Silicon Valley is a hotbed of innovation, and our third day into our trip did not disappoint. We went behind the scenes at two brands that have made, broken and reinvented the rules of social media: Facebook and Instagram.
We kicked off the day with breakfast at Facebook. As we enjoyed our morning coffee, we were also blown away by Facebook’s amazing facilities. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wants his employees to have the best working environment possible. The building is more like a village than an office, with a variety of spaces and resources set up for work and play. Employees can eat at different food corners, relax in the music room or video games room, borrow bikes and even see dentists and doctors on-site.
Of course, there is plenty of room to work as well. But even the spaces set aside for work are atypical. At Facebook, meetings don’t just take place in meeting rooms. Apple founder Steve Jobs found that walking meetings are a great way to get the conversation flowing. With this in mind, Facebook offers a dedicated area for employees to meet, walk and talk together.
As we toured Facebook’s headquarters with Policy Analyst Caroline Frishman, we learned more about the company’s unique culture. Some of the aspects of this culture are:
- Strong relationships
- Work ethics and smart, hard-working employees
- Enthusiasm and positive energy
- Fun and balance
- Art, exercise and gaming (including an artist-in-residence program)
- A casual environment that doesn’t emphasize hierarchies
Facebook is also the owner of Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus. As you might expect from a company that’s all about connectivity, colleagues at Facebook are constantly connected, often using Facebook’s Messenger service to communicate. The average age of employees is young, between 20 and 30, and while they might look relaxed, they also work hard.
The office design also reflects this philosophy of communication. Getting from Facebook to Instagram’s headquarters only takes a 5-minute bus ride. At Instagram, employees get their work done in an attractive, open office environment.
Finally, another highlight of the day was taking a group photo inside of Jessie the Pacer. This legendary car had the starring role in a 5,000-mile road trip across the USA, documented on Instagram. Jessie is now at Facebook’s Partner Center, where visitors can continue to add their selfies to the car’s story.
The journey to Silicon Valley may be over, but there is still so much to learn. We can’t wait to go back!
Find out more about Silicon Valley trip:
Les Roches Silicon Valley Trip, Day 1: 500 Startups and Lyft
Les Roches Silicon Valley Trip, Day 2: Google, Hotel Tonight, ScreenMeet