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Google canceled their Berlin Campus plans

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https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45971538

 

The hippies in Kreuzberg can now sleep in peace because Google canceled their plans to open a giant campus in Berlin.   Tons of new jobs are now lost and the chance to prove that Berlin could be a real big player in the techno-industry is now missed.    

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How many jobs were they going to create?  These companies tend not to offer many "jobs" now.  The article says it was "an incubator for start ups".   

 

In this instance, it is very easy to see google just as scenesters.   Throwing money to dabble in a fashionable districts and trade off the cachet of that. 

 

Had they genuinely invested in "tons of new jobs", possibly in an area corporations don't just mindlessly seek to bandwagon hop on, they might have got a warmer reception.    This is a city with a highly visible presence of Immoscout and Zalando et al, after all.   However, those corporations did at least make an effort to fully invest in emerging areas, before a presence was just what you did to bolster your brand.

 

Had they have been a bit smarter - or more sincere - that's what they should have done, imho.  Done what Immo did in FHain in 2004 or whenever. The normatives running it (who just assume cash can get anything) want to buy in to the cool scene, but of course, forget that the cool scene may not want them or their cash.  Can't have cake and eat it there.

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There's plenty of areas of Berlin that are quite down-at-heel with tons of space and might welcome some regeneration and such.    And yes, we did recently build on a disused electricity substation.  Very true that :lol:.   Visitor: WTF is that? (Points at random debris sticking out of our land).  Us:  Oh, it was an electricity substation.   But at least people have homes there now.  Outsiders may find that weird, but again, shows cultural misalignment.

 

There was no need to pile on more pressure on the cool and in demand areas.  Which are in demand in large part because of an alternative mindset that attracts the mainstream but is of course does not return the favour.   

 

Their management responsible for this mess have been inept / naive, and certainly out-of-touch with the local and culture they desire to be part of.  Big business can often be not very smart these days.  No wonder the Kreuzberg populace chewed them up and spat them out, really.  That's people who don't need to work for google and co.   But natural selection: shows exactly how they'd not fit it in, so they are better off elsewhere.

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22 minutes ago, dj_jay_smith said:

According to the article below:  Google  have said

 

 

But don't worry, they are instead going to move into  Tucholskystraße in Mitte! 

 

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/10/25/google_campus_berlin/

 

 

 

 

The comments over there are awesome.  Like this one:

 

Your staff only need to carry the GoogleSuppositoryID to get into the building. In addition food and drink us automatically chosen for them in the canteen.

 

I have never in my life worked in a company that let me choose the food and drinks available in the canteen.   

 

Actually according to Google, Google offers FREE healthy food in their canteens.  Not sure if it is everywhere.

 

1 hour ago, swimmer said:

How many jobs were they going to create?  These companies tend not to offer many "jobs" now.  The article says it was "an incubator for start ups".   

 

 

I think they seed the start ups, so I see it as creating jobs.  The Google Campus in Tel Aviv has around 300 employees, the one in Warsaw has 750 employees, I didn't find information about the other ones.

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let's face it; germans detest entry by almost any american company and/or product even if it's to their own detriment. it's a character trait I've seen over and over again.

google, on the other hand, could have walked away, but instead, left behind a token of value.

 

as for:

3 hours ago, swimmer said:

Had they have been a bit smarter

I think they're smarter already.

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There isnt anything negative about it.  Berlin has a strange view that bringing jobs to the city is "gentrification" and therefore bad.  Even my friends who have after years or even decades of Harz4 found work look at the changes in Berlin with horror and would apprently prefer their children to be unemployed than working for a dot com.

 

Berlin would rather be poor and sexy than rich and sucessful.

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Google is not offering much in the way of employment in this case and one might assume that a lot of any they do is mainly fixed stint for senior execs to earn their Berlin coolpoints before heading on to London or NY.   Not locals.    Had they offered several thousand jobs for young locals, they'd be in, surely?   The protesters know there's nothing for their kids here.

 

And we have far more life alternatives than unemployment vs flogging selfemployment for a "dot com".  (Would a young person in Berlin even use that very 90s term?).  That's a false premise those companies love to flog of course but it increasingly does not fool people in places like Kreuzberg.   My family manages without being either, and so do huge numbers.

 

Living between there and one of the hottest IT and business hubs, I see both sides.  It's about sustainability.  There is a lot more to supporting an economy than renting old premises and throwing a bit of cash at self-employed locals, while feeding on the local knowledge base (which is largely funded by the German taxpayer) and paying your tax wherever it's lowest.

 

Where I am now, we routinely get new businesses that set up new offices, fund the associated infrastructure (the extra roads and bridges, needed etc), employ 1000 workers plus properly...and pay their taxes.    That's what any effective sane business who had done their due diligence might offer a German locale.   That's the usual deal here.   Had they offered that, FHain-Kreuzberg and many residents would probably happily have found them somewhere.   Nobody would normally turn their noses up at that, possibly until there were too many to support. 

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Whatever.

 

Jobs is jobs and startups create a lot of them when they have good guidance for being successful.

 

In case you forget, Microsoft, Apple, Google et al were all startups at one time.

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I dunno.  If you spent any time in Mountain View before and after google, you might see the potential problem.  It went from being a nice, diverse tech town to a massive google hive.  Much like a mining town from days of yore, everything that's there now is all about google.  Housing was always tight, but it went totally over the edge after Google took over. Even google employees can't always afford to live there, which is alarming indeed, as google is known to pay very very well.

 

it's a fluff piece but...  https://www.cnbc.com/2015/10/21/googlers-living-at-google-tiny-spaces-probably-no-sex.html

 

I can understand having some trepidation based on that.  If they really limit it to an incubator site, I think it could be good for Berlin.  But I also can understand the worry as google is at least a little bit evil.

 

eta: one of the ironies, is that as google chewed through town, they displaced loads of small and mid-sized startups, as well as larger, established companies.  Maybe some got compensation for that, maybe google bought some of them out, no idea.  Suffice it to say they were scattered far and wide by the google takeover.

 

 

 

 

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Good point about Google employees but the successful startups can move anywhere affordable. 

 

3 hours ago, Krieg said:

The Google Campus in Tel Aviv has around 300 employees, the one in Warsaw has 750 employees,

 

Not exactly Silicon Valley.

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right like I said, it depends on where it goes.  I don't know how anyone can know for sure.

 

possible concern is that google moves in now as it's "affordable", but then these (few! in the larger picture) higher paid jobs lead to gentrification and increased housing costs...which makes it less affordable for everyone over time, yet the payback to the community overall is not proportional.

 

Icing on the cake would be if once the startup becomes successful they move to israel or poland or something.  Taking the jobs but leaving behind the gentrified prices :/

 

I am not saying I believe that's what would happen, just that I can just understand how people might jump to that conclusion and just oppose it straight up.

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IIRC Google planned to create/move a grand total of 10 (yes, ten) jobs to the new "campus". Their goal was to host startups and encourage (the cynically-minded might say "co-opt") them to develop Google-friendly products. Those activities will now presumably take place in Mitte.

 

I don't think Kreuzberg was ever a good fit for them, but good on them for donating the building to betterplace.org and the other charities after they decided not to use it themselves. Although I'm sure they'll get a nice tax write-off for it.

 

Yeah, I'm a little wary of Google, having grown up in the SF Bay Area myself. A couple of my friends work there and (privately) confirm all the negative things that people say about them. The pay isn't actually that much, but the stock options are generous.

 

 

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24 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

The thing about gentrification is that property owners, like swimmer, would profit.

 

Rents would suck, of course.

 

But gentrification isnt just "rich people stealing our houses" its also things like providing a credible future for you youth of berlin that only a decade or so back were facing a life of unemployment and now live in a city that can fulfiil their dreams. Its taking native berliner friends of mine that only a year or two ago were practically unemployable thought they would never work again and now suddently have work. Its working towards fixing the massive financial problems berlin has. 

 

I will never understand the hatred of those rich assholes coming here, creating jobs, making areas nice to live in.  Those international, diverse, interesting people, taking away the "bunt" nature of berlin so I have heard.   

 

Perhaps it is as simple as that, the whole thing is racism against indian IT workers in the guise of some kind of anti schwabian thing?

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Property gains of the early incomers are their fee of the loss of the features of the locale that first drew them.  Same transactional basis:  Now we mainstreamers want to live here, have x00k for being the person who spotted it first and suck up our less interesting lifestyle.  We can trade off that (and we do) but we can't have cake and eat it.  Again :lol:.   

 

Never been a better time to be "settlers" in Berlin, Munich, Rhein Main et al.  Absolutely true.  Perfect timing in the last decade.    But this is what google and co will not do now: step into a less secure setting.  They could have been in Berlin in 2007 and contributed to its popularisation.   It's a huge shame as bits of Berlin are still crying out for robust economic support.  Individuals will set up there and pay their own way (and pay the relevant taxes and such) but they won't.   Then they are amazed that the people who did take that risk - rather rode on the coattails - are not impressef bx them :blink:.    Again - it might be a logical outcome here. Self-selection.    There is no originality or individualism to offer in "just let's throw money at a creative locale others set up to gain something" thinking.  Rather the opposite.

 

But it is exactly why there is now a generation in Berlin that do not have to do the "be unemployed or slave for a dot com" now.   A populace now starting to be cushioned by that money gentrifiers give us, and can in turn cycle into new places.     There are also sociological theories about this.  I worked on the first "dot coms" in a bit of East London that was sneered at then but is now about the most sought after.   The generation after the professionals "self-actualises" and wants to be musicians or surfer dudes etc.  That is now.   The "dot com" era is a generation ago.   

 

But - again - companies really should know these standard sociological tropes and respond to them.  Nothing complex here.  Instead, they seem to just bury their heads in the sand and / or just expect cash to trump all.  Until they grasp them, this sort of community may well out-manouvre them.  Or until they take off their scenester blinkers and look a bit further afield.

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because in some cases it goes too far and all those improvements price everyone but the "rich assholes" out of a place.

 

I can only presume you've never seen this happen first hand?

 

Not all rich assholes create jobs, either.  And when they do, it's often in the form of low paying service jobs.  You can see this all over the US - rich enclaves with nothing but a service economy "in the neighborhood".  And those service people have to travel far to work as there is no way in hell they can live where they work.  Count among the service people teachers, police officers, emergency responders, and similar.

 

eta: and even when they do create new higher paying jobs, if the place is really that run down to start (which yes, Berlin is in some respects) the current residents often can't take advantage of those opportunities for lack of training and/or education.  Draws more talent from out of town and locals feel even more disenfranchised.

 

 

 

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