He quit his day job in 2016 and began working on NOOK full time, building the first 10 units for a web summit in Portugal. There, he found NOOK could be used in applications beyond the office. O’Coimin left the event with 50-60 requests from event organizers who wanted to rent NOOKs for events. At a trade show, for example, the organizers wanted to use them as spots where attendees or exhibitors could take a break, answer a phone call or meet with a customer.
NOOK was then split into two divisions. One rents or leases NOOKs, and the other sells directly to customers where they go into corporate offices, coworking centers, science parks and universities. Customers already include Facebook, BP, Virgin and Adidas. And there is a fleet of NOOKs available to rent around the world.
The NOOK is mobile, so it can be moved and used to define a space or linked together with other NOOKs. It also is extremely easy to set up. O’Coimin says someone with no experience can take a NOOK apart in 20 minutes and set it up in about 40. “It is designed to be ‘IKEAesk’, but even easier than that,” he says. “It is designed to fit through most standard doorways, so often it doesn’t even need to be broken down to move. We move them fully built all the time.”
Some customers even use them in the office and then bring the NOOK with them to trade shows and other events. “We made NOOK mobile for a couple of reasons,” he says. “The most modern workspaces have agility at their core. These companies are having breakfast together in their NOOK, working hard to get inboxes clear, writing reports, lunching together or having meetings. You want to be able to change that space around pretty easily. It is easy to unlock a NOOK’s casters and gather multiple NOOKs together to huddle. If that is difficult to do, you won’t do it. If it is easy, when you move offices, you are more likely to take it with you.”
A core philosophy at NOOK is to be affordable for anyone — for any size organization. That’s why its customers range from major international corporations to startups. NOOK is cost effective because it is agile as well — a product that can be changed, added to or refreshed from the moment it is purchased. It also is highly customizable. Customers can choose from myriad upholstery options, laminates, whiteboards, light fittings, USB plugs and electronics. It costs $5,600.