The Workplace Podcast Episode #4: Brian Chen & The Landscape of the Workplace

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In this episode of The Workplace Podcast, we interview Brian Chen, Co-Founder and CEO of ROOM. Brian and ROOM are reinventing the modern workplace with modular and creative office solutions with its soundproof phone booth that brings privacy back to the open office. ROOM focuses on simple, functional design to keep costs low, becoming the first to solve the problem of noise at scale using affordable, sustainable and simple solutions. 

Brian is no stranger to open plan environments, having spent the majority of his career working with and advising tech startups, where he routinely found himself exposed to constant noise and distraction. And his background is deeply rooted in the technology startup scene, where he’s developed a keen eye on how to build companies, scale growth alongside company culture, explore new business models and seize opportunity in emerging industries. 

About Brian Chen:

Brian Chen is the CEO and co-founder of ROOM, where he’s reimagining the modern workplace with affordable, sustainable and simple solutions. Brian is no stranger to open plan environments, having spent the majority of his career working with and advising tech startups, where he routinely found himself exposed to constant noise and distraction.

A Y Combinator alum, Brian was a founding member of Bluesmart, a smart luggage company that pioneered a new category of connected consumer travel accessories. Brian’s background is deeply rooted in the technology startup scene, where he’s developed a keen eye on how to build companies, scale growth alongside company culture, explore new business models and seize opportunity in emerging industries.  

An entrepreneur at heart, Brian left MIT’s Sloan School of Management after one semester to pursue his technology ventures full-time. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and English Literature from Swarthmore College.

About ROOM:

ROOM is reinventing the modern workplace. With modular and creative office solutions, ROOM helps companies of all sizes build a better work environment. ROOM’s flagship product is a soundproof phone booth that brings privacy back to the open office. It’s engineered with recycled materials to do more by using less and is easy to assemble and move around. ROOM ships flat directly to businesses and focuses on simple, functional design to keep costs low, becoming the first to solve the problem of noise at scale.

Launched in May 2018 by serial entrepreneurs Morten Meisner-Jensen and Brian Chen, ROOM is backed by Slow Ventures and notable angel investors from Silicon Valley. Recognized by Fast Company in its 2019 Innovation by Design Awards, and named one of the Best Inventions of 2018 by TIME Magazine, ROOM is already building the workplace of tomorrow for over 2,000 clients ranging from budding startups to Fortune 500 companies, including Nike, JP Morgan, Google, and Salesforce. To learn more about ROOM, visit www.room.com.

Topics Discussed On This Episode:

  • The need for flexibility of your office floor-plan
  • The planning horizons for startups and the schism between corporate real estate lease terms
  • B2B customer experiences in the workplace
  • How ROOM utilizes their own product to define their open floor plan and solve for their bottlenecks

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