Eric Simons, a 19-year-old entrepreneur from Chicago, secretly squatted at AOL’s Palo Alto campus for two months, reports CNET.Simons was part of an incubator program hosted by AOL called K12. After the program ended, Simons discovered the badges still worked.
So he settled down at AOL to build his startup.
Here’s how he did it:
– He worked until everyone left the office.
– He found couches that were just outside the nighttime guards’ patrols, and slept on those.
– At around 7 a.m., Simons would head to the gym as the first employees arrived. Since working out every morning was essential to avoid getting caught, he got in great shape.
– The employees began to admire his work ethic. “There were so many people going in and out each day,” Simons told CNET. “They’d say, ‘Oh, he just works, here, he’s working late every night. Wow, what a hard worker.'”
– During his first month he managed to spend only $30.
– Eventually, a guard caught on. He found Simons and kicked him out, bellowing, at 6 a.m. one morning.
– AOL’s response: David Temkin, AOL’s senior vice president of Mail and Mobile, told CNET, “It was always our intention to facilitate entrepreneurial ism in the Palo Alto office—we just didn’t expect it to work so well.”