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Steve Jobs pitches his ideas for a new Apple campus to the Cupertino, CA town council

Apple's current headquarters (shown in green on the left)

Property now owned by Apple (shown in green)

Location proposal for Apple's new campus (seen on the right)
Apple grunts will be stuck in a true infinite loop this time around

You have to give Cupertino, California-based Apple Inc. (AAPL) points when it comes to style.  Not only does the company make some of slickest packaged electronic devices in the industry, it also has diverse, but consistently eye-catching retail designs.

I. A New Home For Apple

Apple CEO Steven P. Jobs, currently recuperating on medical leave, took some time to present a new plan to the Cupertino city council, which they posted video of on YouTube.

Currently, Apple has between 2,600 and 2,800 employees working at its Cupertino headquarters (Mr. Jobs seemed a bit hazy as to the precise current number -- Apple is known for a high burnout rate).  But most of Apple's employees work at other office buildings in the area.

"We're renting buildings... not very good buildings either... at an ever greater radius from campus," Mr. Jobs describes, "And we're putting people at those."

The CEO says that with 12,000 employees Apple was reaching a breaking point -- revamp its Cupertino work situation, or relocate to a town like Mountain View, California.

Hoping to stick in Cupertino, Mr. Jobs instead bought 150 acres of land on the east side of town, which were long ago home to Apple orchards.  The area was currently home to a major office of rival computer maker Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ).  

Despite being business rivals, Mr. Jobs is quite fond of Hewlett-Packard, due to his own history with the company.  He states, "When I was 13 I think -- Hewlett and Packard were my idols -- I called up Bill Hewlett because he lived in Palo Alto and there were no unlisted numbers in the phonebook -- which gives you a clue to my age. And he picked up the phone and I talked to him and I asked him if he'd give me some spare parts for something I was building called a frequency counter."

"And he did, but in addition to that he gave me something way more important. He gave me a job that summer -- a summer job -- at Hewlett Packard right here in Santa Clara off 280, in a division that built frequency counters. And I was in heaven."

Around the same time he was given this job, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, walked through those apricot orchards in Cupertino and decided to buy the property.  Over time it became a major headquarters, but recently the company has been consolidating, so it sold the land to Apple.

Mr. Jobs sounded a bit bitter about being unable to acquire a certain apartment complex, stating, "We tried to buy the apartments in the corner, but they're not for sale, so we couldn't buy those, but we bought everything else."

Apparently even in Cupertino, some can resist Apple's sorcery.

II. "Spaceship" Prepares to Land

Apple's Cupertino offices are located on Infinite Loop Drive -- nicknamed for a program loop with no termination conditions; a common cause for operating system crashes back in the "old days".

Ironically Apple's new building with be the physical manifestation of that term -- nature's perfect infinite loop -- the circle.  The company has hired architects with the reputation for being the "best in the world" to design the exotic campus which Mr. Jobs says he hopes will be "best office building in the world", and which city council member Barry Chang remarked would be "most elegant headquarters in the U.S."

Mr. Jobs describes it, quipping, "It's a little like a spaceship landed."

Located on the north end of the campus, the planned building is a four-story, 3.1 million square foot office building, with a 1 million square foot improvement.  This is a major improvement over HP's building which covered 1.4 million square feet of footprint, but only had 2.6 million square feet of office space.  

Apple hopes to use the building to house 12,000 employees (up to a maximum of 13,000) -- much more than the 9,500 HP housed (Mr. Jobs referred to this as an increase of "20 percent", but he was apparently having a bad math day).

Mr. Jobs describes, "It's a circle. So it's curved all the way around. As you know if you build things, this is not the cheapest way to build things. There's not a straight piece of glass in the building. It's all curved."

"And we've used our experience in making retail buildings all over the world now. We know how to make the biggest pieces of glass in the world for architectural use."

The building forms a closed arc, with a large inner courtyard.  It houses offices and a cafeteria that feed 3,000 employees at once.

Parking is largely underneath the building, but there's a supplementary 1,200-car garage to the south of campus.  Next to that garage will be a generator.  Due to local brownout issues, Apple says it hopes to make that generator its primary power source.  It says it will look to produce power from "natural gas and other ways that can be cleaner and cheaper."

III. Enriching the Area

When asked how the plans would enrich Cupertino, Mr. Jobs argued that it would improve the local environment.

Currently the plot of land is mostly asphalt, as Mr. Jobs puts it -- parking lots.  Only 20 percent is landscaped.  Apple plans to expand the percent of landscaped grounds to 80 percent.  They plan to increase the trees on the land from 3,700 to 6,000, including some of the "apricot orchards" Mr. Jobs fondly remembers.

He says that Apple has hired a senior arborist from Stanford University to help plan the tree planting and landscaping.

Many employees will be able to bike to campus.  And the CEO brags that his company provides 20 biodiesel-powered buses, which pick employees up from San Francisco to Santa Cruz.

He says that smoking will be prohibited inside the new building, which appears, in part, to be a personal stand by Mr. Jobs.  He relates that smoking is a sensitive subject as both of his parents died of lung cancer.

When asked about the heavily polluting nearby Kaiser Concrete Plant, Mr. Jobs commented that the plant bought the land "fair and square" so there was nothing he could do about it for now.  He commented, though, "If you kicked Kaiser out, I wouldn't cry."

Several city council members fished for whether Apple might provide the city free Wi-Fi, as some corporations like Google Inc. (GOOG) do for their hometowns.  Mr. Jobs scoffed at this notion stating, "We pay taxes, the city should do those things."

If Apple's plan is approved it will break ground next year and employees will move in by 2015.



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RE: Haha
By MrBlastman on 6/8/2011 11:35:01 AM , Rating: 2
That comment says a lot about how he thinks. That is a socialistic mentality. A capitalist would provide free wi-fi to get a tax writeoff. A socialist expects to pay taxes into the system so the Government takes care of people.


RE: Haha
By JasonMick (blog) on 6/8/2011 12:02:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That comment says a lot about how he thinks. That is a socialistic mentality. A capitalist would provide free wi-fi to get a tax writeoff. A socialist expects to pay taxes into the system so the Government takes care of people.

I would personally disagree slightly. Modern capitalism is not pure (unregulated) capitalism, in the sense that there are certain restrictions -- say against anticomptetitive behavior by monopolies or insider trading -- likewise it incoporates elements of mild socialism, such as government-owned utilities on the state or county scale. Internet is arguably a utility, as it's increasingly becoming as essential as electricity to a modern high-tech society.

The problem is that capitalism is inherently designed for a free market, but the cost of installing large swaths of conduits -- be they roads for cars, pipes for water, lines for electricity, or fiber optic cables for internet -- is cost prohibitive for all but the largest players. A major reason for them being cost prohibitive is because of the low profitability in the short term. It costs a lot of money to build a computer factory, but if you sell computers, you're instantly producing a large profit. (Simpler manufacturing is comparatively far less expensive, albeit lower profit, so is also more feasible.)

The result is a market dominated by monopolies. This market is not a "free" market, so traditional capitalism arguably has trouble being applied to it.

Of course there are anarcho-capitalists that say the gov't should totally disappear and that utilities, roads, and defense should be provided by some sort of individual contractors (which arguably isn't even that different from municipal Wi-Fi, which contracts work to the private sector). In my opinion that is unfeasible in terms of logistics.

My personal opinion is that it's okay for people to vote to use their taxes to fund a local Wi-Fi network, in which the public are explicitly stated as shareholders. That is most definitely voting for a government run utility, but it's not voting for local government to take over the county's existing businesses. By introducing a county-run utility, that monopoly will be forced to compete and innovate.

This is a very special case problem, and should not applied to the rest of the market, where natural competitors arise. Likewise, it should only be carried out on a local level, and should not be forced on people. The people of a county/city/municipality should have to put it to a vote.

[DISCLAIMER: The opinions I express in this comment are my own and not to be confused with the text of my articles.]


RE: Haha
By juserbogus on 6/8/2011 12:33:37 PM , Rating: 2
you are not describing "modern" capitalism... your description is in line with what Adam Smith described himself!


RE: Haha
By MrBlastman on 6/8/2011 12:45:55 PM , Rating: 3
Oh, I also feel that it would be prohibitive if we allowed all of our network of roads to be run and operated by corporations--don't get me wrong. There are some areas where the Government is useful in providing things. The roads, as it stands particularly the interstate highway system, was originally built as a network to transport the military rapidly across our country. It served a purpose then and now it has been adopted by the people.

If corporations ran these roads, we would instead see tolls collected on all of them. It guess there are pros to that and also there are cons as well. For me, though, roads at least I'm okay with my tax dollars helping fund and maintain. Even the Romans built highways and they were a Republic.

The internet though--that is kind of a different situation. Sure, it is becoming a necessity and at the same time, it also was originally started by the Military. The difference here lies in what it transports and the controls that can be implemented.

Sure, highways have controls for the size of a vehicle, potential cargo, speed etc., but these can be circumvented through transportation of other means. The internet, though, is in its pure form, the flow of information. It is being increasingly used on a daily basis to spread knowledge and information and is even replacing the usefulness of institutions such a public libraries.

This is where the danger lies and where adopting a socialistic model of completely government-ran free wifi (and internet to a larger scale) would be dangerous to society. You only need to look across the ocean to China in how they filter and control what their citizens access, or even Australia and their great internet filter.

The Government, make no mistake, should never be trusted to do everything that is right for the people. Governments around the world have proven this when given the power to control the flow of information. This is my primary reason why I am completely against Government-run free public internet.

This isn't saying our current system is without flaws--The Government forced a large majority of corporate carriers to essentially kill off Usenet due to rampant child porn on it. Yes, child porn is terrible, but the bulk of Usenet was no child porn. Even so, we all now must suffer without having free access to it like we did in the past as most of the large names dropped it. Yet another example of how Government meddling can be bad for society even though they think "they know best."

Then there are situations where organizations like the RIAA can lobby Corporate entities to throttle traffic or block access to users through the legal system. It isn't perfect, but I still prefer it rather than my Government telling me how I should think based on what they let me read.


RE: Haha
By JasonMick (blog) on 6/8/2011 2:37:02 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
This isn't saying our current system is without flaws--The Government forced a large majority of corporate carriers to essentially kill off Usenet due to rampant child porn on it. Yes, child porn is terrible, but the bulk of Usenet was no child porn. Even so, we all now must suffer without having free access to it like we did in the past as most of the large names dropped it. Yet another example of how Government meddling can be bad for society even though they think "they know best."

Then there are situations where organizations like the RIAA can lobby Corporate entities to throttle traffic or block access to users through the legal system. It isn't perfect, but I still prefer it rather than my Government telling me how I should think based on what they let me read.

Exactly... really consumers can be stuck in the same situation as far as censorship with either a solely monopolistic internet servicing scheme, or a mix of a private monopoly and public utility.

Both corporations and gov't controlled utilities can conduct censorship if rich/powerful parties OR a sufficient public majority demand it.

The key here is education. At least in a sufficiently educated nation with local municipal alternative internet utilities, people can vote to block censorship, forcing private sector competitors to do the same, regardless of $$ influences.

Of course, those $$ influences could always take the issue up to the state or federal level where's there's more lobbying/corruption (e.g. the RIAA) and try to kill the small utility.

But that's why I believe the less federal gov't the better -- it just creates a vehicle to disenfranchise the masses at the behest of special interests and pushes people to take little interest/ownership in the everyday details of gov't

The powerful federal gov't is a major reason most Americans are so clueless about politics -- it "takes care" of most issues, so citizens don't actually have to use their brains, god forbid, form an opinion, and take action.

[DISCLAIMER: The opinions I express in this comment are my own and not to be confused with the text of my articles.]


RE: Haha
By web2dot0 on 6/8/11, Rating: 0
RE: Haha
By JasonMick (blog) on 6/8/2011 2:29:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Your opinion is the most ridiculous thing I've heard. Let's have privatized Fire Department (been there done that ... massive FAIL), Policeman? County-run utility is not scalable. One nuclear power plan per county? Why even bother paying taxes if gov't doesn't do anything?


Did you even read what I wrote??? Clearly not.

I support local/county gov't operated utilities, assuming that citizens vote to approve them.

The anarcho-capitalist theory I raised was just to point that some disagree. I think that plan is crazy, though and wouldn't work.

Try reading carefully before getting all defensive and indignant.

[DISCLAIMER: The opinions I express in this comment are my own and not to be confused with the text of my articles.]


RE: Haha
By MrBlastman on 6/8/2011 2:35:13 PM , Rating: 2
What's with the disclaimer, Jason?


RE: Haha
By JasonMick (blog) on 6/8/2011 2:39:27 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
What's with the disclaimer, Jason?

Oh, I'm just tired of people thinking my comments somehow are part of the article and complaining about my bias in the article, just because I have personal opinions, which I voice in the forum (a public discussion).

So I'm putting that in my comments from here on out, just to clarify that to anyone who has trouble understanding the difference.

Everyone has opinions, I just want to make it clear that I try to keep mine out of the articles, but feel free to voice them in this and other forums.

[DISCLAIMER: The opinions I express in this comment are my own and not to be confused with the text of my articles.]


RE: Haha
By MrBlastman on 6/8/2011 2:58:03 PM , Rating: 2
I would think people would be smart enough to figure that out but, whatever. An opinion expressed in the subtext below an article is just that, an opinion.

It's pretty bad that you have to let people know that through a disclaimer.


RE: Haha
By JasonMick (blog) on 6/8/2011 3:16:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's pretty bad that you have to let people know that through a disclaimer.

I agree... if you, good sir, were the only commenter here I'm sure I could ditch it. You always express your opinions and debate in a rational matter, I've noted.

[DISCLAIMER: The opinions I express in this comment are my own and not to be confused with the text of my articles.]


RE: Haha
By UNHchabo on 6/8/2011 4:41:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You always express your opinions and debate in a rational matter, I've noted.

[DISCLAIMER: The opinions I express in this comment are my own and not to be confused with the text of my articles.]


You heard him, MrBlastMan -- your rationality is only in Jason's mind, and is therefore not to be taken as truth.

:)


RE: Haha
By AssBall on 6/8/2011 4:43:13 PM , Rating: 2
I was going to let this bullshit slide but I have too much free time atm.

quote:
Not all competition are good.


Competition is fantastic, it teaches you how to succeed. How is trying hard to succeed bad? Maybe you should have tried harder in ENGLISH.

quote:
There are some things that makes sense


Case in point.

quote:
Gov't run services are better overall


Couldn't be further from the truth. They are inefficient, lobbyist misguided leeches of public money. Maybe if you live in Europe you have an argument, but the United States doesn't work like Sweden, or even closely. The competition from several services competing without mandated regulations weeds out the ones that are just not going to work well. So they go find something else to do that they are actually good at doing. THAT is better overall.

quote:
All your idealistic ideas are flawed even on paper.


Uhh? It seemed pretty straightforward to me what he was talking about, even if I didn't agree with it all. Even on paper. ???wtf???

quote:
It's quite sad really.


I am not understanding why it is sad.

quote:
There are things that gov't are good at


Apparently educating you in ENGLISH was not one of those things.

quote:
I'll rather have my fireman think about the safety of the people they are trying to save first ahead of thinking about how they can use the least amounts of water possible


That's right, let the fireman empty the entire city well and screw everyone who critically need a clean water supply for drinking, cleaning, medical, services, businesses, industry to save a suicidal crackhead. Do you really not see the logic behind the rules set in place that they follow?

quote:
common decency and compassion


What is common decency? In Iran I can bone your 13 year old sister and then get a dowry from your Dad. It is common. If I am starving can I kill and eat your $400 dog? It isn't OUR JOB to be compassionate for YOU.

Get off the self serving entitlement bandwagon before the rest of us boot you'r ass off.


RE: Haha
By MeesterNid on 6/8/11, Rating: 0
RE: Haha
By Tony Swash on 6/8/11, Rating: 0
RE: Haha
By MrBlastman on 6/8/2011 1:18:14 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, Tony--guess what? Even Warren Buffet votes democrat. Please try again. A lot of the super wealthy feel "guilty" about all the money they have made and find that supporting social programs makes them feel "better" about themselves.

You can run a business and still support socialist philosophies.

The same principle applies to some people who donate extreme sums of money to the Church. Some of them think that if they give back their wealth to the Church, it makes all the wrongs they did right.

What Steve said though, I think gave us a little insight into how he thinks inside his head. Either that or he was pissed off about the town asking for him to give even more. I guess, the more I think about it--maybe that _is_ what he meant to say given how little money he has given to charity over the years compared with many of his peers.


RE: Haha
By Tony Swash on 6/8/11, Rating: -1
RE: Haha
By MrBlastman on 6/8/2011 1:50:08 PM , Rating: 2
Believe me--if he donated enough of his wealth, it _would_ make it out into the new somehow. It might not be from his own mouth, but it would be from plaques on buildings, publication in newsletters or individuals in those social organizations.

The word would get around. Just as it has done so from the likes of Bill Gates or Warren Buffet.

Yet, dispite all the squeakings about their philanthrophy, there is little to none about Steve Jobs. That says something.

Raise the standards? How about Apple raises their standards by giving a crap about what the people want instead of trying to force upon the people what they feel they should have. That philosophy by itself says something about Steve and how he operates. What about the secret gestapo inside of Apple?

Quit idolizing the man like he's your savior or something. Admit it--he isn't perfect. Once you do that, then accept his flaws as even Jobs is flawed.


RE: Haha
By Tony Swash on 6/8/11, Rating: 0
RE: Haha
By MrBlastman on 6/8/2011 2:28:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Using the word 'Gestapo' about what a company like Apple does is not just ludicrous but offensive.


Quit it with the old "that's offensive" rebuttal. I'm the least politically correct person you will run into. Sure, it was a tragedy what happened years ago but it doesn't mean that we have to never use the word again.

I call it like I see it. Get over it.

You've been looking silly for a long time, Tony.


RE: Haha
By Tony Swash on 6/8/2011 2:38:35 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Quit it with the old "that's offensive" rebuttal. I'm the least politically correct person you will run into. Sure, it was a tragedy what happened years ago but it doesn't mean that we have to never use the word again.

I call it like I see it. Get over it.

You've been looking silly for a long time, Tony.


Calm down. Go outside and take a deep breath. Apple is not coming for you. It's possible to go through life and have nothing to do with Apple or any of their products. You don't have to be so afraid of them. They just make things and sell them - that's all.

By the way I suspect I am way older than you physically but your thought patterns appear that of a grumpy old man - you may to nip that in the bud before it gets out of hand.


RE: Haha
By MrBlastman on 6/8/2011 2:53:32 PM , Rating: 2
You give us all a reason to be grumpy about Apple, Tony. ;) The more you type, the more reason we have.


RE: Haha
By gixser on 6/9/2011 3:32:24 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry...but your whole contribution to this thread is completely and utterly without reason. I'm no fan of Apple but your assertions are completely nonsensical.


RE: Haha
By robinthakur on 6/9/2011 6:39:11 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
it would be from plaques on buildings


Have you never seen that Curb Your Enthusiasm episode where Larry prefers to be 'Anonymous' on the plaque?


RE: Haha
By KoolAidMan1 on 6/8/2011 6:33:02 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Even Warren Buffet votes democrat.


You talk about the Democrats, the same ones that are as beholden to Wall Street and the financial industry as the Republicans, the same ones that passed NAFTA, as if they are any different from the Republicans. It is all pretty much the same BS in different clothing. Anyone disappointed that Obama turned out to cow to Wall Street as much his Republican predecessors hasn't been paying attention.

Also, the idea that Steve Jobs, one of the most successful capitalists ever is a socialist is reality distortion and self-delusion of the highest order. Hilarious.


"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein














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