More Observations on Google’s Iowa Invasion

The quotes in this piece say it all.

"This community has changed," Mayor Tom Hanafan said. "It puts our face in a place we’ve never been before."

DM – Yes, it does…clearly into Google’s rearward facing parts.

"We can create the Silicon Valley of the Midwest," Gov. Chet Culver said. "This will put us on the map even more."

DM – Don’t you read Paul Graham’s Essays?  Especially the one called "How To Be Silicon Valley"? This stuff sounds good in a press release and makes most locals gush…but a data center is not the foundation for a tech revolution in the Midwest.   Here’s a quote from Graham,

I think you only need two kinds of people to create a technology
hub: rich people and nerds.  They’re the limiting reagents in the
reaction that produces startups, because they’re the only ones
present when startups get started.  Everyone else will move.

Observation bears this out: within the US, towns have become startup
hubs if and only if they have both rich people and nerds.

"Full-time Google employees will earn an average salary and benefits
equal to about $50,000 for positions that include facilities support,
systems administration and data center technicians. Additional support
services – like security, catering and grounds keeping – will be

DM – Average salaries of $50k.  Did they scale their salaries to those of dealers at the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs? 

"While an impressive package of tax rebates was created, a release from
Google said the company expects to pay about $65 million in real
property taxes over the next 15 years and an estimated $6 million in
sales tax during next two years from the purchase of building supplies."

DM – Notice "expects" to pay and "estimated".  Nice.  I expect that that GOOG will never pay an estimated anything when it comes to the "non-public" stuff here.  Sales tax sure…they’ll pay on building materials.  Big whoop.  I can’t wait to study the docs online when they start paying out their estimated expectations.

I’d suggest reading Nick Carr’s work on the Google server farms in North & South Carolina.  This post contains links to the other relevant posts on the subject.

More to come.




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