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Aeron Chairs As Stupidity Barometers

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the butt-of-the-beholder dept.

Toys 340

McSpew writes: "This article at Salon describes how much startup venture money went to buying $700 Aeron chairs. Personally, I think Aerons suck. I'm sitting in one now and my back is killing me--I can never get this damn chair adjusted right, or to get it to stay in a configuration close to comfortable for very long. The wonderful high-tech mesh fabric acts like sandpaper and wears holes in my pants. I honestly miss the boring chair I had at my last job. Am I the only person who hates Aerons?" Aerons are stylish, but not everyone finds them the comfortable work chairs they're supposed to be. Here's one that looks truly comfortable.

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I liked 'em. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2110729)

At Veritect, we'd bought Aeron's for everybody. Our labs, our offices, everwhere but the conference room and cafeteria. Personally, I thought they were terrific, and can't wait to buy a bunch of them at a dot-bomb auction or something...

In the grand scheme of things, $700 for a chair isn't that big an issue for a startup. Especially when you're also getting custom desks and cabinets, starbucks-y paintjobs, and (above all) video walls and plasma screens....

Comfort at work keeps people at work (3, Interesting)

Storm Damage (133732) | more than 12 years ago | (#2110731)

Some people don't like the Aeron, some people love it. I've sat in one and found it somewhat comfortable, but was more impressed that anyone would actually pay so much for an office chair, especially since the office I was in (a successful CLEC, which is still operating) had several hundred if not thousand of them.

It occurred to me though that a management staff who found that their workforce likes the chairs can probably eke quite a bit of extra hours out of their employees by providing simple luxuries like this. I haven't used one long-term, so I can't address the "sandpaper" issue, but I did find that my back wasn't sore after sitting in one for a day.

Also it should be noted that with all the formerly VC-saturated companies going out of business lately, the average going price for an Aeron on Ebay [ebay.com] is around $3-400

Re:Comfort at work keeps people at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2148196)

The reason is that buying 1000 chairs is cheaper than giving 1000 employees large sums of money for back problems.

Re:Comfort at work keeps people at work (2, Insightful)

jackalope (99754) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148469)

I'm sorry to disagree.

No amount of nice furniture at work can suffice for sucky management and purposeless tasks.

Give me a job where I feel like I can make a difference, am contributing to the company, and am recognized for that contribution and I'll stand-up to work.

Chairs mean nothing.

ummmm (1)

4n0nym0u$ C0w4rd (471100) | more than 12 years ago | (#2110953)

Wow a chair.....Wow a $700 chair....I have a chair, its a Zeus Ultra 500 Kitchen Chair (yes I made that up) it has great features, like a spot to park your ass in and a high tech back support to lean against. Really who spends that much money on a chair? For $700 you could get a Tyan Dual Athlon mother board and two 1.4Ghtz AMD Athon T-Bird (and yes, you can use them with the dual athlon board, no matter what Tyan and AMD say).

Re:ummmm (2, Insightful)

tuffy (10202) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148053)

Really who spends that much money on a chair? For $700 you could get a Tyan Dual Athlon mother board and two 1.4Ghtz AMD Athon T-Bird

You could. But the chair will have a longer useful life than the dual Athlons. In fact, one really good chair might last several computer lifespans before it needs replacing, so I consider an Aeron to be a bargain by comparison.

/.ed (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2111117)

Not even 8:30am and it's already down. :-(

Probably don't want to know... (1)

kennylives (27274) | more than 12 years ago | (#2111123)

The wonderful high-tech mesh fabric acts like sandpaper and wears holes in my pants.

I can honestly say that this is not been a problem I've ever had with my Aeron. I just don't think I want to know what you're doing with the chair to cause that.

I love my Aeron, but only when it's properly adjusted - which is pretty much most of the time, unless someone else uses it, and messes it all up. Same thing happens every time someone drives my car, and it takes me 2 days to get the seat ajustments 'just right' again.

Re:Probably don't want to know... (1)

lutzomania (139132) | more than 12 years ago | (#2147927)

I haven't noticed any holes, but the rump of my favorite khakis has taken on the texture of terri-cloth. Other than that the Aeron's OK in my book. I've had it almost a year now and it has definitely reduced my back & shoulder fatigue.

posted by the man who bought areon chairs (3, Insightful)

johnjones (14274) | more than 12 years ago | (#2111338)

ironic dont you think that it was posted by tim

wasnt he the man who bought slashdot and took it public

hmm investors

dont like them but their money buys lots of sweet toys like cowboyneals chair (-;


john jones

Just a chair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2114957)

C'mon people it's just a chair. i mean sure it's a fairly comfortable chair, but a monument to lost culture? a measure of where we were? no... just a chair.

Wrong company (1)

Placido (209939) | more than 12 years ago | (#2114958)

Obviously I joined the wrong company. MY company never had fancy Aeromajiggy chairs... although I do think we really needed them cause we were too busy sitting on our Futon playing on our Playstation. True story.

Re:Wrong company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2147968)

Our company is just about to take over the office space left by a dotcom after it 'went away'. Along with all the photocopiers, printers, laptop docking stations (no laptops funnily enough), there left are of there Aero.. chairs. How nice of them, I get to test drive one as of next week.

Why just the chair? (2, Funny)

msheppard (150231) | more than 12 years ago | (#2117825)

[Dundie Accent ON] You call that a Chair? That's not a chair. Now this [poetictech.com] is a chair.

Re:Why just the chair? (1)

eXtro (258933) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148312)

That's not a chair, its a pen for programmers. All that's missing is a machine that fires a bolt into your forehead when the companies done with you.

sweet (1)

MagicM (85041) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148463)

Automatically rotates to keep sunlight from glaring up your screen? man... now this is the pedestal every serious IT-professional needs!

Re:Why just the chair? (2)

tb3 (313150) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148558)

Whatthehell is that? It looks like a part of the Enterprise bridge, or the command plug for an Eva or something.

Yes, Timothy. You are the only one. (1)

Malic (15038) | more than 12 years ago | (#2117829)

The Aeron is THE BEST TASK CHAIR that I have EVER encountered. After years of working at places that have back destroying office chairs, I am SO happy that I have an Aeron now. I consider it part of the benefit plan!

As for the cost, yes it is a premium but a new good quality task chair (that will last) will cost at least $300. Probably more. And if the place you work has a sense of style, well, the sky is not necessarily the limit on cost.

So... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 12 years ago | (#2117830)

> Personally, I think Aerons suck. I'm sitting in one now and my back is killing me--I can never get this damn chair adjusted right, or to get it to stay in a configuration close to comfortable for very long.

So... How many Aeron chairs did Slashdot buy with its IPO money?

Also, your post indicates that the $700 wasted on the chairs is only a small part of the TCO. It's the time employes waste adjusting the chairs instead of surfing the Web that's sending the .coms to the big internet in the sky.

Sticking with my old huge metal office chair... (2, Informative)

tre (172905) | more than 12 years ago | (#2120960)

The Aeron chair definately appears nice, but I've had the same huge old comfortable office chair for years and my butt would miss it, even if my mind didn't ;)

I think the keys to stick with, in chair buying, are:
- a metal main structure (base/leg[s]/armrests)
- a very comfortable and cushy fabric for any part of the chair that touches the body.
- no problem swiveling, tilting, and comfortably laying all the way back or sitting totally, for lack of a better word, "erect".

I guess what it comes down to is, at least your not on the floor.

[FYI] another Aeron chair link:
http://www.comfortliving.com/aeron.htm [comfortliving.com]

Re:Sticking with my old huge metal office chair... (1)

Dr_Cheeks (110261) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148157)

"...for lack of a better word, "erect"".
Um, OK, off the top of my head; "Upright". Less giggling-at-the-back-of-the-class value. I guess a thesaurus might help with some more. Isn't it funny how such words have rude connotations? I mean, for a start I hardly ever hear the word "girth" used outside of pr0n.

-1, Offtopic

Re:Sticking with my old huge metal office chair... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2148217)

Other words that can't but cause one to think of pr0n:

black hole

The list goes on...

You just need to modify them to suit you... (0)

georgep77 (97111) | more than 12 years ago | (#2122590)

Check out http://chair.themakis.net/ to see a suitably "hopped up" aeron. Cheers, _GP_

Bless you, my son (0, Troll)

popekevin (459376) | more than 12 years ago | (#2122842)

The whole in your pants is by design. His wholyness prefers the friction.

For pennance you must pray... in the name of the Father, Son, and holy goat (www.goatse.cx)

w00t (-1, Offtopic)

syscalls (263246) | more than 12 years ago | (#2124691)

wohoo first post

but then again, at least I have chair that doesn't hurt me

Re:w00t (-1)

asbestos_diaper (456125) | more than 12 years ago | (#2110733)

Yes, w00t! There is nothing like a good "w00t" when obtaining a logged in Firstus Postmaximus.

Hold your nuts high and sing the praises of Slashpoop.

Hi P0rn Qu33n!

Not the best chair out there (0)

B0bRoy (469465) | more than 12 years ago | (#2125600)

I have to say that this chairs lacks comfort. I think there has to be some aliens with some strange backs who tested and designed them.

But these days I'm resting my back in a nice Savo chair. And enjoying every minute.

So true! (1)

well_jung (462688) | more than 12 years ago | (#2128824)

It is my fantasy to have one of these bad boys, as the article points out. And they are still too much even at auction. The only place I've worked in the last three years that had any quantity of them was Nortel. I don't think they'd had any for longer than a year before collapsing. Perhaps they are a bad omen...

What a dumb story. (1, Flamebait)

NetJunkie (56134) | more than 12 years ago | (#2129317)

I love Aeron chairs..but not everyone does. So what's the point of this? Wooo...people like different things!

Anyway, I inherited a bad back from my mom's side of the family. So I bought an Aeron chair for home and loved it. Yes, you ABSOLUTELY must adjust it for you, and you MUST get the right size. There is more than one! The place I'm working at now has them for everyone, and they aren't a dotcom. This is the second company I've been with (that wasn't a failing dotcom) that did this. So it isn't really a dotcom problem, people just like to say it is.

Also, after trying mine out for a while my mom got an Aeron too and loves it. No more back pain for either of us.

surplus aeron (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2129670)

Anyone know where I can get one of my own? I'm pretty stupid, and roaring at the bit. Cheap is good!

It's OSHA regulations (3, Interesting)

MeowMeow Jones (233640) | more than 12 years ago | (#2141296)

The Office Depot/Ikea chairs don't qualify as being 'ergonomically correct' You cant find a real office chair for under $500 and those are the barebones models.

Re:It's OSHA regulations (1)

wolf- (54587) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148336)

Shhhh...Dont tell my back.
We bought our office staff chairs worth around $400 each. Except mine. I got a $99 special from Office Depot. Sales staff dont get anything. Should be that comfortable at a desk, should be out selling!

First? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2143137)

First post

Have Aeron at home, worthless crap at work (1)

grouchy (146962) | more than 12 years ago | (#2147922)

I spent a bit of time arguing with a previous boss about how crappy the USD$400+ chairs with custom fabric were, lousy adjustments, thick foam that didn't provide any sort of support. I bought an aeron for home with most of the bells and whistles and have been very comfortable with it. To answer previous comments, take the time to adjust the chair, don't slide your butt back and forth across the mesh and it won't act like a cheesegrater. I have found that sitting incorrectly in these chairs isn't comfortable, so if you slouch or sit on your feet get some 30 dollar used office thing.

Aeron-hating as obesity barometer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2148000)

Okay. He's a fatass, and he has cheap pants. How is that Aeron's problem?

un-adjustable uncomfortable damn things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2148002)

I had never heard of the supid chair until I sat in one. To this day, I can't get it to not suddenly release backwards.

The mesh-concept is cute. But other than that (I suppose they have a patent on that, don't they?) the chair is a silly waste of my time.

It does not make me more comfortable, but it does annoy me enough to give me something new to complain about every day. Why won't it tilt foroward *a little*? Why won't the arm-rests go juat an inch higher so they don't hit the desk? Why is it made for people under 6 feet tall only?

My little brain just doesn't understand why anyone would pay so much for a stupid chair, especially when a simpler one would do better!

It is trully galling how much money is wasted on these chairs. But that is lots better than companies wasting money by sending it to Redmond WA.

If I was the CEO of one of these dot-coms... (1)

cecil36 (104730) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148026)

...my offices would be furnished with more reasonably priced furniture. If an employee wanted an Aeron for comfort, he can either pay for it out of his own pocket, or submit a request for the Aeron. I'll only honor the request if the person has a medical condition requiring the support, or if the person believes that his productivity will improve as a result. If as a result, productivity from this person does not improve, then the chair will be removed from his desk and he'll get a regular office chair. I pay my employees to work, not to goof off.

Best quote (2)

Pope (17780) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148078)

from the letter to the editor:

Compared to the ridiculous business models of many of these companies, the decision to order Aeron chairs looks like the Marshall Plan

I've sat in my friend's Aeron, and it rules. You have to adjust it to YOU, the person whose buttocks will be ruling the seat of power.

If you're going to be sitting in a chair for up to 10 hours a day for a couple of years, isn't a measly $700 a fantastic investment?! And not just from a user's POV: what sane manager wouldn't want to make his geeks happy and comfortable?

Not that expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2148089)

First, $700 is what you pay for buying quantity 1 chair. The price does go down for multiple chairs. And $500 for office chairs is actually pretty reasonable. In a previous company, I was shocked to find the amazingly uncomfortable, non-adjustable, and ugly chairs we were stuck with actually cost more than an aeron. I think most had been around since the 70s, but we still ordered new ones too. Ask your HR person what your work chairs cost. You'll probably be shocked too, and might just float the idea of aeron's for the breakroom when replacement time comes around.

The Aeron is great, when I'm not paying the bill (4, Funny)

micromoog (206608) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148138)

I sit in an Aeron at work, and it's great! Truly comfortable for sitting on one's ass for many hours straight.

Of course, there's no way in hell I'd pay the $700 for one of these at home . . . but the laid-off VP whose office I lifted this one from doesn't seem to mind.

My College has these chairs (1)

rosta (196310) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148195)

I go to a very small, very well-endowed liberal arts college with a well-earned reputation for intesne academics... people tend to live in the main library. Within the past few years, the college filled the ground floor of said library with Aerons... Student reaction has been mixed, from the informal serveys I've done... some folks like them, some hate them (remember, these are students using chairs that they don't even have the pretense of "owning"... so they don't or don't know how to adjust them, often)... As a computer science major, though, who spends more time in the computer lab than the library, I'd have to say that I'd prefer either newer toys there, AC in nonacademic buildings, or those nifty beanbag constructs that I hear Oberlin's got...

Aeron chairs, and their effects on CEO behavior.. (1)

Bowie J. Poag (16898) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148197)

I think this MPEG [geocities.com] of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer flipping out like a rhesus monkey on crystal meth says more about what Aeron chairs do to people than any ergonomics study you could come up with. And yes...as frightening as it may seem....it's real.

Re:Aeron chairs, and their effects on CEO behavior (0, Offtopic)

Bowie J. Poag (16898) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148345)

Aw, shit. The link got pulled .... Oh well, theres another link on Kuro5hin, but, to make life easier for you, i'll put the MPEG up on System 26 for everyone to enjoy.


Personally.... (1)

Phroggy (441) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148200)

...I like these chairs. We had them at Earthlink, where I did tech support for about 9 months. Not everyone liked them, but most did. For those that don't like them, I recommend simply using a different chair - I don't see how anyone could have a problem with that. As many others have said, they do take some adjustment and getting used to.

We also had Microsoft ergonomic split keyboards, which I absolutely hated. After getting used to them I can use them now, but I still don't like them. This is probably because I never learned to type properly.

Avoids litigation down the line. (1)

thebitninja (512627) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148237)

I sit in a 50 year old chair that is uncomfortable as can be. But it's big enough that I can sit cross legged which makes it bearable! My partner works at a company that has these chairs, and when I saw them I was like "WOW" but then the company treated her like shite and I realised that I'd rather have a crap chair and a decent job than a crap job and a decent chair.

On a more serious note. Working in desks in front of computers slowly ruins our postures, our bobies and our eyesight. In twenty years or so people will wonder why we ever put up with working conditions like that. Maybe the companies who are buying these chairs aren't being so stupid. If the companies are around long enough it may help them to avoid health and safety litigation!

Big Fluffy Cushion (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2148245)

I have a Big Fluffy Cushion that I use at work.

This I place on a really cool chair with a moving back, wheels, bells & a firemans whistle.

I ring the bell when I want tea and blow the whistle at any particular time I feel like it - but usually it's when the boss is hovering around my desk.

Talking about blowing, a friend of mine was considering patenting a blow-job machine that fits onto a standard office chair.

With a combination of that and a Big Fluffy Cushion, you'll have it made !

Awesome !

Productivity would be UP 100%

Pants? (1)

nettdata (88196) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148246)

The wonderful high-tech mesh fabric acts like sandpaper and wears holes in my pants.

I've got one at home, I just love it, and, well, lets just say I've never had a problem with it wearing out MY pants.


The One True Chair... (2, Interesting)

Aktalmukanandros (443833) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148251)

There is only one True Chair Vendor: Lay-Z-Boy While it may not always be practical, NOTHING compares to a Lay-Z-Boy. Period. The armrests work great as optical mouse pads, you can sleep in it if necessary/desired, you will never, ever have back problems. Granted, they are a little expensive and require a creative solution to monitor positioning, but they're still a good deal cheaper than an Aeron.

All your buttocks are vulgar and uncouth (1)

flacco (324089) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148350)

Aeron chairs (yes, I'm sitting in one) are worth every penny.

I went through four or five typical Office Max chairs - steadily escalating in price - before doing the sensible thing and buying an Aeron.

I would have saved myself a lot of cash had I just bought it first thing, but I couldn't justify spending that kind of dough. The fact is, when you spend twelve hours a day on your ass, it's really not an area you wanna economize on. It's not like I wipe my ass with Faberge eggs or anything, but an Aeron is just worth it.

And don't skimp on mattresses or air conditioning, either.

No noise muffling (1)

jackalope (99754) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148379)

I had one such chair when I worked at a failing dot-com (now that I work at a failing semiconductor company I have a normal chair). My biggest complaint was that the chair provided no noise cancellation features. The wonderful mesh fabric does nothing to stop the noise of a juicy after-lunch fart.

As one gets older one needs some foam padding in the seat to absorb the tones of man's built-in sub-woofer.

Aeron Chairs As OBESITY Barometers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2148395)

Considering where this story orginates from, I suggest computer geeks get of thier fat lazy obese asses every now and then and do some bloody exercise.

Blaming a chair for a bad back is only half the issue.

If you've got an ass the size of an aircraft hanger, it don't help much bucko !

So, stick to the mountain dew and greasy junkfood if you must and fork out $700 for a chair that'll just make your ass fatter !


so, what they're saying is... (2)

option8 (16509) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148454)

so, what they're saying is the only company to actually make money on the dot economy last year was Herman Miller [hermanmiller.com]?

cool. we've got a slew of aerons here, as well as their Resolve system [hermanmiller.com]. it's so sweet... replace cubicles with honeycombs...

i'd just hate to see the company that made our office system go out of business, just when i had my eye on a bunch of cool accessories

This is sick! (1)

lobsterGun (415085) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148460)

This is horrible. The comfy chiar site is slashdotted.

Now what will the Spanish Inquisition do for torture?

(Anwser: No one knows... because nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition)

Nice chairs crazy price. (1)

mordorian (265914) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148470)

I'm sitting in one of these bad boys right now and it's the best chair I've ever sat in. My only complaints are that the chair shifts out of adjustment every 3 or 4 weeks(lunbar moves up, arm rests move down). Our IT department got one of these chairs for everybody last year funny thing now is they're looking for ways to cut cost, thankfully I'm just the intern... :)

OK-- (1)

MrRee (120132) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148473)

My company is too cheap to buy these geek seats. I'm using a chair that looks like it's fromold WWII Army surplus. It's like a tank though--heavy and strong. I like it. Wouldn't trade it for the world.

Not Stokke, Not Aeron, POETICTECH (3, Interesting)

jgaynor (205453) | more than 12 years ago | (#2150648)

Everytime an Aeron story comes out Im reminded of how much FREEKIN cooler these [poetictech.com] chairs are. Sure they're almost as expensive as a luxury car, but a Mercedes doesn't have inetrnal fiber ports or room for four moniitors!

www.poetittech.com [poetictech.com]

Ergonomics (3, Insightful)

pemerson (179241) | more than 12 years ago | (#2150705)

My Aeron is fantastic. As another poster pointed out, you can't just sit down and expect miracles. You've got to adjust it to your own body. Not that I'm claiming they will work for everybody. I just know that my whole office has one, and everybody seems to like them.

If you've got ergonomic issues, it's critical that you get the problems fixed. Otherwise you're looking at life changing permanent damage to your back, hands, or whatever. I've just been through hand therapy, and believe me, nothing scares me more than the thought of losing the use of my hands. I'm a programmer, systems administrator, and piano player. My hands are a critical part of my livelyhood. Plus I want to be able to pick up my kids someday!

Check out www.tifaq.org [tifaq.org]. It's a great resource on general ergonomics, as well as a central place to find things like chairs and keyboards and pointing devices.

Stephen King, author, dead at 54 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2150715)

I just heard sad news on talk radio - Horror/fiction writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine house this morning. I'm sure we'll all miss him - even if you didn't read his books you've probably enjoyed one of his movies. Truly an American icon.

Re:Stephen King, author, dead at 54 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2111118)

Is this for real? God, this is really shitty news to get first thing in the morning. Yes, he was a real American icon. *sigh*

Re:Stephen King, author, dead at 54 (0, Offtopic)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 12 years ago | (#2123763)

Is this for real?
If this was real every time this got posted - Stephen would have died more often than the movies based on his works died at the box office.

Re:Stephen King, author, dead at 54 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2150755)

This is the first time I've seen this. I've got my radio on now. They'll probably have something to say about this if it's real or just a hoax.

OT: Where's that darned pet cemetary?!? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2151240)

[Yes, I'm responding to what's likely an evil troll..]

salon.bomb...oh the irony (2)

mizhi (186984) | more than 12 years ago | (#2150918)

Somehow, it seems fitting that salon [salon.com] would have a story like this. How much venture capital did salon manage to piss away again? Much as I love reading some of the authors on salon (such as the talented Camille Paglia), in my mind, the site stands as a symbol of the .com's hubris and subsequent reality check as any other site on the net. Thankfully, they're still around and I genuinely hope that they eventually turn a profit. But until then, excuse me while I politely snicker... :-)

Oh yeah, and anyone who spends 700 fucking dollars on a chair deserves to go broke. IMHFO. For that price it had better massage my back, do my taxes, and wipe my ass automatically. :-)

Re:salon.bomb...oh the irony (4, Funny)

dhamsaic (410174) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148015)

Oh yeah, and anyone who spends 700 fucking dollars on a chair deserves to go broke. IMHFO. For that price it had better massage my back, do my taxes, and wipe my ass automatically. :-) - it does do all that - and it sucks on your toes too! if you're into that kinda thing, anyway...

Re:salon.bomb...oh the irony (1)

Havokmon (89874) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148226)

Yep. I have a job now where I have one of those chairs. We're a fitness/industrial safety company, so ergonomics is big.

Yeah, it's 700 bucks, doesn't wipe my ass or do taxes, but the company does provide massages every other week :P

Death of Emad, Part 1 (-1)

Strom Thurmond (R-SC (310866) | more than 12 years ago | (#2151024)

The stench of the camel was overpowering. A small herd of GNUs were grazing halfway up a nearby dune. The weeds were sparse and reasty, which only added to the fetid odor wafting through the hot desert air. Midway in a small valley, a ragged tent barely stood against the dust blowing about. An ugly bitch of a women lay alone inside the grungy tent, her foul hairy legs spread wide. Sweat drenched the woman's clothes and left stains upon the old soiled rug on the floor of the tent. The nasty apish hairy ass-yeti let out a shrill primal screem, which was soon accompanied by several grunts followed by a gushy splat. A slime ridden, hairy baby loudly fell into a dirty metal shit-ridden bedpan. The disgusting event was soon over. Nightfall came quickly, but the offensive stench remained well through the next morning.

Hello, my name is Emad, and this was how I was welcomed to the world. I spent most of my childhood in the harsh iranian desert. My mother abandoned me soon after I was born, and I never knew my father. I was told by the desert people that my father was a very well known goat rapist from a nearby village. They told me wild stories of his sorrid homosexual and beastial escapades. My father's long filth-ridden beard was legend throughout the middle east. It must have been my father's beastiality fetish that drove him to my mother, but I digress.

I soon found my way out of the desert, and came to live in America. How I pulled myself out of my desert existance is of little importance: because I am about to die.

Tonight, I was attacked by an ugly troll armed with a monster hot grits cannon. My wild k-lines and kickbans were no match against such a powerfull weapon of destruction. So here I lay on the damp mold-covered concrete floor of my unfurnished basement apartment. Broken glass and the remains of a couple computers lie strewn about in the thick grey mess. I shat in my shorts and all over the floor, but with the steaming hot grits and oatmeal all over me, you wouldn't notice. Most of the blood has run out of my body and mixed with the repugnant mess. Before I die, allow me to tell you the chain of events that led the notorious Geekizoid Gangsters to put a price on my head.

Walk first, then run... (2, Insightful)

Meffan (469304) | more than 12 years ago | (#2151054)

A motto to live by. These companies seem to have blown a lot of money on flashy toys & executive playthings, but left too little to run their company. While it may be a good thing to have seats that your programmers can sit in for 10 hours without "Nether region sweat", if you don't have enough work for them to do for 10 hours it's not really a worthwhile investment.

Sounds like these companies spent tens of thousands on Chairs, when they should have spent it on...Oh I don't know....Maybe Advertising?

Disclaimer - IANSWLMP - I am not someone who likes marketing people

OTOH, the author has described the chairs as a symbol of decline, not the actual reason (Although it seems to imply one follows the other). Maybe they all failed because of poor business models to begin with, not misspending after setup. Anyone have any idea how many companies bought N amount of Aeron chairs to start with then succeeded?

Website Slashdotted (1)

Big Nothing (229456) | more than 12 years ago | (#2151060)

I tried to access the link provided, but the website seems to be SlashDot'ed. <flame>ColdFusion sucks ass</flame>.

Uh yeah... (0, Insightful)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 12 years ago | (#2151082)

Don't blame the dot.com implosion on these stupid chairs. Chairs are hardly what make or break stupid business plans.

Dancin Santa

Still... (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 12 years ago | (#2117828)

$750 for chairs plus lord knows how much for fancy cubes times employees can't help the company burn-rate.

But you're right, it's more of a warning sign than a cause.

Re:Uh yeah... (3, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 12 years ago | (#2124620)

True, but spending $700 on chairs when perfectly acceptable ones can be had for a fraction of that price

a) wastes money that could be better spent elsewhere; and
b) indicates the sort of attitude towards money that should have had investors running for cover



Re:Uh yeah... (5, Funny)

msheppard (150231) | more than 12 years ago | (#2124622)

The chair's are a BAROMETER.
That's like blaming the weather on the BAROMETER.
The article is pointing to these chairs as a useful guide to how much a company is wasting the venture capital they get.

Boy it's hot in here, stupid thermometer.

Re:Uh yeah... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2147946)

Mark? You're up early...

Re:Uh yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2148163)

The chair's are a BAROMETER.

Not really. They are a barometer for the article's author's biases.

Should the following companies have bought Aerons?

Yahoo! - Yes
Drugstore.com - No
Expedia.com - Yes
Seibel Systems - Yes
Pets.com - No
Real - Yes
Amazon.com - Maybe not

It's not a matter of saying "the more stupid chairs you bought the more likely the company is to have stupid management". Every company is different, some have sustainable business plans, others want to sell pet food over the internet. You can't even make the barometer case without reducing the entire point of the article to a flippant opinion.

The author was blaming the chairs, but the author was completely missing the point.

Venture capital and the value of money (5, Insightful)

hillct (230132) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148192)

Everyone here agrees that the chairs are less a cause and more a symbol of the .com fall from grace, but it's more important to evaluate why the money was spent in the first place.

It seems to me that the relitively young executives who recieved hundreds of millions in Venture Capital - since they didn't have to really earn it - failed to value it properly, perhaps due to youtht and inexperience (certainly not the fase for all) and perhaps simply due to market conditions which presented the delusion that money grew on trees, since there was no incentive at the time to make a proffit. Let's look at that for a minute. It's the CEO's responsibility to manage a company for success, usualy determined by it's stock price. The market seemed unconcerned with profit, or even revenue so why should the CEOs. Why not buy $750 chairs for every employee? It's not like we need to spend the money on technical infastructure, or support or production, after all the market thinks we're doing just fine. Look at our stock price! (circa July 1999).

My point is, while the blame for the fallout can be placed on CEOs who allowed their companies to make frivolous use of VC, they were only responding to the market, which told them they were doing fine. I blame stock analysts who started gaining celebrity status by whowing up on CNBC with wild preditions which were of course self-fulfilling prophecies, particularly in light of the tremendous number of uninformed indevidual investors - willing to follow anyone who stood up to lead - that flooded the markets durring those years.

Come on, we can't blame the chairs.


Re:Uh yeah... (2, Insightful)

well_jung (462688) | more than 12 years ago | (#2150843)

They weren't the cause, just a wonderful symbol. It's like cocain was to the mid-eighties. Didn't directly impact very much, but was symbolic of the recklessness and greed that was so pervasive among the "in" crowd at the time.

Re:Uh yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2122845)

Personally, I think this [ericharshbarger.org] is the biggest symbol of geek worship gone terribly awry during the 90's.

Sigh... /.'d already (1, Offtopic)

Vladinator (29743) | more than 12 years ago | (#2151087)

The second link is already unreachable.

Re:Sigh... /.'d already (1)

mrfiddlehead (129279) | more than 12 years ago | (#2124619)

Notice what database and web server that link pointed to? I did, and I doubt that I need mention that it was mssql and iis in this forum. Nope, no need to go there.

Steve Balmer is a moron. There, I said it.

Re:Sigh... /.'d already (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2150630)

I just LOVE vladinator's site [j-14.com]! Especially the "fash" section, where I learned to cut the bottom off of an old shirt to use as a hair enhancement! Oh, and the "dance party" photos!

Of course, don't forget to read vladinator's emails [j-14.com]! Here you will discover how truly difficult it is to decide what to do on the weekends... have a pizza party? A fash party? Go to the mall with all of your friends? Have a sleepover and call boys on the phone?

In short, if you haven't checked out vladinator's site [j-14.com], you don't know what you're missing! [www.th]

aerons are great... (5, Informative)

dhamsaic (410174) | more than 12 years ago | (#2151088)

once you get them adjusted properly.

i use and aeron at home. when i first got it, i spend a considerable amount of time getting it adjusted to suit me perfectly. that means setting the height so your feet rest on the ground, setting up the lumbar support properly, getting the correct tilt both forward and backward, getting the armrest height set properly, etc. it can be a chore, but if you take the time to do it, it truly is one of the most comfortable chairs.

one thing i've always hated about being a computer geek was what we here at work refer to as sweaty-ass . you know - you've been sitting in the same chair for 6 hours coding or browsing or quaking or whatever and the heat and humidity make for a relatively uncomfortable rear. the aerson's mesh works wonders for this - i can sit in that chair for an hour or two or ten and not have any trouble whatsoever. and i've never had any problem with it wearing out my clothes or anything. i'd guess that the poster doesn't have the chair set up correctly and therefore fidgets quite a bit, meaning extra wear on the clothes.

anyway, if you can invest the time and money, you can have a comfortable and healthy chair with the aeron.

I don't get sweaty-ass. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2111336)

Maybe because, unlike a large percentage of the Slashdot population, I exercise and am in shape. Well, I guess a lot of the Slashdot population is in shape, too, just the shape of a pear.

Re:aerons are great... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2122844)

Amen! Aerons are the only chair i've ever been able to sit in for more than a couple of hours without getting sweaty-ass!

Re:aerons are great... (2, Funny)

MeNeXT (200840) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148080)

1 use and aeron at home. when i first got it, i spend a considerable amount of time getting it adjusted to suit me perfectly. that means setting the height so your feet rest on the ground, setting up the lumbar support properly, getting the correct tilt both forward and backward, getting the armrest height set properly, etc. it can be a chore, but if you take the time to do it, it truly is one of the most comfortable chairs.

Setting up Linux is less trouble than this. I can have a box up and running in an hour if not less fully configured before i'd get this cjair set just right for me!...but it does look cool.

Re:aerons are great... (5, Informative)

dhamsaic (410174) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148190)

it really doesn't take that long. you need to know what you want going into it. i'd say maybe 25 minutes tops. the problem is, however, most people a) aren't sure of what they need and b) don't want to spend the time to do it. some tips:

  • chair height - your feet should rest flat on the ground. if your desk is too high to permit this, get a footrest of some type. your legs should not be hanging off the chair. the weight of your legs pulls your knees down against the chair, restricting blood flow.
  • arm height - your arms should be beside you, hanging naturally, but resting on the arm rests. there also should not be any stress on your shoulders, but they shouldn't be pushed up either. a relaxed position is best. this goes hand in hand with chair height - your arms should be parallel to the desk surface.
  • lumbar support - this is a bit trickier, but really, you need to find something that makes you feel relaxed in an upright position.
  • tilt - i prefer none for most tasks, because it means i'm sitting properly and not ruining my back (something i do here at work with the shitty chairs). tilt is *very* easily adjustable on the aeron though, so don't worry about this too much. you can change it in seconds.

anyway, it really isn't as bothersome as i originally made it out to be. it takes a little time, but it's well worth it.

hope this helps, should you ever have the chance to sit in one.

People are different, for crying out loud! (3, Insightful)

alienmole (15522) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148418)

i'd guess that the poster doesn't have the chair set up correctly and therefore fidgets quite a bit

Why is it so difficult to believe that other people's experience is different than your own?

I've never in my life experienced anything remotely like "sweaty ass". Perhaps you had all your previous chairs adjusted wrong?

I doubt it. More likely, you have a very different body type and behavior from me. I'm tallish (6'3"), and the back of the Aeron bit into my shoulder blades, for example. It gives no neck support whatsoever, so is tiring over long periods, and the armrests didn't come up high enough that I could rest both elbows on them without slumping my shoulders, stressing the muscles in my upper back. You can't sit cross-legged in the damn things without a cushion - that sandpaper material shreds your ankles. Do you get the idea? I'm different from you, and no amount of fiddling with ergonomic levers will change that.

Re:aerons are great... (1)

mordorian (265914) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148579)

Sweaty-ass is probably the worst side effect of long hours of coding but what I find helps is a bringing a nice heavy towel to sit on, after all a towel is a hitchhikers most important tool.

Re:aerons are great...BUT! (1, Funny)

Deffexor (230167) | more than 12 years ago | (#2150759)

The biggest problem that I have with Aerons is that they have no sound dampening and odor absorbing properties. "Why is this important", you ask?

Imagine going out for a nice beef and bean burrito for lunch. Ya come back to work and you gotta fart like it's nobody's business. (In fact it is nobody's business except yours.) But those Aerons are no help. Ya try and let them sneak out silently, but inevidably a loud one gets out and all your co-workers are pointing their fingers at you. Not to mention their other hand holding their noses. :-)

As funny as this sounds, I'm actually quite serious.

The real deal... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2151161)

Stokke! [stokke-furniture.no]

I use a Thatsit at home and it's the only chair I've ever been able to sit in for more than 4 hours without it causing be back/ass pain.

Re:The real deal... (3, Interesting)

Tet (2721) | more than 12 years ago | (#2148218)


Many many years ago, there used to be a shop near my University that sold these. They had one of the fully reclining balans chairs (which, from looking at the web site, they don't seem to do any more). It's the wierdest sensation to sit in a chair and throw your weight backwards until the chair tips onto the next rail, and keep going until you end up nearly horizontal. You have to have blind faith that the chair is going to take it, and you won't end up landing on your head. But once you get there, it's the most comfortable chair you'll ever sit on.

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