Carrying on in the esteemed tradition of Facebook hackathons, there will be an all-nighter on Thursday at the company’s Menlo Park headquarters that culminates with CEO Mark Zuckerberg ringing in the NASDAQ bell ahead of the company’s much, much, much anticipated IPO.
There is an internal event page for the big day that has about a thousand Facebook employees RSVP-ing for the bell ringing early on Friday morning. We can’t tell if there are any other big festivities prepared ahead of time. It’s all up in the air. Some people may dress up though. We don’t know if the gong will be used. Zuck will probably give some remarks as he has ahead of other hackathons.
“We want to get everyone together and remind ourselves that this company is about building things,” a source says.
Facebook has long emphasized the “Hacker Way,” which is about building things fast and constantly iterating on the status quo. Zuckerberg argued in Facebook’s original IPO filing that the word ‘hacker’ has long been misconstrued.
“The word “hacker” has an unfairly negative connotation from being portrayed in the media as people who break into computers,” he wrote. “In reality, hacking just means building something quickly or testing the boundaries of what can be done. Like most things, it can be used for good or bad, but the vast majority of hackers I’ve met tend to be idealistic people who want to have a positive impact on the world.”
In the tradition of other hackathons, expect some interesting product ideas to get fleshed out. Facebook Hackathons are a chance for employees to work on half-baked ideas and turn them into real products that eventually get shipped. Everything from Facebook’s chat system to an early version of Timeline called ‘Memories’ have come out of Hackathons. Even the famous ‘Fax’ button that Facebook once pranked Jason Kincaid with also came out of a hackathon.
In the meantime, while you’re in between reading all of mainstream media and blogosphere’s senseless blathering about what Facebook is really worth, enjoy these photos of Facebook employees sleeping at headquarters.
Update: Facebook engineering manager Pedram Keyani complains in the comments that we are not showing enough people hacking and are perhaps giving a misguided impression that people sleep at Facebook hackathons. So correction: They do not sleep. They rage.