Recently, I stumbled across an article in the Wall Street Journal that described a start-up company in San Francisco with a busier social calendar than Kim Kardashian. “Moustache” Mondays? “Yoga” Tuesdays? I was intrigued. The company, Airbnb Inc., decided to pump up company perks to entice (and keep) dedicated employees. Competition is fierce in the Silicon Valley for tech talent, forcing employers to get creative.
As I read on about their two-story indoor tree house and “zen” room, I couldn’t help but wonder if this was idealism gone wrong. After all – how productive would you be, sprawled out in a tree house with a fake moustache on? But as I read on about late work nights and serious tech results, I wondered if maybe they were onto something. Maybe their “brand” was so developed and unique that it easily allowed intermixing of work and play, and in fact encouraged long, productive days and evenings. In an ever-growing tech market, where startups go as quickly as they come, perhaps the key to attracting talent lies in utilizing corporate culture as a tool – a point of differentiation. (And if there’s wine and cheese involved, that never hurts either.)
While I don’t see many East coast companies rushing to order their own indoor tree houses – maybe we could all learn a little something about developing our own brand identity in an endless sea of competitors. And really, it begs the question – who’s in for Moustache Monday?