See What The Desks Of 39 Successful People Look Like

T. Boone Pickens desk

Photo: LinkedIn

Successful people don’t mess around when it comes to their working space.A desk has to be a place where you can be productive, healthy, and comfortable for many hours, day in day out.

Craigslist founder Craig Newmark prefers a sparse desk, while Peter Guber, co-owner of the L.A. Dodgers, keeps his desk “crowded” with memorabilia “to create an un-intimidating environment for business associates.”

Michael Moritz, Chairman at Sequoia Capital, keeps a bottle of emergency whiskey “for the bad surprise.” 

And some professionals don’t work at a desk at all.

As a part of LinkedIn’s “View From My Desk” series, some of the most successful professionals in the world revealed where they work. We’re publishing the highlights with permission.

Arianna Huffington, Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post

'It's all about transparency. I can see out, and everyone can see in. Things accumulate. As you can see, I keep some books around.'

Source: LinkedIn

Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist

'I have one big screen connected to a desktop. There's little paper there, since I've arranged pretty much everything online. You'll see a few knickknacks, with some focus on my prior role model, Homer Simpson, and I just acquired something related to my current role model, Grandpa Simpson.'

Source: LinkedIn

David H. Stevens, CEO at Mortgage Bankers Association

'My office is decorated with mementos that illustrate my career and educational highlights.' Steven surrounds himself with his 'favourite things' including #3, a letter from President Obama thanking him for his leadership of the Federal Housing Administration.

Source: LinkedIn

Herb Greenberg, CNBC

'I sit smack in the middle of the newsroom in an environment that at times is electric; other times, crazy; at no time good for concentration ... I have four computer screens and one TV screen. One screen is devoted entirely to my stocks monitor. Another is email. The other two are work screens with various (often way too many) web browsers open.'

Source: LinkedIn

Heather Elias, Director of Social Business Practice, National Association Of Realtors

'You can't tell from this angle, but the Capitol is merely a block away. When the weather is nice, it's possible to sit on the rooftop patio and work, with a clear view to the dome. That view never gets old ... it's still awe-inspiring and humbling, every time.'

Source: LinkedIn

Kevin Chou, CEO and co-founder at Kabam

'Sitting out in the open without barriers or privacy can be distracting but it's certainly worth the rare inconvenience. The openness is significant in its symbolism at the very top.'

Source: LinkedIn

Jeff Jordan, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz

'As you can see, I love light and colour. Almost all of the artwork and interesting knickknacks in my office came from, my very favourite e-commerce site (and portfolio company!). I'm also a big hoops fan and the Jordan jersey was given to me as a gift from the ESPN team when I left Disney.'

Source: LinkedIn

T. Boone Pickens, founder at BP Capital and TBP Investments Management

'I've had the same desk since the 1980s, and it has seen billions of dollars come and go ... Over my shoulder is a Bloomberg terminal. I've made -- and lost -- billions of dollars watching that screen ... You're looking at a very messy desk.'

Source: LinkedIn

Richard Branson, Founder at Virgin Group

'The scene might not look much like working -- you won't find a suit or tie anywhere, and lots of people are enjoying snacks. Work doesn't always have to mean timed meetings and official processes. Lots of the best ideas come off the cuff, out of conversations like the one happening in the photo.'

Source: LinkedIn

Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn

'This is the view behind our office in Mountain View, Calif., when walking along the Shoreline bike path. It's now my preferred venue for 1:1 meetings.'

Source: LinkedIn

Dan Ariely, author and professor at Duke

'I like to inject surprises into my workday, which explains why my office has everything from a J-shaped back-massage tool to a Freudian-inspired therapist chair' for naps and 'the hanging chair, which makes long phone conversations more bearable.'

Source: LinkedIn

Michael Moritz, Chairman at Sequoia Capital

'Two computers, a mobile phone (no desk phone needed), a small bottle of whiskey for the bad surprise, a stash of dark chocolate (82% cocoa) for twice-daily medication, a bottle of Pellegrino water and a pair of analogue clocks as a reminder that our business is about art as well as science.'

Source: LinkedIn

Peter Guber, co-owner of the L.A. Dodgers

'You're looking at an office that has no desk, only a round table with all equal chairs, and a collection of items earned, given, and used over the years in its centre ... I set it up this way so everyone coming to meet with me feels no control or hierarchy and sees the eye candy that represents our diverse business activities.

Source: LinkedIn

Tim Brown, CEO at IDEO

'Individual IDEO-ers reserve a new desk space every week -- meaning you never know who you'll be sitting next to. This constant flux makes it easier to get inspired by colleagues in other disciplines. You never know when you'll be sitting next to me!'

Source: LinkedIn

Hamish Shah, Founder and CTO at Hub Spot

'We're not big on executive perks at Hub Spot -- especially offices. Mo offices, mo problems. No office, no problem.'

Source: LinkedIn

Daniel Rosensweig, President and CEO at

James Citrin, Senior Director at Spencer Stuart

'The ideal walking speed for talking on the phone without getting busted is 0.7 mph. But if I'm writing a document or doing email, then 1.3 mph is my speed of choice.'

Source: LinkedIn

Rafat Ali, CEO and Founder at Skift

'It is important for me that the work space be reflective of my own eclectic global upbringing, while still being inspiring any time I want that small dose of it. The skyline does that for me, jolts me back into the present in case I get too engrossed in work.'

Source: LinkedIn

Tom Keene, Editor at Bloomberg TV and Radio

'On my desk sits the Bloomberg Terminal, my lifeline for information on everything from the state of the eurozone to the bio of that pesky guest on TV.'

Source: LinkedIn

Deep Nishar, SVP of Products and User Experience at LinkedIn

'My personal mission is to build insanely brilliant and simple products that change people's lives. Hence, my workspace is filled with team and product memorabilia.'

Source: LinkedIn

Betty Liu, anchor at Bloomberg TV

'I do most of my show standing -- it keeps the show moving and besides, I spend most of the rest of my day sitting!'

Source: LinkedIn

Eric Hippeau, Partner, Lerer Ventures

'My desk is just a step away from a small, in-office table at which I typically hold 6 to 8 meetings a day, mostly with startups seeking funding or existing portfolio companies. ... It's very practical. When I'm not meeting with others, I'm just a step away from my computer to catch up on email.'

Source: LinkedIn

Michael Fertik, CEO at

'I stand at my desk because I'm twice as likely to walk around and talk to others spontaneously. I know. I measured. And my colleagues are nearly four times as likely to approach me with a thought, a question, or just a hello when I'm standing as compared to when I'm sitting.'

Source: LinkedIn

Gijs van Wulfen, author and speaker

'If you enter it, it doesn't look like an office. People visiting me there get a 'homecoming' feeling. The warm coloured carpet on the floor reminds you of a living room. It helps getting the people I work with and myself in a relaxed mood.'

Source: LinkedIn

'At Bloomberg, no one has an office, not even our CEO. But, everyone has the luxury of working at their own Bloomberg terminal. When I started working here, I had no idea what I would do with four different screens. Now, I can't live without them!'

Source: LinkedIn

Inge Geerdens, founder of CVWarehouse

'Whenever I'm travelling, installing my working spot is the first thing I do when I enter my hotel room. I create a space for myself. For the next few hours or days, it's the closest thing to home and also my very own situation room.'

Source: LinkedIn

Steve Rubel, Global Strategy and Insights at Edelman

'I try to work with clarity, simplicity and portability. That's why you won't see much on my desk. Whenever I have visitors at my cube, the first thing they remark is that it looks like no one uses it. When I travel, sometimes people think it's a vacant space.'

Source: LinkedIn

Naomi Simson, founder of RedBalloon

Nancy Lublin, CEO at

'We're not even seated at desks. Instead, we purchased 80 plain flat tables from Ikea. These tables are arranged in quads ... without any partitions or walls.'

Source: LinkedIn

John Abell, tech columnist at Reuters

'I like to think the open floor plan has a practical, positive impact: that the protected expanse behind me and the view of nature outdoors liberates my mind.'

Source: LinkedIn

Aaron Hurst, Founder, Taproot Foundation

'On the left is the glass wall in my office that allows me to feel connected to the dynamic and brilliant team at Taproot while providing the sound privacy unfortunately required. My team is amazing and watching them work gives me tremendous energy.'

Source: LinkedIn

Martin Varsavsky, CEO at Fon

'You can see my personal office in the top left corner of the photo above. My office door slides open and remains open during the workday, to invite employees to enter my office and share their thoughts.'

Source: LinkedIn

Jordy Leiser, co-founder at STELLAService

'Like most startup offices, we have an open floor plan, which allows for non-stop collaboration and interaction among the various teams.'

Source: LinkedIn

Ilya Pozin, Founder at Ciplex

'Ciplex has two bullpen areas where most employees work. This is so employees can see each other and are motivated, as they are surrounded by others who are also working. This setup allows for productivity in the office, as it is key to be surrounded by like-minded, motivated team members with the opportunity to physically work together in large teams and/or break out into clear space when needed.'

Source: LinkedIn

Lou Adler, CEO of The Adler Group

'I have a virtual company with our whole team spread across the U.S. I never go into my real office. It's boring and there's no one to talk with, so I work out of my home office in Laguna Beach, CA. I get nothing done when I look at the ocean, so instead work in the back of the house looking at the back yard.'

Source: LinkedIn

Andrew Chen, entrepreneur

'I have a post-it note taped to the monitor that says: 3pm - Floss - Drink water - Stretch and I have an alarm on my computer that fires at 3pm. I try to remember to do that every day, though I'm not great at it.'

Source: LinkedIn

Bruce Kasanoff, founder of Sense Of The Future

'I set up my office this way because I face Long Island Sound and keep everything -- except the dogs -- behind me so as not to block the view. The glass desk is a remnant of my 'less is more' phase, but I'd really love to find a handcrafted wooden desk.'

Source: LinkedIn

J.T. O'Donnell, CEO of CAREEREALISM Media

'All my work is done virtually. My computer is the hub of my workspace. Since I interact with clients via HD livestreaming, I need a camera (it's perched on top of the monitor, but you can't see it too well), a high-end microphone (that's the scary-looking thing on the right), and a keyboard.'

Source: LinkedIn

Colin Shaw, Founder and CEO at Beyond Philosophy

'I like working on planes. Why? Firstly when I am in our Atlanta or London office I am always in meetings with the team. When I work from home my wife is always asking me to fix something that is broken! On a plane no one can talk to me! The phone doesn't ring and I have some time to think and write.'

Source: LinkedIn

Now see what future workspaces will look like:

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.