When the New York-based charity auction site Charitybuzz offered a private tour of the 150,000-square-foot Palo Alto Facebook headquarters in the first week of July, just 23 bids brought the price up to $10,000, where it stayed for almost a month before it jumped $60,000 in the final day. And the tour doesn’t even include a meeting with the company’s infamous CEO–so you can rule out the monied wantrepreneurs who want to elevator pitch the Zuck.
Charitybuzz wouldn’t reveal the identity of the winner, however a rep suggested coyly that the tour might have been motivated by parental affection. “Many of our bidders purchase items and experiences from charitybuzz as gifts for their children or family members, so maybe the winning bidder purchased this to share with a friend or family member of the ‘Facebook Generation,’” a Charitybuzz rep told Betabeat by email. The tour includes lunch with Blake Ross, co-founder of Firefox and director of product for Facebook, in the company’s cafeteria:
The winning bidder and three guests will meet the people who design Facebook’s most popular features, hear behind-the-scenes stories from the company’s history, and get a crash course in what it takes to build and launch a new product like video chat to over half a billion users. They’ll weave their way through more than 1,000 employees sitting in colorful, spacious bullpens, through graffiti-art lined hallways and past micro-kitchens chock-full of free snacks. And of course, they’ll check out the “only at Facebook” features like vending machines that dispense keyboards and power cords, a game room complete with Guitar Hero and ping pong, and conference rooms with names like “Awesome Town”.
Joining the likes of Barack Obama, Kanye West and Katy Perry and getting lunch from Chef Josef in the fabulous Facebook Cafe, another poached Google employee? Best birthday present ever!
The proceeds from the auction will go to the Peace Corp Morocco Country Fund, supporting volunteer and community projects that include water and sanitation, agricultural development, and youth programs.