Copeland was tall with straight black hair that fell around her chin, and a friendly disposition. She warned us not to photograph anything inside the offices, as the engineers might be working on something top secret. Then, she told us there would be a surprise at the end of the tour. Our minds raced. What could it possibly be?
In only seven years YouTube has grown from a tiny start-up into second most popular search engine, behind Google.
On our way upstairs we saw a huge red carnival slide connecting the first and second floors. This slide was, unfortunately, for employees only. There were multiple bars, including one called “YouTiki,” a putting green and frisbee golf course.
Each cubicle was unique in its own way with beanbag chairs, posters, and knickknacks. Cardboard cut-outs of Homer Simpson, Princess Leila, and Michaels Jackson (“Thriller”) popped up from behind desks and cubicle walls when we least expected it. The strangest thing we came upon was an odd looking white sphere. It was like a human-sized egg with one-half open so that a person could crawl inside. This, we learned, was a “Nap Pod,” where employees can take a quick rest if needed. We wondered out loud why our schools don’t have something like a nap pod.
People go on YouTube.com for all kinds of reasons: to watch new music videos and TV shows; to post funny cat videos, serious political interviews, sports blunders, Bar Mitzvah bloopers and movie trailers. Any kind of event that has ever been filmed is on the site. Some of the videos go viral. Others become inspiration for memes, concepts that spread from person to person via the Internet. The conference rooms at YouTube are all named after viral videos and video genres from the Internet, including “Epic Fail—with a picture of a hurdler head butting a hurdle instead of jumping over it—and “Double Rainbow,” where we met with YouTube’s PR team.