Y Combinator, the startup accelerator and investment firm that helped produce Airbnb, Dropbox, and Instacart, is embarking on a creation project arguably more ambitious than any company.
"We want to build cities," wrote Y Combinator partner Adora Cheung and President Sam Altman...the project aims to develop ways to reduce housing expenses by 90 percent and to develop a city code of laws simple enough to fit on 100 pages of text. Eventually the plan is to actually produce a prototype city. — Bloomberg
"We’re not trying to build a utopia for techies," says Cheung, the project’s director and the former CEO of failed housecleaning startup Homejoy. "This is a city for humans."For more news from Silicon Valley, check out these links:Silicon Valley campuses at risk as sea levels riseSilicon...
Mr. Greenberg expects its future clients' new offices can expect similar results. In R/GA's first five months in its more "connected space" employee retention is up 5%. The ultimate goal and "magic number" will likely be akin to the higher retention rates of tech companies, like Google and Facebook. Those companies are growing in cities like New York and forcing agencies like R/GA to offer more desirable workspaces if they want to keep their talent, explained Mr. Greenberg. — AdAge
Sea level forecasts by a coalition of scientists show that the Silicon Valley bases for Facebook, Google and Cisco are at risk of being cut off or even flooded, even under optimistic scenarios where rapid cuts in greenhouse gas emissions avoid the most severe sea level increases.
Without significant adaptation, Facebook’s new campus appears most at risk. — the Guardian
San Francisco to mandate solar panels for new constructionsWhile the Frank Gehry-designed campus was elevated to prevent flooding, even a 1.6 ft rise – on the low end of predictions – will "inundate" the campus. Google is a little better off but will also be swamped if the Antarctic ice sheet...
Last week the city council in Mountain View, California, took a significant step toward addressing Silicon Valley's housing affordability crisis. The city approved a new planning document for its North Bayshore district that envisions the creation of up to 10,250 units of high-density housing. Mountain View only has about 32,000 households total, so that would be a substantial 32 percent increase
[...] — Vox
"The big question is whether this represents an isolated victory for housing advocates or whether it's the start of a trend toward denser development in Silicon Valley more broadly."For more on the housing woes of the world's tech capital, check out these links:Can Silicon Valley save the Bay...
Located in the middle of the Eurasian landmass 3,000km east of Moscow, with a climate that ranges from 30C mosquito-ridden summers to -40C snow-drenched winters, this isn’t the most obvious place for a tech startup hub...
The Academpark is not some random outpost in the middle of nowhere, but the latest part of a plan to revive Akademgorodok, the Soviet science town that was established here in 1957, and long since left to languish. — the Guardian
Can a high-profile company led by a celebrity CEO come within two weeks of bankruptcy without anyone noticing? In early 2013, ...Tesla Motors came so close to running out of cash that its brash leader, Elon Musk, approached Google about buying the company, according to a new Musk biography. A surge in sales of the company’s pricey Model S sedan staved off disaster. Musk broke off the Google talks, no longer needing a white knight. And no one outside the two companies knew about it. — SF Gate
Silicon Valley long prided itself on building world-changing technologies from the humble garage, or the nondescript office park. The new spaces are more distinctive, as companies seek to build a consumer profile [...]
[There] is a sense that nothing is permanent, that any product can be dislodged from greatness by something newer. It’s the aesthetic of disruption: We must all change, all the time. And yet architecture demands that we must also represent something lasting. — mobile.nytimes.com
In keeping with the designer's forest-themed interior motif, a pair of homesteader cabins from the late 1800s are being installed in Twitter's new digs in the historic Western Furniture Exchange and Merchandise Mart building, a 1937 art deco landmark on Market Street. [...]
In this spirit of reuse and reclamation, Lundberg saw the cabins as a novel way of breaking up the wide open spaces of a gutted floor in the old furniture mart that will become a casual dining area. — Marin Independent Journal
Taking architectural anachronism to a whole new level, Twitter turns the open-plan office on its head by installing original one-room wood cabins from Montana as lunching spaces. Designers for Twitter's offices feel the choice is coherent with the company values of reuse and reclamation, while...
Late in 2011, [Zappos CEO] Hsieh became even more legendary by announcing almost larkishly that he’d be leading a $350 million effort to rejuvenate a blighted stretch of Las Vegas’ downtown […]
His plan was to spend much of his own personal fortune to transform this lifeless area about a mile north of the neon blitz of the Strip into an entrepreneurial tech nirvana. [...]
Doubters have no place in the ecosystem. Pragmatists stand little chance. A love of hyperbole prevails. — Wired
[Genie is] a platform with online-based planning applications to help architects and engineers in the design process, especially for skyscrapers and large buildings. The platform includes planning tools of expert architects and engineers and advance analytics and simulation tools. Genie standardizes and automates the design and construction processes with unlimited design options, enabling an architect to preserve the building's uniqueness in the urban environment. — Globes
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