For the Startup Spaces Series, Mashable got to scope out the spaces of some of the hottest startups around.
Unsurprisingly, the offices of these companies have just as much personality as the products themselves. Full of killer perks, like ping-pong tables, kegs of beer and endless snacks, startup founders know how to reward their hardworking (and often still small) team with some good old-fashioned relaxation. These tricked-out spaces also reflected much of their own website’s designs, including little visual homages to their logos and products in surprising and innovative ways.
Here’s a roundup of the companies we toured, including in-depth photo galleries. To read more and check out the photos, click through to the full story.
1. DNA 11
DNA 11 had humble beginnings. In 2005, founders Adrian Salamunovic and Nazim Ahmed started the business with $2,000 and an idea — using genetic science to create custom art. In 2009, the guys launched CanvasPop, a service that blows up your images — even low-res, smartphone shots — to full-on wall art.
While user reviews site Yelp formally calls San Francisco home, the company is making a serious splash in New York City. Yelp opened a Manhattan office in 2008, but relocated to new digs in the city’s Union Square area late last year. Although the company currently has nearly 1,000 employees worldwide (and counting), the 70 staffers at the satellite NYC locale have embraced a more startup-like vibe in the small yet lively office.
It isn’t uncommon to watch the evolution of a company take place through the changes to its workplace.
That’s the case with the video sharing service Vimeo. Founded in 2004 by Jake Lodwick and Zach Klen, Vimeo now boasts more than 65 million visitors a month and a dedicated community of independent filmmakers and artists. To us, what has always made Vimeo different from other video sharing sites — such as YouTube — is the focus on quality, quirkiness and community.
On our tour of Vimeo’s offices in the IAC Building in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, we found that the community and quirky nature that is omnipresent on the site is also visible in the office itself.
Checking in to Foursquare HQ is so meta — and it’s really flippin’ awesome, too. The geolocation startup recently moved its HQ from New York’s Cooper Square to a ginormous space — two floors of 28,000 feet each — joining other startups Thrillist, ZocDoc and 10Gen at 568 Broadway.
It’s no surprise that Foursquare is growing — the platform has 15 million users and more than 1.5 billion check-ins, and Foursquare is seeing more than 5 million check-ins each day. To help fuel this growth, Foursquare’s team recently surpassed 100 people, who are split between New York and San Francisco. The New York office is home to 85 staffers, and it’s littered with references to badges, Foursquare swag (Snuggies, anyone?) and plenty of treats in “Fat Denny’s” cafeteria.
In an unmarked office building on a beautiful suburban street in downtown Palo Alto, the burgeoning startup Pinterest does its magic.
Considering all the addicting beauty and visual orgasmica on Pinterest, the company’s headquarters are in a surprisingly drab building. You’d think the up-and-coming social platform would want a giant sign that proudly proclaimed its name, given the company’s meteoric rise. Inside these humble digs, Pinterest staffers keep things fun with foosball breaks, Nerf darts and lots of Dr. Pepper. But don’t expect them to stay in one space so long — given Pinterest’s astounding growth, there’s a good chance the team will be expanding into a bigger and more (p)interesting space in the near future.
Step into Tumblr HQ and you’ll find the walls filled with artwork as colorful and quirky as your own Tumblr dashboard — because that’s where all of the artwork came from. Indeed, the company loves its microblogging community.
Tumblr has come a long way from its original office space five years ago. Though the company only moved four blocks from its first office on Park Avenue in October 2010, the team has exploded from two to more than 90 people. This exponential growth has supported the site’s expanding user base, which increased 900% — from 10 million users to 50 million users — in just the past year. In a Flatiron-area building, Tumblr occupies two floors, which rock completely different vibes. One is an airy, vibrant common area for meetings, lunch breaks and (most importantly) ping pong, and the other is a quiet, softly lit open floor-plan where all the work gets done. All of the meeting rooms have New York themed names — and yes, you will find a “Haters Gonna Hate” poster on the wall.
Aviary’s New York City office lives up to the photo startup’s name. Tiny fake birds peek out from fake shrubbery and perch on top of pipes. Business cards, each with a different bird image, are posted on the fridge with magnets, and — in case you missed the theme — a giant bird mural takes up a prominent wall.
So why birds?
The startup’s original product was a suite of web-based creative tools, and the tagline “creation on the fly” was too good to pass up. Each tool in the suite is named for a different bird, and the ornithology theme is present is the HQ, too.
One of the most loved aspects of the entertainment check-in and recommendation service is the fact that users can get physical copies of the digital stickers they earn for checking into TV shows, movies, music albums or events. GetGlue’s office space near Union Square in New York City is adorned with super-sized versions of these stickers. The stickers adorn the walls, the elevator alcove and the office areas. For CEO and co-founder Alex Iskold, the stickers aren’t just a great way to decorate — they’re a constant reminder of the startup’s vision and purpose.
StumbleUpon is all about discovery, and if you happen to stumble upon the company’s San Francisco headquarters, you’ll have plenty to see.
The tailored web-crawling platform currently has more than 20 million users performing more than 1.2 billion “Stumbles” per month. All that stumbling means the company needs a big team to keep things running smoothly. Since StumbleUpon is all about uncovering great stuff from the Internet, all of the conference rooms in the building are named after great inventors — complete with tchotchkes related to the person’s discoveries. The Edison room, for instance, contains baskets of light bulbs, while the Pasteur room includes a working microscope with slides.
BONUS: A Peek Inside Mashable HQ
Meetings at Mashable are rarely boring.
What do you think of the offices at these startups? Let us know in the comments below.
For more Business coverage:
- Follow Mashable Business on Twitter
- Become a Fan on Facebook
- Subscribe to the Business channel
- Download our free apps for Android, Mac, iPhone and iPad