A visit to Airbnb's Headquarters
Today’s secret spot is an office space available to you at no cost. Come enjoy a spacious environment luxuriously designed with free wifi, tons of tables, chairs, and full of friendly people. This place gives you everything you need to work, study, and socialize. So where is this free Garden of Eden? The last place you’d expect perhaps... Airbnb’s Headquarters!
Welcome to Airbnb
Airbnb has decided to make its headquarters available to the public. You can come work, study, or just socialize at their office lobby without any stress from security. The space is open to you on weekdays from 7am to 8pm, giving you plenty of time to swing by and do what you need to do. I myself would personally go there to code, write articles, and of course, meet cool people.
Come enjoy this space!
I haven’t interview the founders of Airbnb to discover what sparked this initiative, but I believe this is a model other tech companies should follow! Although software companies in the Bay Area provide employment, most of them do little else for the community.
Judging by their actions, I would even argue that most tech companies seem anti-social. Many for example, provide private shuttles for their employees, essentially shielding them from public transit. This shuttle then takes them to a campus where they are further isolated from the rest of the world.
Facebook, VMWare, Genentech, Tesla, Google, etc, are all very isolationist. They host employees on college-like campuses, keeping them in a fully serviced bubble. These campuses have gyms, cafeterias, laundry services, daycares, and many other domestic services. Although these amenities are well intentioned, it keeps employees from outside contact for too long. The inevitable consequence of such approach is that employees think more about the company that constantly surrounds them, and less about the community that they go home to.
Genentech shuttle buses however are open to the public
Genentech gets a pass. Some of their buses are open to the public, providing free rides from SF to the South Bay.
Airbnb is a rare exception. Not only is this a company that values diversity and fair treatment, they also open themselves to the community. This service rendered by Airbnb doesn't just help the public however - it also greatly benefits their employees.
To build excellent products, employees need daily contact with the public. Without this connection, they become detached from the world around them, a common disease in tech. Frequent contact with the public keep employees grounded and socially aware. This social awareness translates into the development of products that are more aligned with the needs of the community.
Next time you need a good place to study, think of Airbnb Headquarters. While you're there, socialize with a few employees - you'll both gain something from it! For more secret spots like this, sign up for CityXcape, the app to find secret spots.
Join the CityXcape mobile app beta here.