First, they did a "happy hour" which meant beer and finger foods. So what you say? It's Lunch 2.0 damnit, not Snacky Snacky 2.0. The food matters.
Next it was very crowded and hot. Now I know that's partially just because so many people wanted to go to it because it was at Facebook. It's also because it was an inside event. Very limited space and lots of people = hot, noisy, sweaty, stinkiness. I'm sure this was the largest space that Facebook has available to it, but that's just another flaw in their based in Palo Alto logic (more on that later.)
Bad food, bad environment, what could save the event? How about some cool schwag! Oh wait, how about no schwag... You would think a company so obsessed with its collegiate roots would at least give out some t-shirts or knapsacks. Oh well. Simply Hired is still the king o' schwag.
Well what about the crowd? Well this was a decidedly younger crowd. I saw a lot of folks who had written on their nametags their names and their college. What the hell? Since when did Lunch 2.0 become Frat Party 2.0? Heh heh, I've become such an old fart. The crowd also had a lot more A-listers... Not sure if that's good or bad. I wonder how many of those folks will be at AOL next week. All in all, not as geeky a crowd as usual.
All that being said, I had a great time for one simple reason. I met up with an old Caltech classmate of mine, Robert Johnson, who's an infrastructure guru at Facebook. It was cool to catch up and talk about ye olden times. It was also cool to hear about some of the scale issues that Facebook has faced and things they're going to do about it, especially since we've faced and solved many similar issues over the years at eBay.
So that brings me back to Facebook, the company. I was really surprised to hear how they have three different buildings scattered around downtown Palo Alto. These guys really need to get a big space somewhere. Maybe they need to IPO or something to afford that. Seems unlikely they'd be able to do that in downtown Palo Alto. I know they are so in love with that area because of its ties to Stanford, but guess what guys. You're not in college anymore. Remember when you were in college and alumni would show up to hang out and pretend they were still in school? Remember how lame you thought those guys were? Umm...