The secret is out.
Entrepreneur‘s August issue hit the newsstands today, and features our beloved playground as the “next big city for entrepreneurship.” As the article states, “the variety of businesses in Bend is staggering” and identifies three successful tech companies that got their start with “help from a forward-looking city.”
G5 is proudly one of those mentioned tech companies–and is even prouder to be part of such an entrepreneurial community.
Check out this excerpt from writer Bruce Schoenfeld’s terrific article “Destined for Greatness“:
Breakout Business: G5
G5′s second floor office space in downtown Bend looks like the stage set for a sitcom about a postmillennium tech company. There’s the cooler stocked with Red Bull, the exposed heating pipes and bare concrete floors, the dartboard for blowing off steam – even the requisite canine trotting between desks in the open-space work area.
“No one works in offices anymore,” says CEO Dan Hobin, who founded the company seven years ago. “They all want to work in a Starbucks. So this is like one big coffee shop.” At last count, G5 had 130 employees and a 43 percent annual growth rate. Its 2012 billings are expected to top $22 million. From the original concept of providing internet marketing for self-storage facilities, it has expanded its online services to owners of retirement homes and multifamily apartments.
Hobin came north from California in 2002 and co-founded the Bend Venture Conference. “No one here even knew what a venture conference was,” he says. “We wanted to start the conversation.”
But after two years of entries, he couldn’t find a company he wanted to invest in. So he started his own. His brother owned multiple self-storage units in Los Angeles and had little internet presence. That led to G5, a marketing tool for a category of business that typically isn’t tech-savvy.
“We bootstrapped the company for five years,” Hobin says. “I couldn’t have done that in Silicon Valley, but you can run a company for a lot less money in Bend. I’d also have to compete with 50 other companies for employees. They’d jump across the street for a better job.”
Instead, Hobin employs overqualified pros in nearly every position. “If they were in Seattle or San Francisco, they’d have a much bigger job, but they don’t want to be in Seattle or San Francisco,” he says. “They want a 10-minute commute and a cost of living that’s one-tenth what it would be. The result is, you get people who are more engaged in what they do.”