Some Apple employees hate the new spaceship campus

“After years of planning, Apple recently started moving into its gargantuan $5 billion spaceship campus,” Yoni Heisler reports for BGR. “An imposing and impressive structure to say the least, the outside of the building is comprised of more than 3,000 curved panels of glass which had to be custom-made and specifically engineered for the building.”

“Now that all sounds well and good, but there are rumblings that not everyone within Apple is thrilled with the new work environment. Specifically, open workspaces as opposed to smaller work areas and individual offices appear to be the cause of most of the discontent,” Heisler reports. “To this point John Gruber during a recent episode of the The Talk Show podcast relayed an interesting bit of information about how some Apple employees took to the new digs.”

Here’s the story I heard that I cannot confirm because it was third-hand. So I cannot confirm it. It could be totally false, but it sounds true to me. And I think it could be easily checked, because if it’s true, people will know about this.

But I heard that when floor plans were announced, that there was some, I don’t know, whether it was a meeting or however it was announced, that Johny Srouji’s team. He’s in charge of Apple’s silicon, the A10, the A11, all of their custom silicon. Obviously a very successful group at Apple and a large and growing one with a lot on their shoulders.

When he was shown the floor plans, he was more or less just ‘f*** that, f*** you, f*** this, this is bulls***.’ And they built his team their own building off to the side on the campus. So they’re not even in — not only are they not going along with the open floor plans, but Srouji’s team is in their own building. And maybe internally they’re saying it’s for security or that’s there’s a logical reason for it, but my understanding is that that building was built because Srouji was like, ‘f*** this, my team isn’t working like this.’ — John Gruber

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Sounds familiar:

Personally, we’d rather be together as one team in historic 1 Infinite Loop than shoehorned into the new doughnut with its “bench seating, long work tables, and open cubicles.” We expect it’ll be nice, but it sure sounds like shit.MacDailyNews, October 6, 2016

SEE ALSO:
New Apple Park flyover shows landscaping progress, continued construction – July 24, 2017

60 Comments

  1. “Here’s the story I heard that I cannot confirm because it was third-hand. So I cannot confirm it. It could be totally false, but it sounds true to me.”

    wow …. journalism ay its best …….

    1. Gruber’s writing is as buttoned up and well-sourced as any journalist at a larger publication, but his podcast is more akin to a casual conversation between friends over coffee or drinks. Lots of speculation, a bit more stream-of-consciousness. He was honest about the integrity/source of the information, so I really don’t see the issue here.

          1. Actually, Russia fought tooth and nail to get Trump elected. And if you don’t see that, then you are even more blind than those who still support him. (there are not many left)

  2. Don’t you think some people are going to hate it no matter what the building was shaped like or how the offices work. Someone is always going to pissed off about there office space no matter what.

    1. after you see the “spaceship”, drive up and over the mountain on Hwy 17 to Santa Cruz, then north on Hwy 1 along the coast at least to Half Moon Bay or maybe Pacifica, then you’ll change your mind about California.

      Ps: stay off Hwy 101 use I-280 instead if possible. You’ll thank me later.

      1. I’ve been in California and its natural beauty is a wonderful thing, I was just expressing my admiration for this architectural wonder. No insult intended to the remaining good people of The Golden State….

        all six of them. 🙂

            1. He has proven that without a doubt. Just because he slaps a smiley face on a post doesn’t mean that the leopard has changed his spots.

              I wonder where botvinnik lives? That is either the most tolerant and hospitable place in the U.S. or the location that if infested with botvinnik-like people that I want to avoid at all costs.

            1. …actually there’s fourteen.

              🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

              clear enough?

            2. gee botty,

              no wonder trump is your hero, you both seem to share some of the same personality disorders in common,

              like thin skin and obsessing over those who contradict you, can’t let a slight go by without retorting to reassure your tender ego.

              you two are a match made in heaven. may you both ascend there soon, for most everyones mutual satisfaction.

            3. botvinnik seldoms rips anything except gigantic farts. I cannot believe that anyone is a botvinnik sycophant – wow…

      1. Overrated, all of it. In Yosemite your stuck in a single lane loop through the park for hours while an empty “bus lane” sits next to it. Tahoe is a big lake, you can see big lakes all over the world. Big Sur is nice, but not alone worth visiting California for. Stay around the Bay Area: San Francisco, Stanford/Palo Alto, Half Moon Bay/Pescadero, Memorial Park/La Honda, maybe Santa Cruz/Capitola, all within about 40 miles of each other.

  3. Having been peripherally involved twice with relocation to a new corporate space-age HQ campus, some of the staff adored the new buildings, while others hated it, but after a year or so, nobody seemed to mention it either way.

    People mostly don’t like change. Apple is well used to that with the way that it discards traditional elements of devices and embraces the new, but has to withstand howls of protest. It’s hardly surprising that Apple is doing the same thing with it’s headquarters as it does with it’s products.

  4. Speaking from personal experience (telecomm engineering), if your “cubicle” walls aren’t above eye height when standing, you will be distracted by others in the room. With eye-height cubicle walls, your back is turned to your co-workers, eliminating any benefit from cubicles, hence the bad reputation of cubicles. In addition, after about 30 people to a room, floor space is taken up by hallways and other services- you might as well have small 2 or 3 man offices. Motion to rest and break rooms by others is also distracting when in large rows of cubicles.

    I’ve not worked in a very large room with an open plan. Maybe that could work, but I’m not sure.

    I was the most productive ever in a 3 man office with a door that closed. This office had good computers, connectivity, and, oddly, two large file cabinets so we could be organized. The real big thing was a large table on the forth wall so all 3 of us could lay out the plans and talk about the project. Basically we had the privacy, organization, and the space that we needed. I will say, however, just after the 3 of us completed our project and returned to the main office, they put 4 people in that office and all 4 quit within 3 months. That office was big enough for 3 but not for 4.

    I can see the utility of large open spaces, but one fool out of 50 could disrupt the entire day.

  5. My company forced all of the technology people to move from cubes to open seating in the spirit of collaboration. It is terrible. Everything is a distraction. No one “collaborates” except for social activity that would normally happen in the break room (i.e. not work related). While in our work spaces, EVERYONE has headphones on and is attempting to block out all the distractions. That, or they have a laptop and find a huddle room or phone room and turn that into their temporary work space so they can get things done. It’s stressful and reduces productivity. It is universally hated.

  6. One more thing about cubicles: most of them are really bad, but some of them are quite good. I’ve had the desk part of a cubicle in my home office for 16 years. It has two 60 inch wings that are 30″ wide and the corner part is 60″ by 60″ cut on a 45 degree angle. This is very large and the 45 makes it PERFECT for dual monitors (above them is a HDTV). In addition, it is cantilevered so your feet don’t hit the legs. It has wire troughs so everything is neat and clean. It does, however, look like crap because it is made out of a “formica” like product (with metal supports) but the surface of it is easy to clean. This is direct contrast to the real nice wood table directly behind it.

    It got it when we were moving offices and there was no place to put it in the new office. It cost over $2000 back in 1995.

    I’ve been resisting replacing it, even at the insistence of my girlfriend. I will tell you that if it gets to be a choice between my GF or the cubicle, that will be a difficult choice. Just kidding: the real plan is to make a new desk out of wood copying the cubicle……. 🙂

  7. August 8, 2017

    RE: Apple Spaceship HQ
    TO: All Apple employees and investors:

    “You didn’t build that.”

    signed,
    The Muslim Usurper
    The Worst President in the history of the United States of America

    1. Apple employees/investors didn’t build the campus. Contractors built it. They are called contractors because they perform work stipulated in a contract. Legal contracts are an ideation from social contracts and are backed/enforced by agents of the government, a formalization of the social contract. Without the government, Apple’s money and contracts would be worthless and the company wouldn’t exist.

      signed,
      A sucker who got sucked into replying to a troll

  8. Some jobs benefit from an open work environment and others not so much. When Steve Jobs owned Pixar they let the creatives order little cabins they could personalize among the huge building. There might be a lesson in that fact.

  9. If Apple finds the layout isn’t working, they have enough money to have it fixed. No brand new product is perfect out the gate; it is bound to require some tweaking to reach full potential.

    1. Like the MacPro trashcan? Oh… that’s right. They’re completely redoing that.

      There’s the rub. Sometimes “fixing” something (that wasn’t well thought out to begin with) just makes things worse. Designers aren’t immune to myopia. That may be the ones who suffer from it most.

      Start out designing a horse and making corrections causes you to end up with a camel. Works well but looks like crap.

      When I read stories like this, I have to wonder how much thought Apple put in to considering the working needs of individuals. Or did they just consider their employees a unanimous whole?

      1. This is what I was thinking, did they even do a mock up of the proposed environment and do a trial run to see how their employees would function in it?

        Open floor plans work best for routine and production-line-type work. I had my own office for 6 years and got a ton done. It was pretty huge, but if I ever had to work in a 8-5 environment again I’d even take a large closet-sized office. I don’t want busybodies looking over my shoulder and others distracting the shit out of me. For those stuck in such an environment I can’t recommend the Bose QC-35 headphones highly enough. Worth their weight in gold.

        http://mentalfloss.com/article/84222/open-offices-are-bad-productivity-study-finds

  10. The joke is on the employees because it isn’t even designed to be an office.

    It’s a particle accelerator. Apple has been toying with quantum mechanics to change the past.. hence their record profits every year. They even stole technology from Microsoft from the year 2050 to make the iPhone.

    1. I think we discussed here the consequences of a ring shaped building a few years back. The potential problem is resonance effect, both audio resonance and EM (electromagnetic) resonance. Fortunately, in both cases, the wavelengths are long enough not to do any tissue damage. But I’m watching out for unforeseen other consequences.

      I suspect Johny Srouji and his team are well off being far from the resonance effect. They’re working with nanoscopic distances and devices. Shaking buildings and EM flux are not welcome.

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