Why Apple’s suburban ‘spaceship’ campus could lose the war for tech talent

“Though the world will never see another product developed by Steve Jobs, one of his most ambitious projects is still in the pipeline,” Marcus Wohlsen writes for Wired. “Before he died, Jobs spent years working with architect Norman Foster to design Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino, a giant ring of glass that looks like some sort of alien spacecraft nestled in a suburban California forest.”

“But there’s a problem,” Wohlsen writes. “As Apple seeks to change Silicon Valley’s view of what buildings should be, Silicon Valley is rethinking its view of where they should be, even as the company that Jobs built is staying put in its hometown.”

Apple Campus 2 project - Cupertino, CA
Apple Campus 2 project – Cupertino, CA

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“Increasingly, young tech talent wants to live and work in cities. As a result, the hottest tech companies, from Google to Twitter to Uber, are setting up shop in San Francisco, a long drive north of Silicon Valley, the traditional stronghold of the computer game,” Wohlsen writes. “In the cutthroat world of tech recruiting, catering to the demands of the talent is everything, and even Apple isn’t immune to the first rule of real estate: location, location, location.”

Much more in the full article here.

24 Comments

  1. I have a little contest in my head, the winner of which is the journalist that is willing to scribble the most inane piece of dung in the interest of hits. I think this guy may take this week’s prize.

    Ironically, I’m pretty sure he’d cut of his dong to work for Apple and would do so if they were located in the North Pole. Apologies in advance to Electro for saying dong.

  2. I am currently working as a commercial banker that overlooks office and retail real estate portfolios throughout California including the Bay Area. While there is an increasing trend of tech companies moving to a hot market like SF, tech talent ultimately follows quality products and ones that they are truly passionate about. In fact, Cupertino happens to be one of the most desirable places to live and it still holds that value. Trust me, there are lines of highly talented engineers and programmers that would love to work on the next big thing from Apple. The drive won’t kill them. Their passion will drive them.
    Just my two cents.

  3. Sigh* end of the year, i’m outta crap to write, time to make up bs about apple to get my hits for the year up…

    I could be a “tech” writer too, except I hae a soul and a conscience…

  4. San Francisco is not that far from Cupertino and the city is very, very expensive even by California standards.

    Second, Apple has not built the campus yet and could easily build it in Oakland if they chose to. The city of Oakland would probably be happy to have them and would clear out a nice campus location on the Bay. Oakland is also much warmer than San Francisco most days.

    Article is just so much FUD. Apple has the money to put that spaceship just about anywhere and the workers will follow. Those that choose not to can work elsewhere.

  5. There is actually some truth to the article. It is true that several companies are setting up offices in San Francisco because young people want to live there. However, these offices are going to remain satellite offices and the main offices are going to remain in suburbia. There simply isn’t enough space in San Francisco for all of these companies to move there completely.

    The author makes it seem as if Apple is the only company expanding in Silicon Valley in a big way while everyone else is moving to San Francisco. That is simply not true. Google is building a new headquarters in Mountain View which should be ready at about the same time as Apple’s new campus. They also seem to be adding office space in Palo Alto. Samsung is building a large new campus in San Jose and another smaller one in Mountain View. Facebook is expanding their campus in Menlo Park etc etc.

    Finally, creating a new campus does not prevent them from opening a satellite office in the city. If they feel the need to have a presence in San Francisco, they will acquire offices there. It isn’t as if they are short of money or anything.

    – HCE

    1. The technology companies are still in the silicon valley. The hipster-douche websites that pretend they’re tech companies are located in San Francisco.

      -jcr

  6. I think Apple should take a que from it’s Chinese suppliers and add a couple of floors of living space on top. That way the teams would not have to travel so far when pulling an all nighter.

  7. One thing for sure, Jobs was not a renaissance man. His HQ building is a mess in every possible way. It will be a blight on the community for decades to come!!

  8. Find me anyone defined as a “young person” that could afford to live in SF.. Commuting there would be the pits, and other than the view if your in the right spot, it would cost an arm and leg to work there and you’d be under the thumb of SF Supervisors that would try to screw you out of money every time they met.

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