Back when I was working in Chicago at a late stage startup, I used to have great conversations with the president of the company about our various approaches to managing businesses. We shared war stories, ramblings about taxation in US and EU, and the software developers’ versions of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. But one thing that stuck with me was his statement: “this company will never own a foosball table, because every company I have seen own one went under months after purchasing it”. The conversation that ensued is worth thinking about. When considering what is “cool to have” for employee morale and what they really need, we really need to distance ourselves from our egos.
UPDATE (2/15/10): Please see the part two of this article: How a foosball table can kill your startup – part two
Photo credit: Helen Cook