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Success Story: PARC

by SRP on August 23, 2023

Shaping the Culture of Silicon Valley

Back in the 1970s, when Xerox PARC—today known as PARC—was settling into its new home at Stanford Research Park, employees and visitors would have come across the employee lounge—dotted with bean bag chairs. At the time, this would have been nothing short of strange and unfamiliar. Although bean bag chairs are whimsical, their placement in this lounge had a serious intent. Light-weight and easy to move into any configuration, their purpose was to invite collaboration. No need to move desks and tables or lug chairs. Just pick up the bean bag, plop it down where you need it, and get to brainstorming.

In an era when massage chairs and nap cubicles are familiar furniture at many tech offices, a humble bean bag chair might not sound so exciting. But in the 1970s, it was truly revolutionary—a clear departure from the buttoned-up formality of office culture at the time. They symbolized a burgeoning ethos within Stanford Research Park that would reverberate throughout Silicon Valley, and they helped usher in the more non-traditional work environments for which today’s technology companies are known.

It’s no wonder that so many tech companies have followed PARC’s lead. Its collaborative environment led to such creations as the laser printer, Ethernet networking, the personal workstation (which spawned personal computers), and the graphical user interface (GUI), to name a few.

PARC Continues to Revolutionize at Stanford Research Park

Since its founding, PARC has continued to provide technology, best practices, expertise, R&D services, and intellectual property to companies, startups, and government agencies around the world. To this day, the PARC community continues to attribute the company’s forward-thinking and groundbreaking R&D to its people—and its creative work space.

There are currently more than 150 employees who research, tinker, develop, invent, and build inside the 200,000-square-foot facility at Stanford Research Park. PARC remains a future focused and inspiring workplace, with easy access to the outdoors from every floor, windows in every office, local art adorning the walls, comfy couches, and creative toys readily available to further foster the creative and innovative spirit for which PARC is known. Their formula seems to be working very well: PARC holds approximately 2,500 patents and files an average of 150 patents per year.

PARC remains at the forefront of technological breakthroughs in transportation, electronics, and energy, and its innovations and research send ripple effects throughout the industry. Although PARC is very much a global company, it remains rooted in Silicon Valley. PARC chooses to remain in the heart of Silicon Valley at Stanford Research Park because of its proximity to global enterprises, universities, startups, and, of course, the numerous venture capital firms within Stanford Research Park and just miles beyond it.

Signaling a new chapter, PARC combined with SRI International in 2023. Through this combination, two Silicon Valley leaders will build on their respective legacies and together create the next wave of technological breakthroughs.


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