3 months at Facebook

Jun 15, 2011

I’ve now been at Facebook in Palo Alto, California for almost three months. And I love it.

This little textual outlet of mine has been silent for a while, mainly because I’ve been so caught up in a very exciting thing we’re making at Facebook, and probably will continue to be for a while.

Me in the Facebook HQ backyard

What really blows my mind about this place is how small it feels, yet we are thousands of people working at Facebook. The organizational structure is very flat and most responsibility is distributed, which is a very interesting concept. I work as a product designer–in our small but amazing Product team–meaning I do everything from conceptual development and management, to interaction design and graphic design.

Chris, Brandon, Francis and Joey

We generally have one product designer and one product manager pair up to form a “mini product team” in each project. This gives me the feeling close to that of a small start-up – “let’s do this together!”.

At the end of this year we will be moving into our own little town – a new totally awesome campus in Menlo Park – which is currently in it’s last stages of construction.

You can find a couple of images from my first two months in “My first two months”…

Moving to San Francisco

Moving to San Francisco, California from Stockholm, Sweden is a whole different story.

San Francisco seen from Twin Peaks

First off, this is a totally amazing place, full of life.

There’s tons of paperwork that is obscure, boring and tricky. For instance, while in the USA, no one will tell you that you need to file an AR-11 “Change of Address” form within 10 days, or you are breaking federal law and might get kicked out of the country. Or file for an SSN using old physical paper and pen which is then manually handled and processed by a bunch of humans.

Yes, most things here in the USA is still on physical paper, traveling in physical envelopes, just to be scanned or re-entered into a computer again, by a human.

Compared to Sweden, I’d say the infrastructure of California is about 25 years behind. Checks are still heavily used, banks are immature, etc. Being in San Francisco, you’re lucky if you get 500kbit/s over 3G – if you can even get stable enough connection. 4G here is more a myth than something that actually exists (I have a 4G modem and have yet to find a connection after 2 months of use). In Stockholm, you basically never go below 1Mbit/s over 3G and connections are very stable.

Then we have basic infrastructure, like cars, public transportation, landline connectivity, etc. Everything barely working. For instance, public transportation buses are old and technically inefficient with their giant tires and old diesel engines, spewing out black smoke. Busses like that would never even pass the minimum environment requirements in Sweden. Even the Stanford University runs buses like these.

But all that stuff is just an itch – people here are amazing!

I happily trade this lack of modern infrastructure for the brilliant openness and warmth of these people.

Highway 1 road trip makes us jumpsy

Now, back to changing the world.