What are the local benefits from Silicon Valley tech firms?

What are the local benefits from Silicon Valley tech firms?

Summary: Other countries want them but why? Living in Google's shadow is causing problems for local small businesses...

TOPICS: Google

Google is in the midst of a large expansion in Mountain View and much of North Bayshore – east of highway 101 is becoming one giant campus. It's developing a 1.1 million square foot campus at NASA Ames; and another site at Charleston East.  And west of 101, it recently purchased about 15 acres in Palo Alto.

Google clearly is not a proponent of work at home. With all the thousands of current and future Googlers local businesses should be happy -- but they aren't. 

Local restaurants are hurting badly reports Daniel Debolt at the Mountain View Voice: Can't compete with free eats: Facing closure, Shoreline restaurant owners try to negotiate with Google.

…thousands of employees who once ate lunch at their businesses -- employees of Siemens, Visa and Omnicell, among others, leave the area to make way for Google.

Local restaurants asked Google for help, suggested a voucher system to encourage Googlers to eat out. Google's response? A letter offering:

"… personalized training to get your restaurant set up with free Google products. These tools and tips can help make it easier for customers (including Googlers) to find your business online and make sure your business information is correct in search results."

Googlers don't drive so how will they get to the restaurants? They are dropped off each morning by massive busses. 

Todd Carlisle, Director of Staffing at Google recently said that perks such as free food are not necessary to recruit top talent. He said no one accepted a job offer at Google because of the work perks. So why not scrap the free food and other perks?

Economic decline

It's not only food, Google provides a host of other services for its staff, including on-site dental work. That's not going to help local business services. Googlers don't leave the mothership. 

Google's chief economist Hal Varian should look into this issue.

Twitter is similar. It moved into a very poor neighborhood in San Francisco and it provides free food to hundreds of its staff. "We're proud to be gentrifying the area," said Melissa Daimler, Head of Organizational Effectiveness and Learning at Twitter, at a Commonwealth Club event last week. 

Keeping Twitter workers inside the building doesn't do anything to help local businesses. (Maybe they are scared of all the street people?) Gentrifying a neighborhood usually means working to improve it. How is Twitter "gentrifying" anything? It demanded tax exceptions before agreeing to move in. It would rather be a burden on its neighbors than ease the burden of others. 

Tech bubble and babble

What are the benefits communities get from having tech companies in their midst? They are supposed to be a good thing and other countries want them but what would they get?

They literally live in their own bubble. They don't pay much in taxes and they are oblivious to the health of their neighborhoods. The public schools here are basket cases and our cities face the same problems as cities anywhere in the US. 

Silicon Valley says it is inventing the future -- yet its neighbors are suffering. You can't change the world if you can't change your local communities. Make change local then scale global. 

Topic: Google

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  • Good post

    just as Larry responded I'm alarmed that a single mom can make ($)7030 in 1 month on the internet. did you read this web link... c­a­n9­9.ℂ­ℴ­M
  • Benefits focus

    The benefits such as free food is not really to attract top talent but rather keep the talent working. It is so that thee workers aren't distracted nor have to take time of for long commutes to take care of personal things.

    The future... One of the future ideas is about buildings that have everything right at hand even to the point of growing food for eating and atmosphere recycling. So Google is making the future and increasing their green cred.
  • Still railing on about this nonsense?

    Years ago i had the oppourtunity to visit BEA headquarters in Silicon Valley. At that time as apparently it still is there were few local restaurants and most businesses there had cafeteria's in the office building. That "Free food" is coming from somewhere if not local businesses then where? The author should learn something about economics and business before railing on about evil corporations corporating! becasue he just sounds foolish.
    • Agreed...

      And how about hotel rooms from visitors to Google? Rental cars? Those visitors who then go to bars and such in the evening? And if Google or Twitter are anything like our company, we have all kinds of community donations and work we do in our local neighborhood.

      And as ammohunt noted, the food is being bought, prepared, and served by someone.

      Then there are all the state income taxes, city income taxes, property taxes, state sales taxes all those employees pay even if the businesses get tax breaks. And while they are paying taxes because they have a job, they are not collecting jobless benefits.
      Rann Xeroxx
  • The Bigger Economic Picture: Dire Straights


    It's okay to focus in on Google, because it makes for a good read most of the time.

    But, the situation with the American economy is profoundly bad.

    I've been watching it for a long time and see yet another economic downturn coming that will be worse than the Great Depression.

    Follow what is happening with the U.S. Dollar and Gold and the Fed's quantitative easing and not far off from today we'll see the dollar collapse and then, I am afraid all h3ll will break loose.
    Dietrich T. Schmitz + Your Linux Advocate