“Steve Jobs’s vision for Apple’s headquarters was to stay close to home, in the low-density suburbs that form Silicon Valley, rather than embrace a more high-density, urban environment. Apple’s never been a city company, from its very start in that suburban garage,” Jason Snell writes for Macworld. “Using that as a given — Apple’s a company that isn’t going to stray too far from its suburban roots — Jobs envisioned a hub of activity surrounded by a tranquil park of hills and trees that are reminiscent of the area when it was mostly fruit trees and fields, before it became a major hub of American innovation.”
“Apple’s decision to make Apple Park a ring will be a convenient metaphor for those who wish to criticize the company for being secretive, insular, and arrogant,” Snell writes. “There will be more, and worse, when the campus opens and in the years thereafter.”
“Take those criticisms as you will, but anyone who’s visited Apple’s Infinite Loop campus — constructed in 1992-93 — will tell you that Apple’s been [setting] buildings… in a ring with a large private space in the center for 25 years,” Snell writes. “Building oases in the middle of South Bay suburbs— this is in Apple’s DNA.”
Much more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, Apple is very focused on fulfilling Job’s vision for the company’s headquarters, as they should be. Steve’s last product should be as perfect and as true to his vision as possible, regardless of size or cost.
As for the criticism of the time spent on the project, it’s coming from the same vein as coffee-table books, co-chairing Met Galas, Christmas trees, and other extracurricular activities.
None of them are bad things to do per se, but these things open you up to very easy criticism when you fail to execute on your core products and services.
So, when you produce a $300 coffee table book with 450 painstakingly shot photographs on “specially milled German paper with gilded matte silver edges, using eight color separations and low-ghost inks” and even trumpet that it “took more than eight years to create,” but you can’t make or even bother to update the Mac Pro for over four years… Hey, you deserve every single bit of criticism and then some, if not for your horribly misplaced priorities and blatantly obvious mismanagement, then for your abject tone-deafness alone.
In other words, doing your real job first grants you the ability to screw around on some vanity projects without criticism.