Eric Simmons secretly lived in AOL’s Palo Alto campus for 2 months while he worked on a Startup


For two months during the Fall of 2011, Eric Simons secretly took up residence inside AOL’s Palo Alto, California, campus, eating free food, using the gym, sleeping on their couches, and building a startup in the process. All while living on $30 a month.

“I couldn’t afford to live anywhere,” Simons recalled. “I started living out of AOL’s headquarters.”

Having spent several months before legitimately working inside the building, Simons had noticed that there were at least three comfortable couches that seemed outside the security’s nightly patrols. He quickly took advantage of them.

His normal routine would consist of waking up between 7-8 a.m., before anyone had arrived, go to the gym, take a shower, eat some breakfast, then work on his startup for the rest of day. He would work till about 12 a.m. (or later), then once everyone left, he would go crash on one of the couches.

David Temkin, senior VP of Mail and Mobile for AOL said in an interview with CNET, ”It was always our intention to facilitate entrepreneurialism in the Palo Alto office — we just didn’t expect it to work so well.”


Posted October 12, 2013