What are some good stories from the early days of Quora?

What are some good stories from the early days of Quora? by @artypapers

Answer by Rebekah Cox:

I was Quora's first employee and captured some very early moments. Pardon the image quality on some of these I was in a trying-a-bunch-of-different-phones phase. For a lot of this stuff you really had to be there…

The First Quora Office

I remember when I first visited the office one weekend, I sat in a folding chair next to mountains of bottled water. Adam and Charlie were seated across from me. They said they were working on a social Q&A product and they wanted me to work on the design. Sitting there in that drab room they described doctors and lawyers answering serious questions with serious answers. That seemed a bit far fetched to me but it was only a few months later that that actually started to happen.

My desk is the one on the top left with the coffee cup and I shared it with a scanner/printer. Initially I had to bring my own laptop because Adam was worried about costs. Eventually I brought in my own aeron, too. Those two sad little papers stuck to the wall were the only decor.

In those days it was 150% about work. Heads down and focused work. One day I came in to the office and a woman I'd never met was sitting in the folding chair next to me. I said hello or something and went right back to work. I didn't know if they had hired someone new or what but I didn't bother to ask. This happened a couple times and it wasn't until a few days later that Charlie explained she was his sister.

Alpha Launch Celebration Dinner

After we launched the alpha version of Quora, we celebrated with dinner at Farina in SF. There are a bunch of funny stories from this night (though none that I can share) because none of us had a high tolerance for alcohol.

This was the entire company when Benchmark decided to make its Series A investment.

The Many Rooms of 261 Hamilton

A growing company meant maximizing space and things had to get creative in order for everyone to fit.

During one such transition Joel actually signed his offer while sitting cross legged on the floor of a completely empty room. His interview had been conducted in what can best be described as a closet. We weren't set up with projectors yet so he had to give a presentation using a small TV monitor that was perched precariously on top of a plastic table. He would later tell me that he had been worried about his attire for interview day, but after seeing that Charlie had his shirt visibly tucked into his exposed boxer shorts, he stopped worrying.

One afternoon a bunch of us collected in an upstairs office to play music and open the windows to get some fresh air. The windows being open meant all the street sounds were unfiltered so Tudor remarked something like, "Barking dogs, crying babies, cars honking… this is just like Romania!"

It's hard to fully answer a question like this because given the scope of Quora's mission and the scale of its ambition, it's still the early days right now.

What are some good stories from the early days of Quora?


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