Earlier this week, Google Boston opened the doors of its Kendall Square office to the Greater Boston community. This was an opportunity to show off their 300,000 square feet of space and welcome neighbors to their newly connected campus in Boston Properties' Cambridge Center.
With over 800 employees in the office, and more on the way, Google has created a work space that fosters collaboration and creativity. Credit is also due to the Nelson Group, as they helped create this connected space where even the decor is just off beat enough to keep brilliant minds well stimulated.
Being well fed is a key attribute for the local workforce. The basic rule is that no Google team member should be more than 150 feet away from food. The daily fare ranges from pretzel and candy stands to more healthful food stations and micro-kitchens offering the energy to power through any project.
As you might expect, coffee is a major fuel source here. In fact, Google's signature coffee bar goes through an average of 13 pounds of espresso beans and 240 shots per day. Fun fact: Charlie Ayers, the first company chef and employee #56, cooked for the Grateful Dead before heading to Google in 1999.
Of course, it's not all food and games at Google. The company has a serious, positive impact on local economy and the community as a whole. Consider that in 2013, Massachusetts companies realized $5.8 billion in economic activity using Google tools like search and advertising. Massachusetts nonprofits have also directly benefited from the company, receiving over $7 million in free advertising through the Google Ad Grants program and nearly $11 million in other grants dispensed over the last three years.
Here are a few more notable facts I learned during my time at Google's Cambridge campus:
Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.
15% of daily searches on Google are entirely new.
Google Maps provides driving directions in 199 countries, spanning 32.4 million miles of roads. That's the equivalent of 135 trips to the moon and back!
There is a total of 7,500 square feet of wallpaper in the Cambridge Campus, and it's made out of potato starch and soy ink.
The average person takes out their phone over 150 times a day.
I also learned about some cool new things to keep an eye out for, like Android Wear (literally smart-watch software), Newsstand (an app for media like news and magazines) and Google Play for Education (a central hub for classroom content).
Many thanks to Steve Vinter, KSA Board Member and Director of Engineering at Google, and the local Google team for giving our community an inside look at one of the tech giants calling Kendall Square home!
Keith, for the team at Kendall Press