Polyvore’s Image Masking (or someone I am really proud of)

before after

Cindy is a member of Polyvore’s awesome engineering team.  She just put up a post on our eng blog about how she improved Polyvore’s automatic image background removal tool. This level of attention to detail and polish has always made me proud. The change was part of a larger project to enhance the overall image quality on Polyvore and I hope she will get around to writing the entire series of posts.

Under the Hood: How we Mask our Images

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Great Office Work Environments

Note: This is based on a answer to a question about what makes for a good office space on Quora

At Polyvore we made our fair share of mistakes but the office work environment is one of the things we mostly got right.

Polyvore Office

Lots and lots of plants being installed at our office

When we were starting out, I knew that we’d be spending most of our waking hours there for the foreseeable future and we wanted to make our work environment as great as possible.

Our guiding principle has been that great people deserve to work in a great environment.

Here is a partial list of what we did:

Office Building
  • Modern building
  • Look out the window and you see trees
  • Within walking distance of downtown and train station
Interior
  • Lots of natural light
  • Warm toned interior lighting — not the fridge like cold fluorescent.
  • High ceilings
  • High quality desks / seats
  • Lots and lots of plants
  • Ample space for everyone — not like a sardine can
  • Open layout — although there are people who prefer offices
Equipment
  • A general policy of you can get whatever you need to best do your job
  • X-Large monitors
  • Latest/fast hardware — I hated how Yahoo laptops took 15 minutes to boot up
  • MiFi dongles for commuters
  • Dedicated IT staff to make sure everything just works
Benefits / Perks
  • Better than most startups Health benefits,…
  • CalTrain Go passes
  • Gogo inflight passes
  • Health and fitness allowance
Food
  • Free home cooked catered lunch everyday
  • Organic fruits + snacks + drinks, …
  • Chocolate deliveries from The Chocolate Garage

I am probably missing some things. You can read more about it at Polyvore’s About Page.

There is of course the even more important human interactions element which is the topic of entirely different posts / threads / books.