_Signal vs. Noise_ has an ongoing series entitled “Bootstrapped, Profitable, and Proud.” Last spring they [profiled Braintree and its founder Bryan Johnson][svn]. It’s a great story about a guy who, while not particularly interested in payment processing, is interested in setting up and running a good company. Johnson’s particular moment arrived when he realized he was trapped within a bureaucratic, and socio-cultural, web which wasn’t feeding him:
> By 2007, Johnson was sick of working for a big corporation. He says, “I concluded that I’d rather live poor and hungry than work in a large, bureaucratic and political environment where I personally couldn’t see how my efforts created value.”
He left the company and eventually started his own company, Braintree, where he attributes some of the joy of working there simply to the people, and they appear to cultivate that environment quite consciously:
> Braintree has an eclectic office in Chicago that consists of two large, open rooms, and pixelated old-school Mario decals on the walls. There are no offices, no managers, and no dividers. “It does occasionally get chaotic, but it’s a trade-off we make for collaboration and enjoyment,” says Johnson. “We all make an effort to spend time together outside of work. We eat lunches together, have events at each other’s houses, and organize outings for everything from cooking classes to concerts. We also organize and pay for after-work activities, such as Whirley Ball and Bulls’ games. We try to do one per month.
It’s an enviable, and duplicatable, idea.