meeting new friends

This past Thursday I was invited by a fairly young startup to give a lecture and play the team at a small office in downtown San Francisco. The company’s name is Opendoor and they are trying to revolutionize the home selling market as they aim at helping tenants move out without all the hustle of putting your home on the market and then waiting indefinitely for a bid. Opendoor expedites this process by evaluating the house and giving you an immediate quote within minutes, simple as that. Nevertheless, I’m not much of a connoisseur of the market so I won’t go into too much detail about it. What I’m going to write is my experience with their team.

First thing that struck me as I entered the office via a narrow block entrance was the openness and space they have at their disposal, as well as all the printed motivational quotes they have on their walls, the minimalistic set-up of the desks, and all the high tech devices that track the data which stands at the core of their home selling process. Despite the fact that I don’t plan on working in an office anytime soon, I would not mind at all working in one that has the similar personality to that of Opendoors’.
As soon as I arrived I got invited in the private and got to meet the whole crew, the guys with who I was going to spend my next couple of hours as I was helping them strategize via chess. I have to specify that during the lecture I also had a special attendee, Coco, the very small and quiet dog.

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I started off by playing one of their main players in a game with time odds, I played with 1 minute while my opponent had 5 minutes at his disposal. I usually win my games quite easily when giving time odds for the simple fact that my opponents don’t use their time wisely, they will try to play against my clock and that backfires quickly. This game wasn’t like that, my opponent took a lot of time and caused a lot of problems. Luckily he blundered in an equal position and soon the situation clarified in my advantage. Next we did a timed simultaneous exhibition on 4 boards (5 min game), I think this was the highlight of our meeting as I was running erratically from one board to another (I’ve never done this before!) without really understanding how I should handle the situation.

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The games soon became more of a challenge of who can strike the clock faster, ultimately I win 3 games and lost 1. Very successful result given my nonexistent previous experience with such fitness activities. The next activities on the schedule were a lecture and a blindfold game against the team, I had a lot of fun doing that. For further events I plan on increasing the number of boards during the blindfold exhibition, hopefully that will not end up badly.
I had a great experience at my first corporate training event, the Opendoor team really made the experience very enjoyable and relaxed, I definitely hope we cross paths again. If you are ever in a dangerous situation where you need to flee and sell your San Francisco property as soon as possible, visit the company’s website @ opendoor