THE WIRING PLAN THAT MADE A GEEK INTO A HERO
Business Insider recently expanded into an office adjacent to our existing space. The editors remained in the old space—now a spacious-seeming newsroom—while about 20 people on our tech, sales, intern, and email teams settled into the new space. It was great! No more crowding, windows that opened, a bigger kitchen, room to park bicycles, even a couple of offices for private phone calls. The team was psyched.
The euphoria quickly wore off as the expansionists discovered that the wireless connection in the new space was hopeless. And with less than a year remaining on both leases, setting up new broadband service for such a short time period was a non-starter. Given the lead time of most broadband installations, setup charges, locked-in contracts, and the like, it was an extremely unappealing option.
The expansion space was previously occupied by a dot-com that been bought by a major media company. It had a rugged, start-up aesthetic—and happily, that included easily visible ethernet cabling in place for every workstation and office. It also had a switch. The only thing missing was connectivity.
Andrei, our savvy developer, ordered a hub and a batch of ethernet cables. Using two super long ethernet cables, he brought the connection into the switch from our current cable modem and back out through the hub to every workstation. For a $350 investment, we had connectivity for the entire new office. No installation, no year-long contracts wasted on a short-term lease, no hassle dealing with monopolies or resellers—and no more griping about slow connections. What an amazing return on a $350 investment.
It turned out there was also a surprise payoff for us as we were able to help Andrei gain newfound status as an office hero. Previously thought of as a quiet, capable programmer, he became known to his colleagues as the enterprising tech genius who saved them from the purgatory of a slow Internet connection. We fixed a technical problem and enhanced an employee’s status with one simple investment.