SendGrid wanted to explore the burgeoning startup tech scene in Las Vegas which culminated in a full day of events to welcome our community there and talk tech, code, startups and email. We also wanted to recruit from the local pool of talent for our many job openings here at SendGrid. We began with a special tour of Zappos where our group included SendGrid’s Isaac Saldana, Co-founder and President, and Mike Rowan, VP of R&D. We got to see some of the inner workings of the Zappos offices and the crazy interior they built as a visual presence of their focus on culture. We were struck by the variety of initiatives Zappos has to support and inspire their employees. It’s definitely something we can relate to at SendGrid since we also focus on culture with our “Four H’s”: Honest, Hungry, Humble and Happy. We then headed over to the Public House to experience one of the best selection of beers in Vegas. Their staff made us feel very welcome and we got to open a few bottles of Chimay, a true treat. They even have a Certified Cicerone (beer sommelier), Russell Gardner, who showed us several lovely beer and food pairings. After our party, we moved on to see the Downtown Project, a $350 million investment by Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, in the revitalization of the area. Focused on community building and supporting local tech startups, the Downtown Project is a fast growing hub of tech startup activity. Zappos too is moving downtown in fall 2013 as part of Tony’s plans. We joined the Vegas Jelly community at their weekly meeting and bar crawl downtown. They start their meetings at /usr/lib, a community technology library, coworking hangout and meetup venue located in downtown Las Vegas on the second floor of the Emergency Arts building. Vegas Jelly, started by Dylan Bathurst, is a supportive and fun environment central to the Vegas tech scene. Our tour downtown included being a part of the studio audience of Downtown Podcast. We will post that video in an upcoming blog post. See their latest podcast here. Each Zappos employee is encouraged to decorate to their hearts delight. There is no shortage of fun in the Zappos environment. One example of how Zappos encourages the development of their employees is the life coach made available in this amazing throne room. Scary or fun, these departments know how to decorate. Our group then left Zappos with a complimentary limo ride to the Drink Up! We had a great time meeting our Vegas community at the fantastic Public House inside the Venetian. At our Drink Up, our beer concierge (cicerone) helped us choose from an amazing selection of beers. Thank you to all who celebrated with us! We hope you can join us next time SendGrid is in your town!