Blogging from the Ballpit

Friday, 21 December 2007
by max Howell
filed under About Us and Lunch Table
Comments: 44

It is surprisingly hard to type when nestled in a pool of balls. You type, you sink, you get attacked from the east by an enterprising young programmer. Settled now at the bottom of the pit you clear a small gap and realise, actually, you can touch type. You haven’t just been claiming you can for the last five years. It’s really true.

Our excuse that this is a relaxing harbour for meetings may not hold water. Nobody can stay still for thirty seconds before they dive to the depths of the pool rooting around for someone to pull under. Erupting magnificently, balls flying everywhere, before everything collapses into a game of who can hit Jonty on the head the most times in thirty seconds.

23 thousand balls goes surprisingly little distance. It was in the local, last night, over a feisty pint of best that the idea emerged. “Ball pool”. An idea so splendid, so ludicrous – it quickly became the only topic of conversation. “London is a big city. Someone must have balls to sell” postulated RJ. So we started the research. We got numbers. We booked the van. There was planning. Surprisingly, I turned up the next day to find RJ bouncing around all excited. Tony was getting the balls. We were building the pool.

We had fun.

It was awesome.

More pictures can be found on flickr

It’s been decided, in future, all interviews will be held in the ballpit. But we don’t plan on stopping there. The meeting room next door is begging to be converted into an ice-rink. The kitchen is lacking for a climbing frame. The toilets are not yet complete without a waterslide.

Fancy a job?


  1. KWentin
    21 December, 22:26

    first picture i saw in the feed i was thinking of xkcd… nice job :) like the chess game :D

    KWentin – 21 December, 22:26
  2. Paul
    21 December, 22:40

    How much did that lot cost?! I love it!

    Paul – 21 December, 22:40
  3. Russ
    21 December, 22:57

    Before anyone asks, no company money went into buying these, it’s entirely employee-generated (except that it resides in one of our meeting rooms).

    As such, we’re not obliged to tell you how much it cost us ;).

    Russ – 21 December, 22:57
  4. Laurie
    21 December, 23:29

    You missed Muz and I’s crucial part! The perspex to stop them coming out of the door! :D

    Laurie – 21 December, 23:29
  5. Julian
    21 December, 23:30

    Hey, wait a second, you didn’t do this in Julian’s Office, did you? The oasis of seclusion? The cave of quiescence? The temple of tranquillity? How dare you ;)

    Julian – 21 December, 23:30
  6. Matt
    21 December, 23:46


    I love you guys so goddamn much. Splendid job!

    Matt – 21 December, 23:46
  7. RJ
    22 December, 01:09

    The thing about our ball pit is that it’s over a meter deep.. You sink down into it until you are submerged beneath the balls. It’s awesome.. I’ll post the irc log from #balls tomorrow showing how it came to be :)

    RJ – 22 December, 01:09
  8. Fiona McLaren
    22 December, 02:04

    This will teach me for taking an extra-long Christmas break. It sounds bigger than me though, I’m kinda scared.

    Fiona McLaren – 22 December, 02:04
  9. Roel van der Ven
    22 December, 02:42

    I cannot imagine a more horrible thing.. Discovering a frickin’ ball pit when visiting the Last.HQ in an impulsive holiday weekend.. I felt like crying when I dove into the pit. No really. You guys are so awesome!

    Roel van der Ven – 22 December, 02:42
  10. Mr. Mum
    22 December, 03:25

    i hope you washed your hands before dinner after playing with your friends Max.

    ps. can I come next time. please.

    Mr. Mum – 22 December, 03:25
  11. closedmouth
    22 December, 06:10

    You guys

    closedmouth – 22 December, 06:10
  12. coxy
    22 December, 11:11

    Amazing. :O

    coxy – 22 December, 11:11
  13. Campbell
    22 December, 11:26

    hahaha wisely spending money.

    Very wisely. =D

    Campbell – 22 December, 11:26
  14. Allan
    22 December, 11:28

    You guys read xkcd don’t you ;)

    Allan – 22 December, 11:28
  15. Max Howell
    22 December, 11:55

    We were indeed inspired by xkcd. We’re ashamed to admit that guy and his comic influence maybe 80% of our activities. The remaining percentage is a homage to the actions and morality of the furry crusader, Super Ted.

    Max Howell – 22 December, 11:55
  16. Joel
    22 December, 12:13

    I want one!

    Joel – 22 December, 12:13
  17. Weirdomusic
    22 December, 13:00

    Looks like you’re having a ball.

    Weirdomusic – 22 December, 13:00
  18. Jens
    22 December, 14:03

    I cry a bit right now.

    Jens – 22 December, 14:03
  19. Vincent
    22 December, 14:14

    I immediately thought of Xkcd too… I’m jealous xD

    Vincent – 22 December, 14:14
  20. Muz
    22 December, 14:26

    @Laurie: And our excellente carpentry skills, what with the mad hacks we did on the door and consequently the door frame.

    Ballpit is great fun, especially diving from the window sill head first into either a submerged Russ, or into an unexpecting Jonty’s groin.

    Muz – 22 December, 14:26
  21. Ricardo
    23 December, 00:57

    The ball pit is just amazing! From the pics I was wondering how deep the pool is, before reading RJ’s confirmation of a meter-deep ball pit! COOL!

    Ricardo – 23 December, 00:57
  22. mattgcn
    23 December, 06:03

    I adore you guys. If is still going strong when I’m older, I aspire to join your staff even if it means being a stats monkey or something.

    mattgcn – 23 December, 06:03
  23. yelloweye
    23 December, 15:29

    shouldn’t it be called the ball room? posh’n that :)

    yelloweye – 23 December, 15:29
  24. MattH
    23 December, 17:35

    First one to take a poo/wee/have sex/be sick/fall asleep in the ball pit WINS!

    Wish I hadn’t left early :(

    MattH – 23 December, 17:35
  25. Jonty
    24 December, 01:21


    Jonty – 24 December, 01:21
  26. Muz
    24 December, 04:34

    @Jonty: Too late, remember that hand running all over your body amongst the balls? Well, about that…

    Muz – 24 December, 04:34
  27. happeh
    24 December, 18:11


    That’s all I have to say.

    happeh – 24 December, 18:11
  28. sally
    30 December, 18:19

    i want a pool of balls too :(

    sally – 30 December, 18:19
  29. Tony
    30 December, 19:32

    @sally: You can come play with our balls… =P

    Tony – 30 December, 19:32
  30. grafnico
    31 December, 16:32

    I’m SO jealous! I want at least one of those in university!

    grafnico – 31 December, 16:32
  31. ernie_ernest
    2 January, 10:03

    Hmm…. you guys going all Nathan Barley on us?

    ernie_ernest – 2 January, 10:03
  32. Steve
    2 January, 15:16

    I’m sure this is entirely dot-fm boom and christmas related fun ;p

    /me goes out to buy a plastic tractor

    Steve – 2 January, 15:16
  33. SB
    3 January, 08:33

    amazing! from now on I’ll always spend half an hour bouncing around like a mad man in there before work – I mean who needs a gym membership after that

    oh and about the sex part…

    SB – 3 January, 08:33
  34. gyuszi bacsi
    6 January, 01:28

    it is looking like the new sony bravia ad (:

    gyuszi bacsi – 6 January, 01:28
  35. Saf_4
    7 January, 23:53

    How long did the whole thing take to complete? Also, how big is the room the balls are in?

    Saf_4 – 7 January, 23:53
  36. Max Howell
    10 January, 15:49

    The room is about 3 meters square. Although Tony/RJ will know better as they did the calculations.

    It took maybe half an hour to fill, once the balls had arrived.

    We screwed a piece of perspex inside the door frame to keep them in, I guess that took a while too.

    Max Howell – 10 January, 15:49
  37. Hannah
    11 January, 12:18

    OMG, I want a job!
    That must be the best idea ever, going to try to implement this in our office too ;)

    Hannah – 11 January, 12:18
  38. Laurie
    12 January, 11:13

    We’ve fitted a couple of cameras to our ballpit now, so you can see the live pictures over there on the right, updating every minute :)

    Laurie – 12 January, 11:13
  39. gyula csocsan
    12 January, 17:18

    good picture with the many balls, i like it

    gyula csocsan – 12 January, 17:18
  40. Paul Raven
    16 January, 23:25

    I’ve suddenly realised that my website really really needs to run an interview with you guys … :)

    Paul Raven – 16 January, 23:25
  41. Drew
    17 January, 00:24

    Holy moly, did Superman fly around the earth, causing it to rotate in the opposite direction and return us to 1999? Companies are still doing this stuff? Wow.

    Drew – 17 January, 00:24
  42. Jack
    17 January, 05:54

    This is our ball ool, notice there is no P in it, please keep it that way.

    Jack – 17 January, 05:54
  43. Ed Murrow
    17 January, 21:06

    glad to see CBS’s money going to good use.

    Ed Murrow – 17 January, 21:06
  44. Russ Garrett
    18 January, 02:18

    Again, this isn’t CBS’s money, this is our money. Absolutely no company money went into creating this.

    Russ Garrett – 18 January, 02:18

Comments are closed for this entry.