Today Myplanet begins a bold new chapter in our ongoing adventure. For the first time ever, our Toronto team is calling downtown its home. Across the country, our colleagues in Vancouver will open the doors to our first West Coast office. And on the other side of the planet, our Ukraine team eagerly awaits the setup of our new telepresence gadgetry. We’ve always claimed to be a ‘global’ company in our vision and client roster. Now we have the bricks & mortar to prove it.
It’s been quite the journey so far. In 2009, we were just six Myplaneteers strong (we added an extra fire), hunched together in a tiny uptown office, often bunking at each other’s homes. We shared a boardroom, office help, and our Internet connection with five or six other companies. Unsurprisingly, we frequently ran out of wall space for our brainstorming sessions.
In 2010, we hit startup adolescence in Markham. Spreading across an entire floor at 90C Centurian, we grew to 30 people working both on-site and remote. Despite the not-so-trendy industrial complex we called home, we came to love our space. Defying the long commutes and gloomy glow of fluorescent overhead lighting, we injected our personality and nurtured our culture with a barrage of homemade inspirational posters, Ikea furniture and impromptu breakdance parties.
Today, as we near 100 Myplaneteers, we’re marking another milestone. We’re giddy as hell to start designing, tinkering, building, creating and learning in our new spaces. And most importantly, we’re proud to say that a true team effort has brought us to this point. The creativity, passion, and commitment of our staff are remarkable; their drive to build a company that effectively mashes together both sides of the brain is inspiring. It’s been a voyage of blood, sweat and tears—or more appropriately, a billion post-its, lines of code, and late nights—with growing pains and pleasures at every pivot. And today our new spaces are a testament to that relentless, collective pursuit of doing exactly what certain people told us we couldn’t, and doing it as a team (even Keanu helped out here and there—thanks Keanu!)
So here we are in Toronto, working passionately in a magnificent building at Jarvis & Adelaide. Our vision for the space reflects our appetite for controlled chaos, the Flintstone multivitamin that keeps us young even as we mature (both figuratively and literally). And since we’ve always believed that loose frameworks with ample flexibility are ideal building platforms, our new digs embody that ideology: Inside Toronto’s beautiful Bank of Upper Canada heritage building, our teams will find a simple, modernist canvas upon which to create expressive, playful, and unique spaces that at the same time speak to the rigor, continuity, and discipline of our work.
Of course, we’re humble enough to recognize that our expertise in design and development doesn’t necessarily translate to bricks & mortar. There are certain aspects of Agile, Lean, bricolage, Scrum, and so on that clearly wouldn’t work for architecture (thankfully!) While we’ve had a surplus of ideas and the scrappiness to figure things out as we go—our entire team has had a hand in sculpting the experience—we’ve also had the wisdom to seek out expertise where it made sense. Without the help and guidance of our architects, construction specialists & movers, realtors, suppliers, and others along the way, we’d have made it little farther than Photoshop renders (or CSS renders for our in-browser types).
These partners helped us create a space that respects and preserves nearly 200 years of Canadian heritage across all three floors while still providing ample opportunity to be Myplanet. Starting today, we will practice in our office what we preach for digital. We’ve intentionally left ourselves with a CMD+N (that’s a fresh canvas for you mouse users) to experiment—we’ve created our MVP. We’ll begin to customize, adapt and pivot as we validate and invalidate our space. We’ll begin to iterate as we learn more about our needs and habits. We’re really damn excited.
Of course, over in Vancouver our teammates are equally excited about their own new location. It’s the first time Myplanet will have a physical presence on the West Coast. We asked Jerry Low, one of our original remote colleagues and our Vancouver office lead, to comment on his vision for the West Coast office:
Until now, we’ve all been working remote in our homes (and sometimes our pajamas!) The time has come for us to unite in a physical location and to take the next step in giving back to the Vancouver community. Our peers in Toronto actively support, attend and even organize design and development events. Our goal for the Vancouver office is the same. Vancouver is a wonderful city with talented designers and a healthy technical community. We wish to partake in and offer our resources to those communities to help further our city’s presence in the industry. With an office situated in Gastown, Myplanet’s community involvement in Vancouver will be that much more feasible. Geoff, Djun, Katrina and myself (the four current Vancouver members) are ecstatic for the opening of Myplanet Vancouver!
Change is inevitable in this industry, and that’s probably a good thing. Myplaneteers are never happy sitting still for long. But we recognize that a new space is just that—a new, material space. Despite their splendor (and impeccable cable management!), our new environments will not compromise the culture we’ve all grown to love, office memes included. Moreover, we won’t forget our roots. We’d like to thank everyone we’ve had a chance to partner with over the past four years. We’d like to thank every client of every size who invested trust in Myplanet and made our growth possible. We want to high-five our peers, who continue to challenge us, support our work, and help us understand the industry. And most definitely we want to give a big group hug to our friends & family who have supported us unflinchingly throughout our ongoing journey.
Welcome to the new Myplanet Toronto HQ at 252 Adelaide Street East. And greetings from Myplanet Vancouver at 312-510 West Hastings Street. Drop by, say hello, and geek out with us. :)Join the Discussion »