Angie’s List campus to be a destination
You know Angie’s List as a reviews service that captured millions of customers on the foundation of trustworthy data and those now famous commercials.
What you don’t know is that the company is taking 20-years of reviews and turning them into user-friendly products that make it easier than ever to hire a local service provider. They’re doing that with a proprietary platform that powers user-friendly web and mobile tools, like SnapFix where you simply take a picture of what needs to be fixed, and Angie’s List connects you with a top-rated company for the job.
To stay ahead of the competition, they’re building an arsenal of talent and a campus to rival those on the coast.
The sprawling campus features 23 buildings – you thought it was just the one with a sign you can see from I-70! – that house not just the company’s growing staff of nearly 2,000, but also a gym, day care, community garden, hack shack, coffee shop and diner. “We want this campus to be a destination,” says Mark Howell, Chief Operations Officer. “Tourists won’t leave Indianapolis without stopping by for a visit.”
The ambitious — and continuous — Angie’s List infrastructure makeover started in 2013 and shows no signs of slowing. The company held a press conference this morning announcing the acquisition of the 100-year-old Ford Building on Washington St. and the addition of 1,000 new jobs.
The announcement was also an opportunity for Angie’s List to show off its impressive new workplace design. “Integrating technology into our construction plan from Day 1 was key,” said Kellie Gunnell, Workplace designer and occupancy planner for Angie’s List. Her cross-department team recently debuted the company’s Network Operations Center (NOC), which serves as mission control for the DevOps team.
The building features a movie-set-worthy video wall that provides continuous monitoring of crucial web data and other metrics and meeting spaces named for the Enterprise, Galactica and other famous sci-fi ships. The war room, a glass wall away, allows the engineering staff to huddle during outages or other emergencies.
“When you have people with good experience working together in an environment that’s open to change and generating better ideas, good things happen and can happen fast,” says Ryan Eldridge, IT infrastructure manager. “It’s like agile development for buildings.”
Next up was the Tile Conference Center, which opened last month and features multiple meeting spaces that can hold up to 140, nourishment stations and a bank of cozy booths for impromptu gatherings.
Each meeting room is named for a location important to the company’s nearly 20-year timeline, including Bexley, the Columbus, Ohio, suburb where Angie Hicks started it all; Broad Ripple, where the company had an office after moving its headquarters to Indianapolis; and Fort Wayne, Angie’s hometown.
The Glass Building, which opened more than a year ago in a former glass manufacturing facility, was the campus’ first ultra-modern renovation. Behind a plain brick exterior, Glass houses software engineers, product managers and UX designers in a sophisticated, softly-lit space that incorporates the original concrete floor and wood beams.
Gunnell said the work of fitting the growing company for its new era includes incorporating aspects of an established company culture known for its quirkiness.
One highly visible nod to that quality is a recently completed mural, which converts the side of one campus building into a giant pegboard of tools. The painting is so realistic that a movie prop worker called the muralists to ask where they’d found such giant tools.
Gunnell took some of her inspiration for the campus refurbishing from a 2013 tour of Google, Facebook, Pinterest and Ideo headquarters. “We wanted to see how they had evolved their culture and their facilities as they went from startups to major enterprises,” she said.
“We’re doing groundbreaking things (at Angie’s List),” Gunnell said. “You can have great ideas and actually get to implement them.”
5 things you didn’t know about the Angie’s List campus:
The Network Operations Center (NOC) site was previously home to the Pacers Den, where fans gathered to cheer on the then-ABA team who played just down the block at Market Square Arena. When the Pacers joined the NBA, it was renamed the Arena Bar.
The Firehouse, which serves as the guest entrance for all visitors, is the second oldest firehouse in the city. It was Firehouse 11.
The campus features a coffee shop and a diner that serves several hundred employees every day. Staff favorites include Red Bull Slushies and Korean Beef sandwiches.
The Penthouse was built in the late 1800s for the Railroad Workers Union. They slept on the second floor and had a ballroom on the third floor.
The Swamp was a drug store during WWII. Angie’s List Workplace Designer Kellie Gunnnell’s grandmother lived on the corner of Pine and Washington and regularly purchased two sandwiches and two Cokes for 25 cents!