Matthew Manos, Founder and CEO, verynice.
Why did you choose to become a Hub LA member?
The Hub LA is actually verynice’s first official office space. I started the company my junior year at UCLA, where I ran the company from my apartment and various couches. Right after UCLA I hopped over to Art Center to get my MFA (where Bora [verynice creative director and partner] and I met) — the school provided workspace for all of the students, creating an environment full of creative people working on all kinds of things. After gradating, that sense of community / collaborative environment was gone -I personally see the Hub as a new campus, of sorts, for verynice to be surrounded by inspiration and collaboration. You can’t get that experience working at home, or in a closed off office space.
What are you most excited about regarding your Hub LA membership?
I’m most excited to be surrounded by like-minded changemakers that are taking it upon themselves to initiate massive change in our society. It’s so exciting to me that all of these companies will be in one spot. The synergy will be amazing. Also, on a more selfish note, I will be right across the street from Wurstkuche, my all time favorite spot in LA for food. I’m a little concerned for my health, though. Also, living in Pasadena, I am very close to the Gold Line, so I am really excited to start using public transpo more often.
Verynice commits 50% of its business to pro-bono work. What would you say to someone who thinks this is “crazy” or “too much” for a for-profit company?
We actually deal with this very, very often. A lot of people think we are crazy, and we like that. The “meta” goal of verynice is to serve as a case study for design firms (and service-oriented business at large) to see that it is possible to thrive while giving a substantial amount of work away for free. It certainly is not conventional, and it certainly is not easy, but it is fulfilling beyond belief. The gratification we get from making even one non-profit’s life a bit easy is impossible to quantify.
What are some of your new business goals that you hope to achieve or ways in which you hope to grow now that you are a member?
Over the past 4 years we have grown significantly, in a digital sense. We have a network of collaborators, partners, and volunteers that has recently exceeded 100 people. Our clientele has grown significantly, too. Moving into the Hub is our first step towards a physical expansion, but is also part of our ongoing efforts to be a significant figure in the social sector. We hope to make meaningful relationships during our time with Hub LA. Our business growth runs parallel to how inspired we are. The more we are surrounded by inspiring people, the more success and impact we will ultimately have.
What’s your idea of a perfect LA day (given that you have a jetpack and don’t have to sit in traffic)? Don’t forget to include your favorite spot for a bite of food!
Well, Wurstkuche just rocks. I love the rattlesnake sausage. Also, just recently discovered The Pie Hole across the street. That blackberry pie is BOMB! My ideal LA day, given that I have a jetpack, would be to actually just use the jetpack. I’ve always wanted to have a jetpack and the city is beautiful, so the views would be awesome.