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Nose Under the Community Tent

By Paul Losch

About this blog: I was a "corporate brat" growing up and lived in different parts of the country, ending in Houston, Texas for high school. After attending college at UC Davis, and getting an MBA at Harvard, I embarked on a marketing career, mai...  (More)

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Details released of Facebook draft agreement with Menlo Park

Uploaded: Apr 13, 2012
Just what Facebook will be asked to provide to Menlo Park in return for being allowed to house as many as 6,600 employees on its current campus will be addressed by the Menlo Park City Council when it meets next Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Menlo Park City Council Chambers, 701 Laurel St.

Read the full story here posted Friday, April 13, 2012, 8:06 AM
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of ,
on Apr 13, 2012 at 9:09 am

Paul Losch is a registered user.

This is a pretty bold proposal by Facebook.

I am not going to get into the arcane details that Facebook has teed up and will get careful scrutiny by Menlo Park officials (who will also bring up many more.)

Instead, I offer up questions about culture.

With my limited outsider's understanding of the Facebook proposal, this seems like a radical (don't take that word as good or bad, I have a point)notion of how people live and work for a large company in this country.

Lots of postives: among others are the commute by foot, be able to engage with colleagues as students and faculty do at colleges and universities that informal environments foster well. An effort to work with CMP to support community needs. There are others, I hope I made the point.

Lots of question marks: I have done business in China over the years, and the folks I work with have wonderful working and living conditions for the employees. Still there is a "captive" aspect to it that consistently has troubled me.

Is there a life outside the campus? I spent some time early in my career working at large corporations, some experiences good, some of them bad. That is to be expected. And, when I left work each day, I had a life and friends with whom I spent time with no regard at all to my work place. ALL Facebook people, from Mark Z. on down, need a life outside Facebook. I observe that this is true for any large company, including our recent superstars at Apple and Google. But Facebook is extending it a great deal further.

Does Facebook's model work only for the 20 somethings that work all hours? Things change for people when marriage, kids, school and 8-10 hour days take priority. If the model Facebook has is not different than what China factories have, people will leave at a certain point. Management depth, intellectual knowledge, things like that, will be lost, or at best reduced. A few impressive people at that top, lots of grunts spread out below the heirarchy that may find their loyalties dissipating as they get on with their lives.

Facebook is offering a huge experiment to Menlo Park and Silicon Valley. My personal inclination, with no vested interest in it, is that they go for it. Too often, we tend to hunker down when a truly new idea affects our personal lives, not our work lives. Facebook is offering something up that affects personal lives as well.

Posted by John, a resident of ,
on Apr 13, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Sounds like Memlo Park just wishes they would go away.

Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of ,
on Apr 13, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Paul Losch is a registered user.

One more thought--I hope the Facebook folks have read or will read BF Skinner.

Posted by Linda, a resident of ,
on Apr 13, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Our Regional Parks and Recreation facilities and amenities stay about the same as the population around us has grown enormously ! Commercial rents for things like New Leaf Market; non-chain type fitness clubs unable to be here for us. Sad.

Posted by musical, a resident of ,
on Apr 13, 2012 at 2:38 pm

EO Wilson is also applicable.

Posted by college terrorist, a resident of ,
on Apr 13, 2012 at 2:57 pm

So glad we kicked them out of Palo Alto. We don't need all that new construction here.

Posted by Miss Priss, a resident of ,
on Apr 13, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Sure glad we Palo Altans kicked the F Book can down the road. I'll never F Book. Hooray for fellow holdouts!

Posted by Howard, a resident of ,
on Apr 14, 2012 at 9:39 am

Sounds like Menlo Park did a much better job on this compared with Palo Alto and Stanford Hospital.

Posted by Emily, a resident of ,
on Apr 14, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Good god, what is this? A shakedown of FB? Is this greediness why so many seemingly desirable lots are vacant along El Camino?

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