[Foundation-l] Wikia leasing office space to WMF

Naoko Komura nkomura at gmail.com
Sat Jan 24 07:03:57 UTC 2009

On Fri, Jan 23, 2009 at 3:16 PM, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton at gmail.com>wrote:

> 2009/1/23 Erik Moeller <erik at wikimedia.org>:
> > 2009/1/23 Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton at gmail.com>:
> >> Sounds good. Could you calmly and sensibly explain it to me, then? How
> >> did you come to decide that the addition benefits of working in
> >> Wikia's offices were worth the extra money? (I'm willing to accept
> >> that there could be a good explanation, I'd just like to see it.)
> >
> > I already named some of them - greater proximity, shared kitchen use,
> > shared speakerphone use, established Internet connectivity. The other
> > space we were looking at also had noise issues: open concept with two
> > other tenants, and some noise every day at 6PM due to music lessons in
> > the same building.
> I was looking for something a little more quantitative. I know it is
> difficult to quantify these things, which is why, in my experience,
> charities usually err on the side of caution. In fact, the model
> governing documents for the UK Charities Commission explicitly forbids
> any such dealings with companies that share directors with the charity
> (I'm not sure the law requires such strict rules, but they are
> certainly recommended).

Hello, Thomas.

I admire your persistence in putting your question forward until your
question is answered.  :-)  Let me try to answer your questions by giving
you the background of this negotiation.  So the number of total quotes
collected are ten including Wikia.  The criteria of request for quotes were
1) the space needs to house minimum five personnel  and (2) the project team
needs a meeting room.  These ten quotes are not apple-to-apple comparison,
for example parameters such as total space availability, infrastructure
readiness, meeting room availability, distance from the WMF, access to
kitchen, noise level, furnished and etc.  Of course, the price varies too.
We narrowed down our selection to two office space candidates, one is a
shared office (open space) with architects and a game software company,
which is near the Moscone Center (15 minutes walk from the WMF).  Let's call
this space X for simplicity's sake.  Wikia's sub-lease space, let's call it
W, offered a smaller floor space than X, but the workspace is enclosed and
can be shut down from noise, and access to a kitchen and toilet were better
than X.  Connectivity was ready to go, we just need to install a router for
WiFi.  W's asking price was more than X, but we said our offer price would
not be more than the price quoted by X.  So, W evaluated if they can rent
out space higher than our offer price.  As there was no higher bidder than
us, W had agreed to offer the space at our offer price.  So the fact that W
is even closer-walking distance (5 minute) which saves about 20 minutes per
trip per person was additional advantage for us.  The traffic between the
satellite office is not just by the project team, but it includes HR, IT and
Finance so this 20 min/trip/person cannot be under-estimated if you
translate it into the 15 months span.  Finally, the fact that the project
team can walk over to Wikia's tech team and exchange ideas or chat by the
water foundation comes on top of fair financial evaluation summarized
above.  I will try my best not to bug Wikia's tech team when they have
deadline to meet though. :-)

FYI - I posted the following reply to blog about 8 hours ago, but since it
hasn't cleared the spam check, let me just insert here;
"On the space front, the bid from the Wikia's space was matched to the
equivalent office space in SOMA.  Leasing office space from the walking
distance location has a great advantage for the project team and the WMF.
As the project team will meet with the WMF's tech team regularly and
administrative resource such as HR and Finance are shared, keeping the
satellite office at walking distance helps save time from going back and
forth.  On the tech collaboration front, we are not treating Wikia's
development work as the solution.  Their work is one of the modified
MediaWiki we are evaluating along with what's out there such as deki,
uniwiki and numerous extensions developed by MediaWiki developers.  The
project team will produce its own code, but if the solution is out there
already, why not collaborate, incorporate, and make it available for
existing and next users of MediaWiki?  Isn't that an open source project all
about? "

I wish you all a jolly weekend.

- Naoko

> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l

Support Free Knowledge:  http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate

More information about the foundation-l mailing list