Photo: Vivian Giang – Business Insider
SNAP Interactive (STVI) launched its dating site AreYouInterested.com, as an app on Facebook in 2007 and became publicly traded in the same year.It’s currently the second-largest publicly traded Facebook app developer behind Zynga, with 55 million total installs and growing by approximately 40,000 new profiles daily.
The company’s Q3 2011 revenue of $5.1 million marked its 10th consecutive quarter of revenue growth, a 198% increase from the previous year. It’s also doubled its employees count within one year.
SNAP CEO Cliff Lerner came up with the idea while working at Lehman Brothers right around the time when online dating made a significant impact in the way young people dated. He soon brought on his brother, Darrell, and the two started the company together.
The Lerner brothers have created an office environment that inspires creativity: there are board games, toys, artistic projects, puzzles, riddles and video games.
“People stay at work a lot later because of the toys. We hire people a lot quicker now,” says Darrell. “The people who come in for interviews, they always mention the atmosphere. It bonds people who might otherwise not interact with one another often. In that sense, it’s definitely brought the company closer. Our team’s given a lot of freedom as long as they show that they’re responsible in doing what they need to do.”
The staff kitchen is loaded with fruits, candies and sodas — anything to revive tired developers back to life
The open space is meant to encourage communication and collaboration. Green was chosen for its calming effect
Brainstorming is very much encouraged here. Have an idea? No need for paper. Just go to the nearest wall
These round tables are located at the end of desk rows in case anyone needs more privacy for quick meetings
The boardrooms are named after courses from the game, Mario Kart 64. This conference room is Koopa Beach. The other two are named Choco Mountain and Rainbow Road.
The developer team discusses some big stuff. Notice the Pez dispensers, actions figures and bobble heads
We're told the Nerf foam balls were cleaned up right before our visit since they usually end up all over the office's floor
Here's a lounge area that seems to double as a gaming room. Notice the Wii games underneath the glass table
On the other side of the game room, a ping pong table is being used for a game between founders Darrell and Cliff
On one wall, there is a dry-erase board that features SNAP's timeline. Big events are included and employees faces are cut out and pasted on to show when they joined the company
Here's a world map showing people currently online using the app. The purple ones are male users and pink ones are female users
How many techies does it take to build a Millennium Falcon (the principal fighter ship in Star Wars) made out of Lego pieces? Right before we left, we witnessed the team taking a break with their newly arrived toy — apparently, it's really hard to find — and Sinha proudly shows off what the finished product will look like.
Nazar Ivaniv, software engineer, has been with the company for nearly four years and shares with us his thoughts on the new office space:
When Sherov first started with the company, he was working as a contractor and still had a position with another company. At the time, SNAP was located in the basement of a pasta factory. He shares with us his thoughts on the new space:
'The philosophy is open air. Some companies think you should have quiet spaces -- and I respect that -- but I find you have a lot more collaboration with open air. The CEO sits among us every day even though he has his own office.'
'The biggest thing with developers is that we sit in front of our computers for six hours, we go play a game of ping pong, we come back and the solution comes. It's like magic happens.'