"Facebook house" continuing inspiration for startups

August 28, 2012 9:53:00 PM PDT
The house made famous by the movie "The Social Network" has a new round of entrepreneurs living there. The so-called "Facebook house" is located on a quiet street in Palo Alto. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg spent the summer there in his company's earliest days.

The house draws fans to La Jennifer Way -- near El Camino Real and Los Robles Avenue -- and it even gets check-ins on Foursquare. That's just the kind of following its new tenants are hoping to build.

It's 1 p.m. and programmer Zach Bowers is just rolling out of bed. Bowers works for a startup called Amicus and like his co-workers, he pretty much works all the time.

"Everyone has different schedules; I think days normally last about 16 hours," he said.

CEO Seth Bannon explains Amicus is a social network for fundraising.

"There's a big problem in the world of nonprofit fundraising, where almost all the asks are stranger to stranger, so we help make those asks friend to friend," he said.

How appropriate then that Amicus is working out of the very same Palo Alto house where Zuckerberg and a crew of programmers spent the summer launching Facebook.

"Except for the bedding, everything is exactly like it was in 2004," Bannon said.

There are technically four bedrooms, unless you count the mattress on the living room floor.

And there's the pool so famously portrayed in the movie "The Social Network." The zip line once tied to the chimney is no longer there.

"It was probably both dangerous and a hell of a lot of fun," Bannon said.

Now, fun comes in the form of Nerf gun battles and forcing guests to try on their Iron Man helmet.

Iron Man is their unofficial mascot, but the men of Amicus don't need metal suits to do the impossible -- they just need a really good place to eat, sleep and write code.

"And just getting so much work done, as productive as we were, and i think that's something to do with the windows or the architecture, or maybe it is just the Facebook karma," Amicus database programmer Ben Lamothe said.

But the iron men of Amicus only have their sweet pad for a few more weeks. Just like Facebook, they're subletting it from a group of Stanford graduate students, who have to move back in at the end of September.


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