I have been working at the Google-TechHub Campus in Shoreditch (the “Silicon Roundabout”) London for a few weeks. It is really cool. In no particular order, here are some things I love about this place:
- A cafeteria (open to anyone) with terrace, foosball table, bitcoin machine, device bar (to test your developments in many different devices) and even a spacesuit!
- A small but well stocked library of tech books
- Very nice team, from security to reception, to admin, to social media… all of them
- Two levels of office space, one of them (supposedly) “quiet zone”
- Unlimited supplies of toast and tea, great wifi, and good scanners/printers
- A ton of areas to sit down and have a meeting, not just the “meeting rooms”
- Most importantly: the events. For example today I met with a Google engineer working in the YouTube group, who gave me invaluable advice and suggestions, and Tuesday I am going to pitch directly to Google!!
But, of course, there are some unavoidable annoyances, like:
- It’s half an hour walking from my apartment near London Bridge, which would be great if it wasn’t because it often rains in London
- Some people think “phone booths” are a place to camp out, eat, watch movies, or listen to music, so when I have a call or videoconference, I have to go to my “secret quiet places” (not sharing here, so they continue to be secret)
- Europeans are less open to “impromptu networking” than Americans. I miss the New York attitude of “hey, what’s up? what are you working on?” or even better “I heard you’re in HealthTech, there is someone you should meet, I gave him your contact” 😉
- Overload of “app developers” and “entrepreneurs”. At least the ratio of “hipster” to “coder” to “entrepreneur” (excuse the gross categorizations and generalizations) seems to be OK
All in all, a wonderful experience.