bonus: with cacti, there isn’t much overhead for upkeep.

Similarly, in the compare-and-contrast category, here’s what the entrances to the two companies look like:

 

Please make sure to keep on the paths through the landscaped grounds.

and Gain Compliance:

 

Please keep to the left to visit us in Suite 100.

The superficial differences between the two locations are rooted in the different life stages of the companies.

We are a small team, recently closed on seed funding, and are pre-product and pre-revenue. Capital is the lifeblood of the early startup, and we’re incredibly focused on its conservation. And, while I’m not sure we aspire to incredibly lush business accommodations, one day it will be nice to move a little farther from the bathrooms.

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