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Old Apr 4, 2013, 08:35 AM   #1
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Steve Jobs' Requirements for 'Fit and Finish' Leading to Massive Cost Overruns for Apple's New Campus




In a lengthy report today, Bloomberg Businessweek takes a look at Apple's upcoming "spaceship" campus in Cupertino, noting that the project is currently one year behind schedule and roughly $2 billion over budget.
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Since 2011, the budget for Apple's Campus 2 has ballooned from less than $3 billion to nearly $5 billion, according to five people close to the project who were not authorized to speak on the record. If their consensus estimate is accurate, Apple's expansion would eclipse the $3.9 billion being spent on the new World Trade Center complex in New York, and the new office space would run more than $1,500 per square foot--three times the cost of many top-of-the-line downtown corporate towers.
According to the report, Apple is working to shave $1 billion from the cost of the project before beginning construction.

Bloomberg Businessweek pins much of the responsibility for the cost issues on Steve Jobs, whose insistence on design and construction quality as well as unusual and expensive construction methods have defined the project.
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The true expense of the campus lies not in green tech, though, as much as the materials--as well as what product designers call "fit and finish." As with Apple's products, Jobs wanted no seam, gap, or paintbrush stroke showing; every wall, floor, and even ceiling is to be polished to a supernatural smoothness. All of the interior wood was to be harvested from a specific species of maple, and only the finer-quality "heartwood" at the center of the trees would be used, says one person briefed on the plan last year.
Among other unique details contributing to project costs:

- 6 square kilometers of curved glass manufactured by Seele in Germany using specialized processes to prevent clouding or distortions. Seele has doubled the size of its production facility to accommodate the project.

- Per Jobs' orders, gaps between surfaces should be no more than 1/32 of an inch, far tighter than the typical 1/8 inch standard in U.S. construction.

- Polished concrete ceilings are to be cast in molds and then raised into position to ensure uniformity, rather than being cast in place. The requirement "left one person involved in the project speechless."

The report notes that investors concerned over Apple's falling stock price and looking for the company to return more cash to shareholders are questioning Apple's commitment to following through on Jobs' vision for the new campus. The company may, however, have little choice in the matter if it seeks to maintain its image as an iconic and visionary company in the post-Jobs era.

Article Link: Steve Jobs' Requirements for 'Fit and Finish' Leading to Massive Cost Overruns for Apple's New Campus
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 08:36 AM   #2
idkew
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Steve's dead. Be sane and move on.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 08:37 AM   #3
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Wwsd?
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 08:37 AM   #4
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They have the money, why not make something amazing.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 08:39 AM   #5
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They have 140 billion on the bank. They can afford it. I hope they stay true to the vision of Jobs.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 08:40 AM   #6
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They should make the pond in the centre the shape of the apple logo.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 08:40 AM   #7
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How does this translate to their products? Steve wanted perfection at any cost. How do we as consumers know we are getting great products if this is the direction Apple will be taking?
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 08:40 AM   #8
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Meh. While I admire the attempt to create something great, why bother? I would think most people want their products to be good and could not give a crap about the building.

Idea to shave about 4 billion. Make it a normal building.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 08:40 AM   #9
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These are the things you have to love about Steve Jobs... He was always strived for perfection. Impressive!
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 08:41 AM   #10
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Look! It is an UFO.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 08:41 AM   #11
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1/32 of an inch, won't this be problematic with the materials and temperatures?
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 08:42 AM   #12
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If you are going to spend billions on a new building, you had better do it right. I would probably take a vacation just to marvel at the beauty of the building and campus. Some folks just will not understand that. What is 2 billion more to Apple really??
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 08:42 AM   #13
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hopefully its finish before finding dory premiere.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 08:42 AM   #14
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The price of the 5S and all MBP's just went up.


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I would probably take a vacation just to marvel at the beauty of the building and campus.
You need a good woman my friend.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 08:43 AM   #15
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curves in construction are very expensive
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 08:43 AM   #16
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I say go for it.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 08:44 AM   #17
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I'm all for spending the money you earn however you like, and I appreciate fine craftsmanship, but it sounds like much of the cost here arose from arbitrary requirements. I don't really care what Apple does (it's not open to the public anyway), but if I were in their position, I think I would have opted for a second smaller campus on the east coast instead of allowing the budget to balloon.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 08:45 AM   #18
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Steve was brilliant but a nutcase when it comes to interior design. He even once ordered to paint the machines in his production hall when his father or mother came to visit (I don't remember which one) and several machines broke down.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 08:46 AM   #19
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I'd love to see the business case for this.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 08:46 AM   #20
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All of the interior wood was to be harvested from a specific species of maple, and only the finer-quality "heartwood" at the center of the trees would be used, says one person briefed on the plan last year
What happens with all the rest of the wood? Just discarded? Ridiculous demands like this often don't feel very environmentally friendly.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 08:46 AM   #21
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I've gotta be honest, the level of dedication and perfection they put into this should match what they claim to do for products. They have the money, so I say why not.

Is it the most efficient way to spend the money? No. But that drive for perfection should really be embodied in every facet of the company if thats the standard you expect, including the building. That's what I like about Apple, the tiny little details that make such a difference.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 08:47 AM   #22
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For those that question the need for a building like this read up on the Pixar studios and how the layout of the offices provides for an unparalleled collaborative effort between departments.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 08:47 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Arcus View Post
Meh. While I admire the attempt to create something great, why bother? I would think most people want their products to be good and could not give a crap about the building.

Idea to shave about 4 billion. Make it a normal building.
I don't think that you understand the importance of the building - its a symbol of Apple and Steve clearly wanted the building to reflect the products. People don't seem to appreciate just how crazy the tolerances on the iPhone 5 are and how much they must cost to implement, but at the end of the day they make the device what it is. Compare the iPhone 5 and the new BB Z10, they have similar designs but the iPhone 5 is put together in more expensive and complex ways at high tolerance, but the result is a significantly more impressive product. Its the same with buildings.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 08:48 AM   #24
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I predict a massive $2 billion cost overrun on a project that hasn't broken ground or even hired contractors yet.

Where are the facts?
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 08:48 AM   #25
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If Apple doesn't go with it, then the entire company is dead to me.

I don't even know who's products I would buy anymore. I think I would have to found my own company just to replace Apple, just so I can have products built to the standards that Apple had when Jobs was at the healm.
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