Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Security Start-Up Lookout Invades San Francisco’s Financial District

The folks at Lookout Mobile Security love the view from their new offices at One Front Street in San Francisco’s Financial District.

Who wouldn’t? Peer out of one window and you can see the Bay Bridge. Walk to the other end of the office and you can see the Golden Gate.

But the former hipsters have found one thing that has taken some getting used to: The lawyers and banker types who are the company’s new neighbors. And the feeling is decidedly mutual.

With their skull-emblazoned T-shirts and scruffy looks, Lookout’s security team attracted some strange glances in the days after the company moved in in January.

“People thought we were part of the Occupy movement,” youthful CEO John Hering said in an interview during a housewarming party the company held at the new digs on Friday.

All one would have to do is step inside Lookout’s offices, though, to see that they are closer to the 1 percent. Whether it is the high-tech coffee machine and kegerator with four beers on tap, or the wide array of cereals and Pop-Tarts, it is clear Lookout has everything a start-up could want.

The company has about 100 workers, and the new spot has room for twice that number. It has also made some modifications to make the space more like the hip south-of-Market-Street digs it has abandoned.

Lookout asked for permission to remove the false ceiling to show off the exposed piping, and installed racks for employees to park their bikes. The layout itself reflects a minimalist sensibility, packing restaurant-booth-style meeting areas but no offices — not even for CEO Hering.

Though clearly a shift for the building, One Front Street’s management sees Lookout as its new model tenant, frequently bringing other potential occupants by to show just how hip the space can be.

Here’s a shot of Lookout’s kegerator with cider and beer on tap:

The bike rack:

And, ironically, here are the genuine Occupy protesters I ran into at a downtown mall, shortly after leaving Lookout’s housewarming event:


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