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Hunkered-down tech workers built a virtual Silicon Valley, with dozens of offices like Salesforce and Uber and inside jokes like a ‘secret tunnel for Jack Dorsey’ that connects Twitter and Square

Stay at Home ValleyStay at Home Valley/Figma

A venture capitalist built a virtual layout of Silicon Valley using the web design tool Figma.
She shared it with other tech workers in the region, who built scores of digital offices, bars, and other symbols as the San Francisco Bay Area continues to shelter in place.
The result is a digital Silicon Valley rife with inside jokes unique to the region’s tech culture.
Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The glistening tech offices of modern-day San Francisco may be closed, with workers hunkered down in their homes, but a digital layout of the tech region has been constructed online.

Investor and founder Brianne Kimmel with WorkLife Ventures and designer Fiona Carty built the virtual environment, dubbed Stay At Home Valley, in the collaborative web design platform Figma. Kimmel told Business Insider that she started with a few landmarks, and then shared it with other designers to add what they wish.

Within 12 hours, the offices of 200 companies were created in the virtual world, with Dropbox, Slack, Airbnb, Uber, and the Salesforce Tower being some of them. People started “reopening” their favorite bars and cafes — like Blue Bottle Coffee and Boba Guys — that have been shuttered for weeks due to the shelter-in-place order. Electric scooters dot the streets, climbing gyms have been reopened, and a “secret tunnel for Jack Dorsey between meetings” is noted next to the CEO’s Square and Twitter digital office blocks.

The result is a virtual placeholder for Silicon Valley insiders to build and “live in” their region and among its idiosyncrasies as the real-world landscape is currently shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s what the map looks like.

Kimmel said she wanted to create something that felt almost like playing the SIMS or Animal Crossing.

“I wanted to create a safe, interactive space online where friends in Silicon Valley could get together — we could build our favorite offices and reopen our favorite businesses and celebrate great things that were happening behind the scenes,” Kimmel told Business Insider.

Anyone can access the map with the link to the file.

As for the environment’s safety, she said there has yet to be any sort of spam or malicious content. “It’s a nice, self-moderated universe,” she said.

The office of Notion, an enterprise software startup, was the first to be built to announce the company’s new funding round, Kimmel said.

Notion accepted $50 million in a funding round from Index Ventures, whose investor Sarah Cannon is seen outside of the buzzy startup’s digital office warehouse. Two unicorns are beside her in homage to Notion’s status as one of the region’s “unicorn” companies valued at at least $1 billion.

Its virtual office shows shoes outside the office in a nod to the company’s shoeless culture. Employees were known to scurry around the office in socks or slippers, leaving their shoes at their door.

Read more: Inside Notion’s shoeless San Francisco office

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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