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Old 09-12-2017, 02:34 PM   #161
Jouhou
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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This is a problem of any city anybody wants to be in. SF, NY, etc etc. All attractive cities go through this. Blowing off jobs until everybody is adequately housed at a low price will result in stagnation as jobs and tax revenue migrate elsewhere. We don't like in a planned economy like China.

If cost of housing was the end all be all of job location, everybody would be flocking to Detroit, Cleveland, West Virginia and Mississippi. If they are, I must have missed that. Amazon HQ is a huge opportunity. Not saying housing considerations don't matter because they do, but its complete folly IMHO to try to close up the city to any increased business development under the guise of we need to solve the all these problems first.
I was saying we could absorb and accommodate 10000 jobs, but we need to have a housing plan in place before we try to seduce the likes of Amazon and their 50000 figure. They're already very invested in the area too.
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Old 09-12-2017, 03:19 PM   #162
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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I was saying we could absorb and accommodate 10000 jobs, but we need to have a housing plan in place before we try to seduce the likes of Amazon and their 50000 figure. They're already very invested in the area too.
I don't believe the 50,000 is the initial hire amount. It ramps up over time which would presumably give the city a chance to adjust.
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Old 09-12-2017, 03:28 PM   #163
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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I was saying we could absorb and accommodate 10000 jobs, but we need to have a housing plan in place before we try to seduce the likes of Amazon and their 50000 figure. They're already very invested in the area too.
That is over a 10-20 year period. Its not a big deal, and we will hopefully have that growth anyways with or without Amazon.
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Old 09-12-2017, 03:35 PM   #164
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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I have ridden it for 27 years now. It is shitty beyond belief and getting worse. If it gets you where you're going half the time you'd had a good week.
So have I. There was the blow up in the great winter, but... that was pretty out of the normal, and to be honest, pretty bad timing given the large investment already made in replacing both entire fleets of the Orange and Red. The Blue is great, and the Green has been shitty forever - from the LVRs to the Type-8s, we just got lucky on the 7s. I take the red every day - sure there are delays here and there but it gets me home and to work every day of the week. Even NYC's is gone to shit at this point requiring a Billion+ emergency funding measure.
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Old 09-12-2017, 04:38 PM   #165
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Overall the T is a good system. But there are pockets of pathetic...such as that it takes certain green line branches 45-minutes, to squeak, grind, stop, go...2.5 miles. Go to any major European city and watch the street trams buzz around and it shows what's possible. No reason not to have stoplight control, multi-entrance fare intake, etc, to shave 50% travel time off of these routes...no reason other than under-funding.
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Old 09-12-2017, 05:15 PM   #166
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

All evidence suggests Amazon's "Transit" criteria is:
- big, rough-cut instrument.
- Mostly Yes/No, and maybe Rail/Bus
- and at the very edge, MAYBE headways and hourly design capacities

Beyond that, aint no way they're getting into
- MTBF, LOS, or reliability perceptions or measures
- Capital projects, maintenance outages, or procurement cycles.

So the rough cut of "has transit" is passed by all systems, the chat board straphanger's bitch session and factoid one-upmanship here notwithstanding. So can we please exclude any "transit quality matters" stuff from this thread?
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Old 09-12-2017, 05:18 PM   #167
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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chat board straphanger's bitch session and factoid one-upmanship
Impressive.

Yes; Not the right thread. Transit = solid check (for amazon's purposes).
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Old 09-12-2017, 05:22 PM   #168
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

This entire horse race and all of the articles about it are mind-numbingly stupid.
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Old 09-12-2017, 05:36 PM   #169
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Senior execs pushing for Boston according to Bloomberg

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...d-headquarters
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Old 09-12-2017, 05:41 PM   #170
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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This entire horse race and all of the articles about it are mind-numbingly stupid.
The speculative popular press and social media articles and my-city's-better-than-yours one-up-manship.....sure: "mind-numbingly stupid"

The trying to solidify a massive amount of quality tech (& related) jobs for one's city?
Vital.

We've witnessed a massive geographical consolidation of tech talent into just a few key cities in the US, turning cities into thriving hubs vs. desolate shells-of-what-once-was virtually overnight.

Yes cities need to compete for stuff like this. We win some, we lose some. But we need to try.

The bullshit is that this gets turned into the "growth people" versus the "grassroots / take care of who's already here people." That is the wrong argument. There are two ways to create inclusive, diverse upper social classes in a city....one is policy and programs for organic class transcendence. The other is to create reasons for the incredible, diverse college graduates pools we create in Boston to want to stay. This needn't be a choice between capitalist vs. progressive agendas...this can be a "let's do both" scenario.
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Old 09-12-2017, 05:48 PM   #171
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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The bullshit is that this gets turned into the "growth people" versus the "grassroots / take care of who's already here people." That is the wrong argument.
Sorry. To clarify (and I think you understood what I was getting at) that was not my point. My point was about the media coverage of this and list after list claiming they had the scoop.

I would absolutely love to see Amazon here.
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Old 09-12-2017, 06:25 PM   #172
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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I would absolutely love to see Amazon here.
Me too, but as with the Olympics, I'm deeply conflicted: on the one hand we somehow failed to have a big/liquid enough ecosystem to keep Facebook where it was founded, and on the other hand we don't want Amazon to suck all innovation into one company (and to use still-legal-in-Mass non-competes to keep it there)

I worry making a special effort for Amazon would require un-making a whole lot of the local ecosystem, in this case, fencing off a whole a lot of talent and handing them over to one employer. More than Amazon, I want a big innovative ecosystem of companies: Mass might have been the PC -era kings if startups had been freer to recruit from Wang and DEC as they got stale.

Now My OT: If I could do one thing to improve Mass' capacity for growth an innovation, it would not be brining Amazon to town, it would be to make non-competes unenforceable, which benefits both employees (free to leave), the state (easier to benefit from higher employee incomes) and upstarts (free to grow) (and large part of calculus in Facebook's decision to go to California, where it felt it would be freer to hire talent)
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Old 09-12-2017, 06:43 PM   #173
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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I worry making a special effort for Amazon would require un-making a whole lot of the local ecosystem, in this case, fencing off a whole a lot of talent and handing them over to one employer. More than Amazon, I want a big innovative ecosystem of companies: Mass might have been the PC -era kings if startups had been freer to recruit from Wang and DEC as they got stale.
Boston loses so much of its talent every year when they graduate and move away. There would be absolutely no issue keeping an additional 50,000 bright workers over the 15-20 year time frame Amazon is talking about.

To put some numbers to it, there are about 150,000 college students in the Boston area which means ~40k/year graduating. Ignoring workers moving from out of town, Amazon could sustain its growth with less than 10% of Boston's graduates per year. If you factor in out-of-town workers, then that number becomes much lower.

All that being said, the original argument's premise isn't valid; talent is not a zero-sum game. The entire tech community in Boston would benefit from having a much deeper pool of talent to draw from. Not to mention all the other big, non-tech firms that need to hire capable tech talent.
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:00 PM   #174
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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Boston loses so much of its talent every year when they graduate and move away. There would be absolutely no issue keeping an additional 50,000 bright workers over the 15-20 year time frame Amazon is talking about.

To put some numbers to it, there are about 150,000 college students in the Boston area which means ~40k/year graduating. Ignoring workers moving from out of town, Amazon could sustain its growth with less than 10% of Boston's graduates per year. If you factor in out-of-town workers, then that number becomes much lower.

All that being said, the original argument's premise isn't valid; talent is not a zero-sum game. The entire tech community in Boston would benefit from having a much deeper pool of talent to draw from. Not to mention all the other big, non-tech firms that need to hire capable tech talent.
100%. When a great restaurant opens in a neighborhood, it's not too long before other restaurants start moving in. Similarly, amazon could create a critical mass - tech talent staying here rather than fleeing for Palo Alto or Austin. I really hope we win this.
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Old 09-12-2017, 09:26 PM   #175
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

We finally agree on something.

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This entire horse race and all of the articles about it are mind-numbingly stupid.
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Old 09-12-2017, 10:17 PM   #176
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Something that's lost in all of this: What exactly is a second headquarters anyway, and what purpose does it serve?

To the ears of this management consultant it sounds redundant, inefficient, culturally divisive and technologically unnecessary. This is a company that operates on the most razor-thin of margins, and whose cobbled-together conglomeration (online retail, marketplace, logistics, media, publishing, cloud service, e-reader, e-assistant, bookstore, etc.) feels perhaps like a short-term asset but is more likely to be a long-term liability full of unrealized synergies, unfocused energies and the risk of corporate strife. Is this really the time for them to be so radically accelerating capex?
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Old 09-12-2017, 10:55 PM   #177
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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Is this really the time for [Amazon] to be so radically accelerating capex?
Isn't the point of the RFP bidding to encourage cities to essentially pay for the capex so long as Amazon pays it's customary tech wages?

In Seattle, adding 10k new jobs would require paying for facilities that Seattle does not think it should pay for, but which Chicago or Denver might pay for. Ergo see which city offers the best deal on property/facilities.
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Old 09-12-2017, 11:03 PM   #178
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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Isn't the point of the RFP bidding to encourage cities to essentially pay for the capex so long as Amazon pays it's customary tech wages?

In Seattle, adding 10k new jobs would require paying for facilities that Seattle does not think it should pay for, but which Chicago or Denver might pay for. Ergo see which city offers the best deal on property/facilities.
Yup - this was the right question, and the right answer. These days even 'headquarters' means little more than 'the place where the CEO's desk is. Which means that 2nd HQ means almost literally nothing. Its just a big office.

This is just about taking the shakedown show on the road.
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Old 09-12-2017, 11:37 PM   #179
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

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Is this really the time for them to be so radically accelerating capex?
Radically accelerating capex is what Amazon does. This has been their MO for practically their entire history. Amazon "operates on the most razor-thin of margins" only because they take (almost) every cent they earn and invest it back into the company.

Amazon could make massive profits today if they wanted to, but they, and their investors, aren't interested in that at the moment. They're interested in growing growing growing until they position themselves as an integral component of every facet of your life. Revenue growth has been consistently off the charts, and that's what matters to the company. Eventually, at some point in the future, once all of their competitors are reduced to little more than also-rans, they can flip on the profit switch.

Plenty has been written about this in the last decade or so. This is a couple years old but it's a good place to start, if you're interested.
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:04 AM   #180
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Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Globe....

https://www.bostonglobe.com/business..._ReadMore_Pos1
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