The decor inside the offices on Facebook’s campus in Menlo Park, Calif., can best be described as “unfinished.” Steel girders crisscross overhead. Piping and air ducts pop out of plywood walls. Lighting, fire alarms, and support structures dangle from the underside of the floor above—all exposed to view.
The state of incompletion is not for want of funds. Despite scandals, Facebook continues to post record profits—$6.1 billion in the most recent quarter. Rather, the inchoate quality intentionally reflects the design philosophy of Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s founder and autarch. Zuckerberg likes to say that Facebook is only ever 1% finished. So the space appears under perpetual construction.
The stripped-down look feels particularly appropriate in Building No. 52. These are the offices that incubated Libra, Facebook’s audacious digital payments proposal. Here, the incompleteness creates the impression that the company isn’t certain whether to continue construction or just close up shop. And after the brutal…