Enough time has passed that I can issue a couple
hot takes thoughts about HQ2:
- The “HQ2 selection” process was shameful and gross for everyone involved.
- Most of the economic analyses I’ve read on Twitter that argue Amazon is a net loss for these cities seem woefully misguided: the question isn’t “will Amazon bring more money to these cities?” but “will the city improve?”
- If the folks in NoVa / Queens had any courage whatsoever, they’d realize that Amazon is going to move to those areas regardless and they’d start the benefit clawback process immediately.
- It would be disingenuous of me to cast aspersions on transplants flocking to Crystal City or Queens because, well, I was a transplant flocking to Seattle for Amazon in 2013. And I liked it! And I still like it. And any posturing of ugh, those techies are going to ruin the flavor of the city feels very gross. 1
- I’m neither wise nor smart enough to answer the question Is Amazon good for Seattle? But the position of most non-Amazon tech companies in Seattle is that they’re thankful for Amazon’s presence, if for no other reason that they act as a lightning rod for all criticism of Seattle’s rapid upheaval.
- Amazon continues to be a company to which folks seem to ascribe malice despite cold rationality being the more fitting personality trait. It’s not Sauron; it’s a paperclip maximizer 2.
- Get ready for some truly uninspired architectural design.