WIX: Playfulness & Innovation
By Shlomo Maital
WIX dalpak
WIX: Reception Desk
I have the privilege of visiting startups and writing about them. Yesterday I visited WIX, an Israeli company which, with over 60 million users, leads the world in services for building beautiful websites. It is the first such company that has done an IPO (on NASDAQ). It is based on North Tel Aviv.
The first thing I notice at such startups is the physical ambience. WIX chose to locate not in Tel Aviv’s high-tech area, in North Tel Aviv, but near Tel Aviv Port, which is a playground for thirty-somethings. The reception desk is the first thing you notice (see photo). It conveys playfulness. This is crucial. WIX is not a startup but is in the scale-up stage. It has strong revenues and a gross profit margin of over 80 per cent. But it retains its atmosphere of creativity and playfulness. You encounter this from the outset, when you check in at the reception desk.
In its crowded bulding on Namal St., it has a rooftop area with a stunning view of the Mediterranean, where events are held. Like Google’s Mountainview campus, food is readily available, and coffee. WIX employs 800 people, 600 of whom are based in Israel; but despite its size, it tries to retain the feeling of being small, lively and playful.
Recently at a seminar at Tel Aviv University, participants told me about the difference between “play”, “playing”, and “playfulness”. The latter is a kind of mindset that nearly always disappears in large organizations, when manuals, handbooks, protocols and procedures are set up. WIX has so far retained it. I hope it will continue to do so.