Stanford Surplus: Great Deals for Startup Furnishings!

Being in startup mode (and naturally pretty frugal), I've been keeping things quite lean at FamZoo. I will however confess to exhibiting one sign of "dotcom bozodom": an aeron chair (see this comment in Guy Kawasaki's amusing blog post enumerating the "top ten signs of bozosity" in a company). Similarly, in his book, The Art of the Start, Guy admonishes us to "focus on function, not form" and ridicules the excessiveness of the Herman Miller Aeron chair: "It was a terrific chair, but I don't know if it was $700 terrific. The function of the chair, after all, is to support one's butt." I don't know about Guy, but as a software developer, I spend an inordinate amount of time sitting on my backside coding, so I figure supporting it well is a pretty good investment. Now I agree that $700 is over the top, so that's why I turned to craigslist to get a used one for less than half of the current list price.

OK, so that's still several hundred bucks and non-coders may still be left shaking their heads in dismay at spending so much on one's backside. Fair enough. Check this out: while scanning craigslist for a sturdy bookcase to hold all of my geek tomes, I came across a listing for Stanford University Surplus Property Sales. It turns out Stanford University has a sea of surplus desks, chairs, bookcases, and other office equipment priced at $15 and under. Really solid old metal stuff - no wimpy particle board here. If you're up for a 30 minute 409 scrub session to remove some dust, old bird poop and cobwebs, you can get some really sturdy office furniture for a steal. Visit the Web site to find out when and where.

Now check out my new bookcase. Very functional - some pretty heavy books in there. Tasteful black metal. I'd say it cleaned up quite nicely. Total price: $5.41 - now that's sweet a deal!

That should help atone just a bit for my Aeron purchase.

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