Kimono Labs, a nine-person, seed-funded, YC-graduate, has hit the road.
Columbia PhD drop-outs Ryan Rowe and Pratap Ranade founded the company at the Hanoi Social Club in Vietnam, and their global mindset has not slowed since. After launching in San Francisco, and making their first key hires, they were at an inflection point. The company was well capitalized and working long hours, but they wanted to leverage their opportunity as a small shop, to really create team bonds, harness their pace and commitment, and also do it in a way that could accelerate team, product, and traction. Pratap decided that Kimono should learn the roots of its namesake, and decided to take the team to Tokyo for a month.
With backgrounds at Frog Design and McKinsey & Company, founders Ryan Rowe and Pratap Ranade had respectively worked on teams solving problems all over the world. For each of them, their teams were tight-knit, hard-working, and often bonded over their unique surroundings. Common circumstance brought them closer together as a unit, enabled them to better focus on and solve the problems at hand, and ultimately stay inspired by being in new environments.
Kimono is beta testing a new form of company building. It's beta testing what happens when you take a nine person startup on the road, drop in on a foreign city and culture, and keep pulling all nighters. Taking a startup on tour might just be the way to maintain high energy, and keep your team on the avant garde of purpose.