AOL invites engineers to create innovative products in space leased from Google
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The mood at AOL's 225,000-square-foot, three-story building in the heart of Silicon Valley is more like that of a technology start-up, reports Jefferson Graham. "Employees are encouraged to draw on the walls, play pool and ping-pong, and come to work whenever they like. All they have to do in return is produce hot websites and mobile apps." Brad Garlinghouse, president of AOL's Applications and Commerce Group, tells Graham:
The space you work in is a reflection of the kind of company you are. You get innovation from working in a space that's very open and doesn't have offices … where people can work together and play together.
Meanwhile, AOL's Patch continues to get scrutinized by media writers. Jack Shafer says "the Patch presentation succeeds in being advertorialish and amateurish at the same time, which I find off-putting." AOL president Tim Armstrong acknowledges that "Patch is not popular with the media"; Erik Wemple says he's right:
The negative stories have often been a bit gleeful in tone, almost celebrating this enormous venture’s stumbles in gaining its sea legs. I myself am guilty here (and I got hammered on Twitter).