From the Nocks blog post:
How Nocks is built & run without an office
Not having an office is a little weird, maybe, to some, but it also poses many benefits. There is nothing tying you down or dulling you, your company has lower overhead and there’s always a new influx of people. Because we don’t have a fixed office we enjoy more creativity and a real-life perspective on how what we create, want to create or maybe even need to create interacts with people’s lives. Even though most of us are couped up in the same environment for the most part, it’s safe to say that the majority of Nocks has been dreamed up, built and rethought from numerous coffee houses and workspaces around the world. This wasn’t by design. It came to be, due to where our founders live.
Trip down memory lane
When Nocks was founded, the two founders never met and lived between Curacao and Zoetermeer. Part nomad, part more settled. This caused the company to flow more naturually into not having an office — or even needing an office. When Patrick & Roel finally met, Nocks had already been live for 3 months. In those days (note: we launched February 20th 2015) all we did was instantly exchange Gulden for Bitcoin — so all Gulden users could pay at any Bitcoin merchant. These days, that functionality doesn’t exist anymore — due to Bitcoin’s network congestion, high fees and unreliability to be used for small payments. However, it was a great proof of concept. It helped us evolve and think beyond a simple use-case. We completely revised our strategy, formed a plan, incorporated later that year and went with it.
Since then, as Roel lived in numerous different places and finally semi-settled in Groningen (where he’s from) around September 2015 — the company has put its mind towards growth. The way we work may not work for others and may seem strange. In one instance we even got feedback saying we would never become a successful company simply because we didn’t have an office in the financial district. That, to us, says just how much change and in need of innovation the financial sector really is.
As an open financial platform we don’t have to welcome clients in a Nocks office. We talk to 90% of our customers on-the-line. You can just find us at coffee houses, co-working spaces or at the docks of a Spanish harbor — it doesn’t change what we want to make. This isn’t unique for startups at all, we know — though it aids us in every way on our quest. What we see and experience reflects what we want for our company. Working from vibrant and constantly different places helps us as people grow, which in turn helps our company grow.
The majority of our partnerships were formed over a couple of beers, coffee or the occasional meetup and event. You can find us at events such as SMC050, Laracon, TEDx, Holland Fintech or just calmly working out of The Student Hotel lobby. Working out in the open actually helps us understand a lot more about people, our business and what needs to be done to stay or get ahead of our competition.
Co-founders Patrick Kivits & Roel Boer.
Finance is something we all deal with every day. When we buy food, when we save up for a holiday or when we receive money from family & friends. It’s something that Nocks is helping turn completely peer-to-peer by utilizing numerous advantages of the Gulden blockchain, offer real-time trading & create new business models.
Building Nocks around the Gulden blockchain was the best decision we could’ve made. We’ve been ignored, pushed away, threatened & thwarted, but it gave us a huge advantage. The end-user oriented development of the Gulden currency has proven to be an absolute winner in creating the most usable and user-friendly digital currency. The speed, ease-of-use, extremely low cost to run and use Gulden give its users benefits they can’t get anywhere else. Nocks simply added a few layers of compliancy, compatibility and in-house developed technology to offer everyday users a fully independent payment, trading and development environment. That user-first mentality certainly helped us achieve great things already — and we’re far from done.
Handing you the building blocks
One of our products that we’re now going to push a bit more is Nocks API. Our open API gives people from all over the world a chance to innovate finance, create value for themselves and help finance move forward. A peer-to-peer economy where value is created, shared and reimagined.
A step towards a fully programmable economy is not as farfetched as it once was. There is only the human’s perception or fears of such a programmable world that it’s not becoming a reality as fast as it could be achieved. Though, it’s being built. Nocks is that stepping stone you can use to run a business, trade or build on. Using peer to peer technologies and without needing to hand over control of your money.
Together, we build the entire peer-to-peer economy.
Nocks was founded based on a desire to roam free. To pay or get paid the way you would want to. To put the trade of finance in your own hands. Combine payments and trading in such a way that Nocks would serve as your connection between new infastructure and old. An open platform, with an open API and extensive documentation has to make sure that developers and (creative) entrepreneurs can roam freely. It’s important they feel at home within this ecosystem, where everyday users, entrepreneurs and traders call the shots.
That’s what we work towards every single day.