The other day, I was driving through the South Bay, when it occurred to me that I was only a few miles away from Mountain View, so I decided to check out the Google campus.
When you arrive on campus, you know immediately where you are.
The little green guy you see on the photo in front of the building (actually that thing is pretty large) represents the Android operating system that Google has been working on for a while. The "phone" leaning between the giant Android guy and the giant cupcake, is, of course, the Nexus One, the newest Google phone, released exclusively through Google's website, not through the major phone US carriers.
It was a holiday week-end, so there was not a lot of people around.
Even though I didn't have an invitation (the campus is closed to the public, unless you are expressly invited or escorted by a Google employee), I decided to park my car in the visitor parking lot and see if I could get a few pics of the Android guy before someone calls security ;)
If you're gonna park your car on campus, be sure to pick the right spot.
There is this ^
that one for the lucky few ^
or even this one ^ (but I only spotted one of those, next to the main campus).
Clearly, you don't need to drive around campus, even though it's pretty spread-out. As far as I can tell by the number of bikes laying around unlocked, it looks like to get from one building to the next, you would just hop on a bike, and leave it at your destination when you get there. To get back to your original starting point, grab another bike and do the same thing in reverse.
I could be wrong about that but I believe the row of Priuses I noticed on the side of the blue building are also for employees' use.
Do you need a haircut? No need to leave the campus, the haircut comes to you (and it's free, too). I understand they also have laundry facilities, dry cleaning, a gym, a couple of pools, an excellent cafeteria with food I can only dream about (sigh), all free to Google employees.
I'm guessing behind these windows is where all the magic happens? Part of it, maybe? (Notice the cameras sticking out from the top of the building.)
This ^(above) is a replica of the Nexus One. It is as tall as a person, and the screen is animated, exactly like a real Nexus One phone. You get the sense that the company is real proud of it.
You know I *had* to peek inside, right? ;) Bad idea on my part, though. No sooner did I finish taking this (terrible) picture, that a security guy had appeared right right in front of my face, and was asking me nicely but firmly to get off the premises.
I did, of course. But I took a couple more pictures on my way out, which I hope you'll enjoy.
There is a lot of information out there about Google, the campus, the culture, so I'm not even gonna try to summarize it here.
Google it! :)
Don't get the wrong idea though, despite the perks, and the impression that the campus is a big playground, the employees do work very hard indeed.
Anyway, I just wanted to post up these few pics.
Click on the photos to enlarge them.
Wish I could see the inside ;) Maybe some day.