In this week’s Decamped, we chat with Max Makeev, co-founder and chief development officer of Owl Labs, a maker of videoconferencing devices. Makeev moved to Barnstead, N.H., when the pandemic hit. He has implemented a hybrid working model ever since, spending 25% to 40% of his time in his apartment in Somerville, Mass., and the rest at his lake house 90 minutes north.
The spark: In 2017, my wife and I bought our house in New Hampshire. It was just meant to be a place to get away to on weekends. We wanted to be able to go hiking, be on the lake, cook out, that kind of thing. When the pandemic hit, that was where we moved.
A lifelong dream: I’ve always wanted a lake house, and one of my goals was to work to get one. I’m a “zero generation” immigrant—my dad likes to remind me, we came here [from Moscow in 1990, when Max was 9 years old] with $365. I’m pretty cash conservative, so I didn’t want to bite off more of a mortgage than I could afford. And it just so happened that when we were looking, Center Barnstead had a really affordable house, relatively speaking. The critical things were making sure that we were on the lake, and it checked that box.