Entrepreneur Secretly Squats The AOL Headquarters

Samuel Reason - January 20th, 2020

One crafty entrepreneur decided to save some living costs while working on his startup, but simply squatting in the AOL headquarters. In 2012, Eric Simons spend a good few months living on the internet giant’s campus in Palo Alto in California. It was a pretty sweet deal, he would eat for free, enjoy gym access and built a start-up in the process.


It reads like a Silicon Valley folklore legend, but Simons who had just finished high school 2 years ago, was suddenly working lengths to bring his entrepreneur dreams to life. And sure there are many legends about startup founders living off noodles and barely sleeping while they try to make their dreams into reality – this story is even crazier.

Eric Simons simply lived in the sprawling AOL complex, hiding out on couches during the night and eating the company’s food. He even was using their gym to shower and exercise. He had accepted a slot in a new Silicon Valley incubator called Imagine K12. It was a company that focused on helping teachers create and find new lesson plans and then share them with teachers and students anywhere. So how did he end up hiding out at AOL?

Well, the incubator program wasn’t that great, he wasn’t provided with any mentoring support, he was just given $20,000 in cash. Sure that sounds nice but after a few months most of the money was gone and the program was finished, most of his fellow students in the mentorship program simply went back to University. Simons did not have that option, and well as it happened the program was hosted in AOL’s huge Palo Alto campus. The great part? His badge kept working when the program ended.

So Simons started to live in their headquarters because he couldn’t afford anywhere to live. He noticed that some couches were outside of the night security team’s patrols, so he would just work late until everyone had gone home before moving to one of the couches. In the morning he would get up early and hit the gym. He was working hard around 12 hours a day, and only spending about $30 a month!

The complex even had a laundromat so he kept his clothes clean. Eventually, after a few months, one security guard came in early and scoured the whole complex looking for him. They were pretty mad that he was treating the place like a dormitory, but it seems Simons’s hard work paid off as he scored some grant money after investors heard about his tenacity.

Next Article
  • Over 230 Years Ago Trenton Was The Capital Of America

    Nearly 235 years ago there was a great victory during the American Revolution. Victory in the battle of Trenton pretty much turned the tide of the revolution. And as a result, this famous victory meant that Trenton became the seat of America’s government. However, Trenton’s claim to fame as the capital of the United States...

    Read More
  • When Reading The Fine Print Pays Off

    When signing a contract everyone always reminds you politely and even devilishly: always read the fine print. Of course, not many of us can hold our hands up and say that we did read the fine print. Everyone has heard the saying, but does anyone do it? Insurance contracts can be pages after pages of...

    Read More
  • Hiding Inside Dead Horses On The World War I Battlefield

    During World War I, fighting was ferocious on the battle lines between France and Germany. Both armies had dug themselves into trenches so much so that there was nearly no movement either way. They sat in the trenches for years on end and simply blasted each other as much as they could. The whole landscape...

    Read More
  • The Dangers Of The Dust Bowl Can Be Electrocution By Hug

    During the perils of the Dust Bowl, people that lived in the Northern parts of Texas or Oklahoma had to contend with huge dust storms that could last for days. These were storms of fine flour-like dust particles that would blast through everything: the cracks on the window frames, under the doors and would even...

    Read More
  • Bodega Cats Of New York

    All across the boroughs of New York City, there are over 10,000 little Bodegas stores, it is a term that comes from Latin American Spanish which means a small neighborhood store. Across New York’s five boroughs there are many of these stores. They sell food and goods, an important part of each community, and also...

    Read More
  • The Deadly Female Samurai Tomoe Gozen

    Known for her immense beauty and deadliness on the battlefield, Tomoe Gozen was a late twelfth-century samurai warrior. At a time when female samurai were not numerous at all, Gozen showed the path of immense bravery and became a beacon of hope for all Japanese women at the time. Being that she was a strong...

    Read More
  • The 1992 Lithuanian Olympic Basketball Dream Team

    After the downfall of the Soviet Union, many of the countries exiting the bloc, such as Lithuanian were left extremely poor. Much of their country’s economy was subsidized by the Soviet Union, so there was a big-time of adjustment on figuring out how to stand on their own feet. Of course, anything that was not...

    Read More