I’m certain I’m not alone in saying when Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) hit the scene I just didn’t get it. I didn’t see the need for “microblogging,” 140 characters to narrate your life? This is going to be a flash in the pan. Clearly I was all sorts of wrong there. With nearly 250 million users, and a platform that both breaks and makes news, it’s hard to envision me being more wrong.
Just when I was sure Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) couldn’t surprise me any more, I once again stand corrected. Perhaps in a nod to the iconic bird that symbolizes the company, the company is going into the forests, in downtown San Francisco, and back a couple of centuries by installing two log cabins in its offices for employees to dine in with a sense of intimacy.
Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), despite losing roughly $500 million in Q4, isn’t afraid to splash around the cash and in keeping with the forest themed interior of the company’s new digs in the historic Western Furniture Exchange and Merchandise Mart building, a 1937 art deco landmark on Market Street. Twitter has taken some criticism for the ends to which it will go to keep its employees happy, but Twitter clearly doesn’t care and truly values employee retention.
Olle Lundberg of Lundberg Design found the cabins on Craigslist when they were listed by Novato contractor Karl Beckmann, who salvaged them from a couple of remote ranches in small Montana towns. They sat on Craigslist for over a year before the eclectic Lundberg stumbled across them. I think its a fair call to call the man eclectic both in his life and his designs. He lives in a decommissioned Icelandic car ferry docked at San Francisco’s Pier 54, and used planks from a bowling alley with exposed nails to build Twitter’s reception desk.
“You can see the hand of the original craftsmen who built them,” said Lundberg “It’s kind of cool that cabins that were built sometime in the 1800s have now reappeared. The guys who built them are long dead, of course, but are sort of still here. I kind of like that.”
When you hear Lundberg speak, the cabins are starting to make sense to me just as I came around to Twitter after a few months and having watched its popularity grow.
“We’ve used the notion of the forest as a nice tie-in with Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) and its bird logo,” he explained. “To me, the log cabins fit into that since, obviously, they’re made from logs that come from the forest. It’s also about using natural materials. There’s something nice about the character of the real wood. Visually there’s a patina of age. It isn’t something fake. It’s real. It’s reclaimed. It’s got some history to it, just as the building has history to it. One of the nice things about reusing old materials it that there is a story that comes with them.”