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Will Apple's Silicon Valley HQ Appeal to Young Techies?

As young tech talent increasingly calls San Francisco home, some wonder whether investing in large, opulent headquarters in suburban Cupertino is a risky decision for even the most successful tech companies.
December 29, 2013, 1pm PST | Alek Miller
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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. 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," writes Marcus Wohlsen in Wired

Because young, educated people are choosing to live in cities, Cupertino may be losing its edge. Wohlsen notes that between corporate headquarters, many stretches of the city reflect development patterns of Phoenix, rather than those of a dense, vibrant city. In San Francisco, tech companies are situating their offices where employees prefer to live, and where they can collaborate with their counterparts. Many companies are finding that the advantages of recruitment and retention amplify the benefits of being able to rub shoulders with other innovative tech companies. These elements alone are easily making suburban headquarters surrounded by parking lots look even less attractive. 

In the end, Apple's closed-loop spaceship headquarters will realize another of Steve Jobs' dreams, but some wonder if it is an idea whose time has come... and gone. 

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Published on Friday, December 20, 2013 in Wired
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