A Thoroughbred Startup Desk

Editor’s note: Originally published February 26, 2015.

San Francisco, 2010. “Finished, Solid Beech 6 Ft Work Table — $110.” We struck on $95 because I had to drive across the bridge into the city. He texted an address off of 4th & Brannan St.

It was one of those office suites that got terrific, daytime sunlight. The guy had a sweet beard protecting a neat, pressed shirt. Unmanned squads of monitors with cable tumbleweeds and brand swag were scattered everywhere. Aside from central air, it was quiet.

As we were dismantling the desk legs and packing my car, I asked what idea were they hacking on. He explained they were shutting down after a failed pivot. We exchanged more pleasantries. I secretly started worrying about the traffic on the bridge.

I founded Caviar on that very same desk. After city expansions and fundraising, it survived the move to SOMA when Melis and I got married.

It’s still standing in my dining room. I can see Melis sitting at the desk from the hallway scribbling notes in her moleskin, building Fashion Mews. This will be the desk’s third startup. A true thoroughbred.

But for the life of me, I can’t remember what that first startup’s name was.