Are you tethered to your smartphone at all times? Are you scrolling through Instagram right now? If your social network spans several apps, you’re using tech programs born in the Bay Area.
Silicon Valley has long been a place for tech companies to plant roots and flourish—think heavyweights like Google, Yahoo!, and Apple—and today it houses much of the tech world, from startups to global players, in areas like Menlo Park, Palo Alto, and Mountain View. Watch the opening credits from HBO's Silicon Valleyand you’ll know what we mean.
But more and more, tech companies are forgoing college-like campuses and opting to call the city of San Francisco home (some are even taking over entire city blocks). Housing some of the largest companies in NorCal, like Pinterest, Twitter, and Airbnb, all of which have killer headquarters in the heart of the city (complete with killer cafeterias), these tech hubs are now a prominent part of the S.F. landscape. And the city has changed vastly because of it, in good ways and bad: job creation is a plus, housing prices are a major minus. Regardless, these companies are now an intrinsic part of our daily lives and we can thank S.F. for that.
So the next time you’re pinning home décor on Pinterest, Ubering to your Airbnb, or retweeting Kim Kardashian, think of the Bay Area power players making it all possible. Here are just a handful of the ones that have set up pin-worthy headquarters in San Francisco. If your own office is transitioning to an “open” floor plan, it was likely inspired by one of these tech leaders' cool concepts.
Twitter: For its HQ, Twitter took over a massive 1930s Art Deco building in S.F.’s gritty Tenderloin neighborhood. Inside, you’ll find a nature theme with—you guessed it—bird’s nest vibes. Tweet, tweet! The Market, a new grocery and cafeteria on the ground floor of the building, recently opened to the public and San Franciscans can’t get enough of it’s delicious offerings.
Pinterest: Before Pinterest launched in March 2010, where did we find equal doses of inspiration and FOMO? Not surprising, Pinterest's SoMa HQ is like an enviable pin board IRL, with colorful and quirky interiors around every corner. Mason jars not included.
Airbnb: Down the street from Pinterest is the 72,000-square-foot Airbnb HQ. You won’t find a standard office here—conference rooms are modeled after actual Airbnb listings and feel like cozy living rooms from cities around the globe.
Uber (and Lyft): Uber recently snatched up new office buildings in San Francisco's Mission Bay district and in Oakland, Calif., with plans for heavy duty renovations. Meanwhile, Lyft set up its office in the Mission District. Lyft's design theme? Lots of pink mustaches, of course. Hitch a ride there and see for yourself.
Stubhub: It’s no surprise that ticketing giant StubHub’s office in downtown San Francisco is sports and music-themed. After all, the city is home to winning teams like the Giants and Warriors. Even Stubhub's conference rooms are named after NFL football teams.
Minted: The design-focused stationery and art company set up shop in Jackson Square, complete with a killer view of the bay. You won’t find typical office fare here, the interiors look like the coziest, chicest home you’ve ever seen. Plus, there’s a pillow room. Yes, only pillows.
Everlane: The direct-to-consumer fashion label recently snagged a massive 1920s laundry facility in the Mission and transformed it into their new HQ. Their clean design aesthetic is reflected in the building’s stark white walls and open, minimalist décor. Check it out during one of Everlane’s open studio sales, announced on its Facebook events page.