Hackers hit MV's streets in "underwear run"

Hacker Dojo raises money to help meet building code requirements

A Saint Patrick's Day "underwear run" has helped Mountain View's Hacker Dojo in its efforts to raise $60,000 towards getting its building code-compliant after the city threatened to close the community center for computer programmers.

Just over 40 people dressed down for an outer garment-optional "Fire Escape Race" at the Dojo which raised $3500, bringing total fundraising over the last six weeks to $60,000. The non-profit's leased building is in need of several improvements to meet building codes, including fire sprinklers needed in order to legally hold large events of 49 or more people. The Dojo has had to cancel such events following a city crackdown.

"We couldn't register more runners because we couldn't go over the limit," said Dojo spokesperson Katy Levinson. "We probably could have made more money."

The race, which was not billed as a competition, started at 1 p.m. and went for a mile down Dana, Pioneer and Evelyn streets while boomboxes played such songs as LFMAO's "I'm sexy and I know it." Runners included the color coordinated "sparkling spandex brigade," which in true hacker fashion used a spreadsheet to ensure that each person wore different color underwear.

The last person to complete the loop had walked the whole way and was given a high five by the rest of the group as he came in.

"I was really impressed and proud of the community," Levinson said. "We live in a community with really high standards of physical appearance but there were people of all shapes and sizes and everybody was cool with it."

Afterwards the runners enjoyed "an afternoon of drinking and merrymaking" at the Dojo. Members even came up with their own drink for the occasion, dubbed the "Fire Escape shot," Levinson said.

{ The Dojo} is trying to raise $250,000 for building improvements, including fire sprinklers and fire exits after the city threatened to close the center down in February for not meeting city and state fire codes. The city backed off when the Dojo began installing a fire alarm, the bare minimum to continue operating as a shared office space and "social living room," but the Dojo has had to cancel its regular job fairs and classes that bring in more than 49 people.

The Dojo's fundraising total includes a $10,000 donation from Microsoft, $10,000 from data company Palantir and $20,000 from Andreessen Horowitz, the venture capital firm behind media-sharing website Pinterest.

The Dojo has become an incubator for tech start-ups, including Pinterest, whose CEO Ben Silberman reportedly spent long hours at the Dojo refining the site before it was launched a year ago.

For more on the Dojo's fundraising efforts, visit {}


Posted by Mr. Chau's Chinese Fast Food, a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 19, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Do not want.

Posted by Tyler, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 19, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Can we donate for them to NOT do this again?

Posted by Jack Perkins, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 19, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Viva Hacker Dojo!!!!

Posted by SoLo, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 19, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Photo 1 looks like a bunch of hermits coming out of a den hole. I'm happy the city of Mountain View is trying to shut this place down, I don't believe the one success story that has come from Hacker Dojo to be true. Visit for a free tour like I have and you will see its a dingy dark warehouse with a bunch of folding tables a fridge in the corner and about 50 over confident programmers/wanna-be hackers/or unsociable nerds with no where else to go- oh yeah, and use the Wi-Fi the "Dojo" provides and prepare to have your computer hacked by members of the place you pay $100 a month to join!! Seriously!

Good luck raising the quarter million you need for fire renovations running around in your underwear!

Posted by Gross, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Mar 19, 2012 at 9:12 pm

Why even cover this attention grab. If anything, it shows how bad some of these types need to exercise and get some sun. Pretty tough to look at as well.

Posted by Katy, a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 19, 2012 at 11:28 pm

@Tyler you sure can! Web Link Put your note in the comments box

Posted by Ted, a resident of Cuernavaca
on Mar 20, 2012 at 6:48 am

Wow. So that's what happens if you spend the majority of your life in your parents' basement staring at a computer screen!

Posted by So You do it then, a resident of Cuernavaca
on Mar 20, 2012 at 12:15 pm

OK all you hot hotties, please post of pic of YOU in your underwear.
These folks had the self confidence to do this bringing along a spirit of fun. I'd rather hand out with them any day than some closeted msg boarder passing judgment while hiding in anonymity.
Cheers to those embracing themselves and having fun with it, laughter at the angry haters who probably looks even worse in their undies, but don't have the guts to prove it!

Posted by Litsa, a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Mar 20, 2012 at 3:28 pm

It looks like a few of them need to run on a full time basis.

Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 20, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Congrats to all those who participated.

Posted by Ned, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm

My question is why hang out in your underwear to begin with? How is that all "in the spirit of fun"?

It's pretty pathetic at the the end of the day.

Posted by Not Ned, a resident of Castro City
on Mar 21, 2012 at 9:08 am

Yes, you can tell they weren't having fun by all those frowns. When Ned doesn't think something is fun, maybe it still is to others who don't care what Ned thinks. Its ok if you don't get it Ned, and thanks for reinforcing the fact that its in some human's nature to mock what they do not understand.

Posted by Marshall, a resident of Whisman Station
on Mar 21, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Looks like they had fun!

Good for them - we need more of this type of spirit in the community.

Posted by Steve, a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 21, 2012 at 9:22 pm

I think these folks need to concentrate on going to the gym and not eating sprinkled donuts.. Just sayin.

Posted by DCS, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 22, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Looks like they had fun!

Good for them - we need more of this type of spirit in the community.

Posted by Ned, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 22, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Can you describe "this type of spirit"? Is it similar to operating out of a building with numerous code violations? If so, how is that good for the community?

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