Ancestry’s San Francisco Office Space in the SOMA neighborhood
Last night, I attended a cool kick-off
party reception at the Salesforce headquarters hosted by John Battelle and Brian Monahan, the founders of Newco.co, which was founded on the idea that “what if all these cool companies just opened their doors for a day and let people come see what it’s like there?” “That would be awesome!”
Just seeing, touching and feeling what a company is like–from the inside–speaks a thousand words more than any job description, friendly referral or even job interview can.
But even though people outside of the Bay Area talk about the San Francisco tech startup scene with the kind of awe and wonder my kids use when talking about Disneyland, I’m learning that even though the cool kids around here work at cool companies with cool office-spaces, that’s not really what it’s about.
(But, we have a pretty amazing office space we’re excited to show off though)
What I am learning is that the tech elite in this city are deeply passionate about improving the world around them and leveraging their
black-magic talents to drive real change–be that social innovation, food production/consumption (I’m learning about slow-food and love it), fashion, and yes, technology.
Excitedly, I think Ancestry fits right in with these kind of challenges. Our employees are driven and passionate and bold about their desire to make a real difference. Time is fleeting, and they want to make their mark.
We are already the world’s largest online family history resource, but we are consistently renewing and revisiting that objective as if we were the new, scrappy startup on the block.
We have a relentless talent selection process that is determined to employ only the best people… both in terms of intelligence and capability, but also in terms of deep drive and passion for what we are doing and why we are doing it… not just how we are doing it.
It turns out, accomplishing “awesome” in the world of family history is complicated business.
To help people discover and get excited about their own legacy and the personal legacies of people they know is an exciting proposition, but beside the myriad technical challenges of hosting billions of genealogical records and millions of family trees–and making them accessible in milliseconds from your mobile app, tablet or multi-screened PC device–the entire genre of “family history” as a service is associated with user experiences that are, frankly, boring.
- How do you bring people’s family history alive before their very eyes?
- How do we help people access, document and share their personal legacies–or preserve them for their children and grandchildren and great, great, grandchildren in a way that is visual, immersive and exciting?
- How do we encourage users of our mobile platforms to open our app while they’re waiting at the doctor’s office rather than another round of Candy Crush?
To accomplish these challenges, we need to bring people to work on these problems that are willing to challenge the status-quo and really get inside the challenges of accessing and displaying these intensely data-heavy bits of information in a way that captures interest and engages people in new ways than have been done before.
This is one reason why we hosted the XX+UX event earlier this year inviting local women in UX Design to hear from one of the leaders in their craft in the comfort of our offices.
This is also one of the reasons we’re opening our doors again today for the NewCo SF tour. We look forward to the guests and visitors who will join us and anticipate new partnerships, community and awareness to come from the event.
Looking forward to seeing you here.
How do I sign up?
Register for a NewCo.SF general admission pass for free here. Then sign up for the session at Ancestry’s office: http://sched.co/1pbfVb3 (get on the waiting list if you have to)
Are there perks to coming aside from listening to the speaker?
Yes. Enjoy free appetizers, beer, and wine. We’ll also be giving away ten AncestryDNA kits, each paired with an Ancestry.com membership.