Tech Cribs

techcrunch-cribsI recently discovered a series on TechCrunch called Tech Cribs, which features 7-10 minute videos, giving you a behind-the-scene tours of tech startup offices. It’s a play on MTV Cribs, a TV series offering back stage passes to celebrity homes (Cristal anyone?). These videos are pretty cool to see because they offer a vastly different perspective from the traditional office setting many people are used to.

Pinterest = This company is about grouping cool things you like and allowing people to share what they like with others! From food, to decorating ideas, to travel tips, you name it! Their office environment is no different! People bring in and showcase vintage cars, action figures, they have “Pin-up” ceremonies when they launch new products and they experiment with concepts or ideas they see on their site and incorporate it into their office environment.

Etsy: A social commerce website focused on handmade or vintage items as well as art and craft supplies. They decorate their office with items purchased on their site – all part of the company’s plan connect buyers and sellers. New employees get $100 credit to spend on the site and they have “unspoken” competitions within the each of the teams.

ModCloth: An online e-commerce site that sells vintage clothing for women – their conference rooms are named after fabric patterns/colors/hairstyles! There’s a clothing swap for employees and they have contests for best dressed employees. Everyone has an incentive to look their best every day and to find ways to bring that experience to consumers!

There are videos for EventBrite, LinkedIn, Tumblr and many, many moreAfter watching a few, here are a few takeaways or key themes I discovered:

  • Live your brand!!! The very concepts/ideas they want consumers to buy into exist in the DNA of the company. They are not selling one thing and doing another.

  • Be creative!!! All the conference rooms have themed names! Love the ones at ModCloth, which are tied to exactly what they do: clothing.

  • Build something!!! The employees don’t just sit at desks and make charts and graphs. They build things (with their hands) which promotes teamwork and innovation. This is Intrapreneurship, which is nothing more than product innovation.

  • Blogs are the new websites!!! ModCloth uses the same service as I do for this blog to showcase and sell it’s product. It’s simple, cost effective and it works! You don’t have to be an engineer to change words on a company website (even though I am) and it’s accessible on mobile devices and tablets.
  • Personalize your space!!! Adding personal touches makes the office space look so much cooler, which promotes innovation!