On the top of an adjoining building hangs a "Hacker Company" sign that manages to completely summarize the ethos of the company and its employees. As the tale goes, an employee found the sign in Florida while visiting his grandmother, and since it fit the Facebook culture so well, he contacted the owners and arranged its acquisition. As any viewer of The Social Network can attest to, the company originated as a hacking project and such a culture still flourishes there.
The company's occasional Hackathons are an example of this spirit, aiming to keep innovation alive by requiring employees to work on something completely different than their day jobs. When the clock chimes 7:00 p.m., these evenings kick off at an Avant-guard sculpture of a crane that personifies the spirit to build. After, with a seemingly endless supply of pizza and Chinese food, these engineers work throughout the night. The goal: to have a working demo of a new idea by morning. Facebook's chat and video services were created during these late-night sessions and have become some of the most popular features on the website.
A Campus of Creativity
Throughout the day, employees could be seen scattered around patio tables with yellow umbrellas or walking across the bridges connecting buildings. "No employee has an office," our host Genevieve Gaines explained to us. From the newest employee to the executives, everyone works in the same space to promote equality. Such an air also fosters collaboration since employees can work wherever they feel most inspired–outside, on lounge chairs, at desks where they can also meet others outside of their division.
A bike repair center is also positioned off this main drag for the multitude of bikes both provided by the company and brought from home. Caution and stop signs are artistically positioned on the front of the building above a large entrance. As part of Facebook’s commitment to alternative transportation techniques, it setup this exclusive bike store. Many employees that live within 20 miles of the headquarters opt to bike to work instead of contribute to the burning of fossil fuels. Shuttles also run throughout the Bay Area to transport workers in an effort to help the environment.