Everyone remembers the hey day, or have read about it. Daily massages, in office happy hour specials, boat cruises, pool tables, TV Rooms with every cable channel immagineable, Play Stations (the PS2 and XBox were still on the drawing board). Work was a forest of toys and playthings. It hardly resemebled a place where money was actually made. But, for someone spending 70+ hours a week at work, what was 5-10 spent around a ping pong table. It just made sense.
In light of the recent fever sorrounding Internet Development again, I can't help but wonder what we have learned this time around. Certainly we have learned that the companay in order to be successful, needs to have some customers. They can not just be some idea that makes sense. Additionally, the "prototype" needs to be as close to production as possible before large amounts of funding are turned over. But what about the working environment. Did we learn something there? Was our open attitude towards "distractions" a misstep or was their some value there?
Working environments will change and are changing. I think that motivation to spend "extra" hours at work will still be driven internally, instead of the top down approach of typical brick and motor companies. While we will not see a full return to the early days of Interent development you will see an occasional fosball table here an there and early Friday cocktail hour will make a comeback.
People work a lot here in America especially in a time of growth like we are seeing here. During that time of growth you need to produce a working environment that is enticing. If you are not ready to give up equity or do profit sharing inside your company then you should at least set up (or designate some as your) entertainment committee. Get the husbands, wives and families of your workers involved. Spouses that compete with the company for precious time like to be involved.
In any case, like I stated before, I am ready for the next wave!