Today, Coding House went to tour Zurb in Campbell (or southwest San Jose). First, Zurb is a design firm that created responsive front-end framework Foundation. If you haven’t used Foundation, it is a direct competitor of Bootstrap and yes, I think it’s much better to use. If you’re familiar with Bootstrap’s grid system, check out this video that goes through Foundation’s grid system.
So, Zurb is located in Campbell and we arrived at their site, I was surprised where they were located. Zurb was in a relatively quiet residential neighborhood. I thought it would have been nice to live nearby and walk to work if I were at Zurb. Also, Zurb’s two-story building was a sight to be seen (sorry, my pictures are taken by an outdated smartphone). The exterior and interior design were very modern and one has to be proud to work there. Of course, the design of the place had to be so if Zurb want to called itself a product design company. While we marveled at the architecture, Matt (Zurb’s first engineer and working there since 2008) greeted us and we introduced ourselves and made conversation before walking in.
Matt took us to the ground floor first. The ground floor is like the living room of your home. This is where Zurb gets creative with the giant whiteboard wall and brainstorms their creativity and consisted of a common area with a few meeting rooms that anyone could see in. Zurb has some great sketchers because I saw a nice Batman, Superman and comic figures. Matt also mentioned that a few of Zurb’s employees were in Melbourne, Australia and NYC to conduct meetups and spread the word about Foundation (they also get to go to LA, London and Hong Kong). Matt also gave a brief history of Zurb and Bryan (the founder) met with us as well on his way to the restroom and told us how he serendipitously created Zurb (it’s a funny story). I thought it was great that Bryan took time out of his schedule to meet with us.
On our way from first to second floor, I saw a few road bikes (nice way to commute) and a Xbox 360 (can’t say I play). This is where the designers work and it was an open space with workstations and more meeting rooms. Let me not forget the badass kitchen that any amateur cook would love to have, complete with modern appliances and a visible expensive wooden dining table. Matt walked us around and nothing was different than I expected: cooler with drinks and pony keg, bean bag chairs, workstations, whiteboards, nice natural light. What I thought was unique was the patio that I took a picture of. It has a grid-like floor that shows the ground below and it has gaps large enough that you wouldn’t want to drop you phone there. What was also great was the pace of the employees and there was enough space to “breath”, so to speak. We made our rounds, met up with a few employees, got some Zurb stickers and then ate lunch. If you’re curious, the provided lunch (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays!) consisted of some steamed greens, salad, grilled boneless chicken, fluffy mashed potatoes, rice (with lemon?) and what I think was roasted artichoke. Anyhow, I enjoyed it and I think the group did too. Matt continued to speak with us about Zurb and how they like to conduct things with their clients. What stood out to me while he spoke during our tour was Zurb’s community service. Apparently, Zurb create sites for nonprofit organizations and does not charge anything for their services. That’s just something I wanted to mention. After lunch and learning more about Zurb, Coding House thanked and made their goodbye to Zurb.
Would I like to work for Zurb? I don’t think so and that’s because I know that Zurb is very focused on product design and that is not my forté – that’s the only reason. They have the modern amenities, small, diverse, tight-knit team and an affable boss (if he likes to be called that). Yeah, I’m not taking away from the culture. I just wouldn’t be a great fit there as far as what idea or product I want to work with in a startup.