It’s now been a week since Hurricane Sandy has passed through New York, and the city is still not back to normal yet. But in spite of these circumstances, many of New York’s Silicon Alley tech companies are showing their resourceful sides by banding together and sharing power, internet... and breakfast.
It’s business as usual for e-commerce site Fab.com, minus the fact that Fab’s West Village headquarters are completely deserted. Fab’s team enabled more than1,000 new products to go live just days after Sandy passed, and the launch of their holiday shop went off without a hitch.
Fab Founder and CEO Jason Goldberg sent a a company-wide email at 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday titled “Team Together,” and within hours, more than 100 people responded.
“We have Fab pods (apartments, Starbucks, etc.) where Fab employees are working from all over the city," Melissa Klein, the company's senior vice president of communications, said in an e-mail. "It's been amazing to see the fab family band together. I’m hosting a fellow Fabber at my apt and there a bunch of others doing the same.”
Even Goldberg is hosting some of his employees in his own apartment.
“One third of our team does not have power and many of our team members are staying with each other and getting together to work on keeping Fab going,” Goldberg writes on his blog. “Twelve Fab team members huddled around my kitchen table today. It felt like the early days of the company—we started this company around my kitchen table.”
Another New York-based tech company, General Assembly had to adapt quickly when they shut down their offices during their storm. The company, which is a network of campuses for technology, design, coding and programming classes, tweeted that they'd offer online classes for free in a Storm-a-thon theme. General Assembly planned and launched the idea in less than 24 hours and had around 1,500 participants among the three online classes, said a representative from the company in an e-mail.
"Thankfully, modern technology makes it easy to keep working even if we aren't in our offices," said General Assembly Co-founder Brad Hargreaves in an e-mail. "Conference calls, e-mails, text messages, Google hangouts. All of these things have helped maintain morale and even helped to spark creative ideas."
The company, whose team members are also taking shelter in temporary offices, has been frequently tweeting and updating their Facebook status with class updates and information about how New Yorkers can get involved in volunteering in the post-storm clean up efforts.
Sandy has put thousands of New York City tech startups to the test. But so far, most have grown stronger, and taken advantage of the chance to prove how resilient they are.
Read more disaster-related posts.