Step 4: Once It Was Decided, Things Moved Fast
First things first, we argued over the name of the company. I was partial to "Vimana Design" because it had a good story and meaning -- Vimanas are mythical flying machines, and at the time most of our projects involved things that fly. Eventually, Squid Labs emerged as a contender, but I was still unconvinced because there was no story behind the name. So, Saul fabricated a story about kitesurfing at our favorite spot, Pleasure Bay, and finding a squid with big eyes, a big brain, and lots of tentacles to juggle multiple projects. The story climaxed with "and it made Eric expel his own ink." Once my friend Seppo drew a squid logo, we were off and going.
Colin and Dan started doing electronics consulting work for a small aerospace company, while Saul and I wrote an application for a small business innovation research (SBIR) grant when we should have been writing our dissertations.
Seeing the world as our oyster, I put together a huge matrix of locations and weighted benefits of those locations for things the Squid team found important: proximity to a world-class university, presence of tropical birds, average wind speed for kitesurfing, and a lack of ex-girlfriends among many others. I wanted to make the decision using an analytical process, but in the end it came down to Boston vs. the San Francisco Bay Area and we literally got snowed in to my house in Somerville, MA the night of the vote!