Example: A 19-year-old with serious stones secretly took up residence inside AOL’s Palo Alto campus, eating free food, enjoying gym access, and building a startup in the process.
Back Story: Eric Simons was in a four month program with the incubator Imagine K12 which is housed at AOL. When the four months ended he had no money left to go anywhere else so he started couch surfing around the corporate campus.
Having spent several months legitimately working in the building, often quite late, Simons had noticed that although there were security guards with nightly rounds, there were at least three couches that seemed outside those patrols. Plus, they looked fairly comfortable. He claimed them.
This was his routine: He’d work until midnight or later, and then fall asleep around 2 a.m. on one of the couches. At 7 a.m. — and no later than 8 a.m. so he’d be safely out of his field bed before anyone else arrived — he’d wake up, go down to the gym for a workout and a shower, and then go back upstairs and scarf a breakfast of cereal and water or Coke. Then he’d work all day, finally waiting until everyone else in the building had gone home before returning to one of his three favored couches.
“I got a really good work ethic,” he said, “and I got in shape, since I had to work out every morning.”