Is Facebook The Public School Of Tech Companies?

Given that Mark Zuckerberg grew up going to some of the top private schools in the country it's ironic to hear that some are calling Facebook's campus more like public school whereas Google is more like private school.

Given that Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg grew up going to some of the top private schools in the country it’s ironic to hear that some are calling Facebook’s campus more like public school whereas Google looks more like private school.

In a review of the two companies’ campuses, IEEE Spectrum takes a look at how Facebook’s existing culture compares with Google’s. While the findings may not be that surprising, it was interesting to see how Google has far more amenities than Facebook. That may have something to do with the fact that Google is currently generating well over seven times the amount that Facebook does.

While Facebook has attempted to differentiate itself from Google as much as possible, it’s hard to avoid the Google influence, since a large percentage of the company’s employees used to work at the search giant. For example, both companies are successful at getting employees as much sugar as they want with candy that’s scattered throughout the offices. Food is also free at both companies, but that’s no longer as unique as it once was given that it has practically become a standard for any well funded startup.

Travel By Foot Is Archaic

If you want to avoid walking around, you can help yourself to a number of wheeled vehicles at either campus. While Google once stepped things up to the point of having Segways on campus, it’s no longer that common to see individuals traveling around on battery-powered vehicles. Instead, Google has bikes and scooters available to employees. Facebook, on the other hand, provides employees with access to RipStiks.

Big Changes Ahead

The timing of IEEE Spectrum’s analysis of the two company’s cultures is interesting given that both companies are at different stages. Facebook is still experiencing rapid growth, whereas Google is beginning to mature. That’s probably why only Google provides employees with access to gardens, where employees can lounge around. Time is of the essence at Facebook, and capturing the value of the social web is something that the company is racing to accomplish. Not surprisingly, the company’s culture is reflected in that position.

Toss on some clothes (no need to dress up), and hop on over to the office because there’s a lot of work to be done. While neither company is exactly setting the standards for New York runways, IEEE Spectrum found that Google employees are better dressed. You’ll find that to be more of a subjective matter depending on the office you are at. In New York City, female Googlers have been spotted walking around in high heels despite there being a blizzard outside. I can pretty much guarantee that if there was a freak blizzard in California, neither Google or Facebook employees would be parading around in heels.

Not A Huge Difference

While doing an analysis of the culture differences between Facebook and Google is interesting, it’s not exactly the most revealing. The reason is that it’s like comparing Harvard, Stanford, and M.I.T. All of them are at the top. If you want to see how some of the most successful individuals in the world are working, check out both of the companies’ headquarters. Here’s hoping that somebody does a piece on comparing and contrasting Facebook’s culture and a construction yard!