Wednesday, April 11, 2012

AirBnB's delightful offices

I'd been a big fan of AirBnB ever since I met one of their founders at the Sunfire offices, but I had never visited the office, so when XiaoQin and I were in San Francisco today for an unrelated matter, I asked if we could pay them a visit and was pleased that it was OK.

The exterior of the building is non-descript, but the interior is gorgeous. The lobby is the giant cereal box of Obama Os from way back during the startup phase when they were timing the launch with political conventions.
From BayArea

The meeting rooms inside are styled after some of their apartment BnB listings.
From BayArea

It is standard now for Silicon Valley startups to have their own kitchen and chef, and AirBnB's kitchen was open, in full view of everyone, and most importantly, the food was very tasty:
From BayArea

In a nice touch, even the bathrooms are deliberately non-corporate, styled after a comfortable home's bathroom, albeit a little bigger. In a tip towards environmental consciousness, they don't offer paper towels, but instead reusable cloth towels that are laundered.
From BayArea

There were large numbers of bicycles in the hallways, as 80% of the employees bike to work. It's very popular in Silicon Valley to say that all Silicon Valley companies are similar. I think people who say that are full of it, as every Silicon Valley startup I've worked at has been very different with its own unique culture. The ones with the strongest cultures tend to be very successful, and if what we saw today is characteristic of AirBnB, I'll be surprised if they do not have a bright future ahead of them.
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