And learned that normal really gets you nowhere.
Prologue: Introducing the new Netflix spin-off: Zala in London.
The Clash sang “London calling…” and well, I picked up the phone, booked a ticket, and found myself right in the center of Soho.
But other than having a great trip, I had one ulterior motive for visiting this bustling city — the W London. The home of the first-ever UK gaming suite, and current accommodation of some of our products.
The suite combines casual gaming with staying at a luxurious hotel, creating basically a gamers' paradise.
As to how I got there, well...it all started with an interview.
Chapter 01: The day I was done with the Jobs-To-Be-Done
Last year, I had the chance to interview our costumers as a part of our costumer research study. Among the 450 applicants, I could only choose 30 to interview, and one of them was Charles (this will be important later, trust me), then a receptionist at the W London, working on his home setup and loving our Carpio 2.0 wrist rest.
A few months after our interview, the W London launched their gaming suite. Charles loved his Carpio so much he insisted on making it a part of their permanent setup. We were all up for it, and so we sent a pair over, not really thinking too much of it (in our defense it was during the infamous Q4).
Chapter 02: From Ljubljana to London, with express shipping
Fast forward to a few weeks ago I got in touch with Charles again. A year ago he was fresh out of college, working as a receptionist, now I was scheduling a meet with a marketing coordinator.
To shorten what could otherwise be a 10 page essay, he offered to give me an tour of the W London gaming suite, and I accepted within a second. So a bit of trip planning and customs crossing later, I have unpacked my stuff and found myself in the middle of Soho, not even knowing what to expect.
If I could describe the W London aesthetic in three words it would be: edgy, daring, and contagious. They really know how to challenge the ordinary. All of the pieces are so unique and different, yet somehow work so well to create a really wonderful space.
It took me a bit to stop fawning over the decor and get to the gaming suite. Well, to say I was impressed would be an understatement:
- Samsung 55-inch Odyssey Ark monitor
- Xbox Series X
- CyberPower PC
- Secret Lab TITAN Evo
- Hyper X accessories
- and finally — Carpio 2.0 and G2.0 wrist rests.
On top of state of the art equipment, you also get special meals, snacks and drinks aka ‘brain food’ that keeps you gaming all day long.
Chapter 03: On a scale of 1-10 how prepared am I to recommend the W London to a friend
After the initial euphoria, I realized just how much I connect to what they tried to do at the W London. They really love the life outside the box. Everything, from their design choices to this gaming suite knowingly opposes the ordinary and offers a different kind of experiences than one may be used to.
It kind of reminds me of when we develop products. Bold choices and challenging the existent were on the top of our priority list, that’s why it was only logical to let design take the forefront, and further enhance it with extra comfort and functionality — just like they do at the W.
I mean, taking out a living room and putting a gaming room in its place is totally unhinged yet it makes a complete sense.
Epilogue: The Aftermath
It was truly a full circle moment, meeting Charles, and finally putting a face to my interview notes, seeing just how easy it is for a costumer to become a collaborator.
Seeing the gaming suite, listening about how they spent 4 months building it and shipping out parts, and how half of that time was spent on fixing the wi-fi, just reminded me of all of our previous launches.
It really does take a village to create something that challenges the normal, the ordinary. But damn, is it rewarding when you're finally done, a truly magnificent feeling.
Thanks again to my guides Charles and Romy for being the crème de la crème of gaming suite and hotel tour guides.
Btw. if you want to spend the night at the W London make sure to do it quick as the gaming suite is only available until the end of April (this is non-sponsored, I swear.)