Péter Ungvári

Péter Ungvári

fellow of Bridge Budapest, Prezi, San Francisco, 2013

Ideas Matter

“Prezi is a young company. I’m not only referring to the date of foundation, but the atmosphere and motivation that can be felt there from the first day: they’re enthusiastic and honest as a child, and professional (well, this professionalism is pretty far from a child’s one). I had the pleasure to take the first steps on the field of “Full-Time Job” there.”

I started my last blog post with this paragraph and to confirm my statements I’d like to give you a brief overlook to the everyday life of the San Francisco office. The location: 642 Harrison Street, the Northeast part of the peninsula and ten minutes walk from Market Street. It’s in the neighbourhood of great companies like Adobe, Twitter and Ustream. Therefore it’s not a surprise that among so many stirring startups Prezi can also be labelled as a workplace where they foster creativity.

In the office you can be in the same space with all the colleagues because 90 percent of it lacks bulkheads. Each team has a table to work at but you can feel free to lie on a sofa with a notebook or to visit one of the two kitchens or even the Quiet room. There’s an opportunity to play table tennis if you want or take a photo of Darth Vader. You can now realize that it’s not a usual place to work and it’s just the top of the iceberg.

Prezi’s real capital is in the people, the intellectual knowledge. They put a huge emphasis on growing and improving this “capital”. The workers of Prezi feel a professional calling and refer to their projects as a mission. Working time is not just from 9 to 5 (in addition, it’s really flexible) but you work and think about a higher good all day. They really believe that they can change the world and they do it extremely well. I can remember several instances when I got a mail from a mail list about solving a problem in the middle of the night despite the fact that there wasn’t any order to do so! This kind of working is familiar to me: I have several hobbies and activities that sometimes need 10-12 hours of work plus studying but as a full-time job, at a real workplace, I have never seen anything like this.

Collaboration isn’t always easy however especially if you think about the 10 thousand kilometres and 9 hours of time-lag between the two offices but Prezi offers the chance to work for a few weeks in the Hungarian or the SF office each year so the remote (and sometimes depersonalized) communication can be personalized and you can build unique relationships. Moreover, Prezi has a lot of modern, efficient and simple tools to stay in touch, to manage projects. In my personal life managing my activities, studies and voluntary work is one of my biggest challanges I face so it was very useful to get inspired of what I’ve seen there. It’s not just the tools but the balanced “heartbeats” of the company that was a great example.

I joined the marketing team which had discussions weekly where everyone had the opportunity to talk about their projects and to talk about the priorities of the team. To have it working mutual respect is crucial and I as a freshman could also experience that.

If you have the chance don’t settle for less. Learn, work, improve to have the opportunity to spend most of your lifetime (because it’s working, so you’d better do it at the right place) that it makes you happy. Finally there’s a chance you’ll realize: you changed the world.