I've played with the thought of how I would construct my dream company and how one could make it highly attractive to great programmers. If one could employ a few "superstar" programmers instead of many "good" ones.
One thing I personally would enjoy is the freedom to work from whenever I wanted. So I could travel around different cities if I felt like it and work remotely, or I could simply sit at home when there was crunch mode. In my experience however you do want some kind of office with peers where you can discuss things and have company "culture".
So say you wanted to hire a bunch of top talent programmers, possibly from different countries and cities. How would one set it up to compete with campuses? Having a completely office-less company seems a bit sub-optimal, you probably want some office space where people can meet and chose to work from.
I guess what one could do is have small offices in different countries and let people work from the ones they chose. Programmer's could take off for "crunch-modes" when warranted but also work from location when teamwork and face to face was needed.
Another model would be to instead of having offices of your own hire seats in offices where other programmers work. That way even if there's only one or two employees in your city you could still get some company if you felt "lonely" from working remotely.
Another idea is that like one week every other month you take the whole team to the same location. Which might not be an office but could be just some interesting city or attractice resort and work together from there. People with spouses might have a problem with things like that though.
You might also have a network of company apartments in different cities (for 2-3 people), both where you have offices and also in some other locations so programmers or teams or programmers could roam around and "clump" together as they wish.
If it was legal (I'm not sure how it differs from country to country) you could even swat two flies in one go and have combined office/apartments in different cities. "Hack Pad: London" "Hack Pad:Berlin" etc
a) So I guess my questions are, would a setup like this be viable? How could one improve the concept?
b) Would you find a company which gives you this kind of freedom attractive or would you prefer one with a big office you go into every day?
So basically, what would make a "superstar" programmer chose working with a company setup like this instead at the Google, Facebook or Microsoft campus where you get the fun and company of lots of talented individuals.