It may sound hard to believe, but Brad Vincent and I, co-founders here at FooPlugins.com, met in person for the first time just a few days ago after having worked together for over 18 months. It’s the nature of a distributed team I suppose. I live in the U.S. (in Florida) and Brad lives in South Africa (Durban). We thought it would be fun to share a bit of the experience of meeting for the first time and also serve as an example of how a full time business can come from communicating by email and Skype.
I drove to Brad’s hotel and met him in the lobby. I kept wondering if we would be awkward talking face to face, but when we met it seemed as natural as our weekly meetings on Skype audio chats. No awkwardness at all, but kind of weird to be talking to his face and not looking at my computer monitor looking at the latest mockup of a plugin we’re working on or some other business related website or spreadsheet.
We headed straight for the Apple store (as tech nerds do) and along the 30 minute ride had a more personal conversation than usual with some business mixed in. The exchange rate between the South African rand and U.S. dollar is pretty decent, so it seemed like a good place to spend a little cash.
The Apple Store
I’m never one to pass up a marketing opportunity, so I browsed the store myself and did a bit of Internet work…
After the technical business was done, it was time for that all important bonding experience. A cool refreshing drink between friends.
We even had the pleasure of getting photo bombed by the bartender…look close;)
After a quick drink, I took Brad back to his family at the hotel. We planned to meet at Disney’s Epcot theme park the next day with our families.
Epcot was great. If you’ve never been during their Food and Wine Festival, I highly recommend it, but please make sure to go hungry. Every country has a kiosk along the walking path with samplings of their local foods (paid of course).
We took an afternoon break and met up later that evening at Planet Hollywood for a real American meal (larger than necessary portion sizes)
Our Next Meeting
There was only one drawback to our time together and it was that we were missing the third member of our core team here at Foo, Matt Cromwell, our Solutions Manager. Matt and I met at WordCamp Miami during our official launch back in April but Brad and Matt have yet to meet in person. You can read more about our company launch experience here.
Brad has agreed to come back to the States for WordCamp Miami, and our intention is that the entire Foo team will be able to spend some quality time together in April.