At the end of May, I took a tour of LinkedIn’s office.
At the time I visited LinkedIn, I was watching HBO’s “Silicon Valley.” I couldn’t help but feel a little like I was in the show when I went to LinkedIn.
I’ve been to Microsoft’s offices, Amazon’s offices, and plenty of other big companies, but there was something about LinkedIn that felt uniquely emblematic of what I think of when I think about Silicon Valley.
Maybe it’s because it’s just down the road from Google. Take a look for yourself and see if you agree …
LinkedIn is based in Mountain View, California, which is the home to Google. When I pulled into town, I saw two self-driving cars across from me at a traffic light. Where else do you see TWO self-driving cars?
When I walked up to LinkedIn, I saw a mix of Google bikes and LinkedIn bikes sitting around. The LinkedIn bikes are pink, the Google bikes are yellow.
I did a salad, a little Indian food, and some slices of pizza. The food was good, but not the best I've had at a tech company. Microsoft had the best food, but it makes you pay for the food. So, if we're talking taste, Microsoft wins. But, free is better than paid, so overall LinkedIn wins.
Outside of the cafeteria, there are foosball tables and ping-pong tables. And they were actually being used, which isn't always the case.
LinkedIn has its own band, the Next Play band. These guys are on the staff at LinkedIn. Their whole job is to play music at company events, and lunches, and what not. Here they are rehearsing in their LinkedIn practice space.
The offices are mostly cubicles that get their own flare and decorations. Here, you can see a pirate flag.
Here's the explanation from LinkedIn PR on this one: 'Originally there was a cardboard cutout of Data (the 'Star Trek' android) at that stop wearing an 'I Heart Data' shirt. At some point Data went missing, so the engineering team replaced him with Patrick Stewart saying 'I lost Data'.'
LinkedIn has these inspirational sheets for why people are at the gym working out. This one is a jokey answer.
In the distance is the Moffett Federal Airfield. When President Obama is in Northern California, he flies in there.
We tried to snap a photo of the receptionist here, but they ducked as soon as they saw the camera come out.
This is the localisation team. Their job is to translate LinkedIn into the native language of countries around the world.
Outside of the office, there is a path that circles the buildings. A lot of people like to do walking meetings on this path.
Here is Meg Garlinghouse, head of LinkedIn for Good, and Elizabeth Linzer, manager of LinkedIn for Good. They were really nice folks. LinkedIn for Good tries to find ways to make LinkedIn help causes.
And finally, the internal communications team has this wall of people who were dressed alike at the company.
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