Why Facebook is Building a City
Articles Blog

Why Facebook is Building a City

This video is sponsored by CuriositySteam. Watch over 2,400 documentaries free for 31
days with the link in the description. South of San Francisco, in Menlo Park, the
heart of Silicon Valley, lie a series of unremarkable offices. They have creative names like “Building
57”, “Building 40”, and wait for it! none other than the Employment Development
Department! There’s a plan, though, to turn this 59-acre
office park into a more-or-less fully self-contained, city called Willow Village. It’ll have a grocery store, pharmacy, retail
stores, playgrounds, hotel rooms, a community center, and 1,500 housing units. Oh, and one more thing it’s 100% owned by
everyone’s favorite company. No, not Equifax. Not Comcast or Enron. Worse: Facebook. In just a few years, Facebook employees will
be able to work, eat, play, shop, and now, sleep, all without leaving the property of
the world’s most trustworthy company. Google, meanwhile, plans to build over 10,000
homes in Mountain View, And Apple just finished the 6th most expensive
building in the world, behind Singapore’s famous Marina Bay Sands. As companies expand their physical presence,
the line between public and private is being blurred, and local governments find themselves
not governing but being governed by more powerful corporations. And it all stems from one simple economic
problem. College majors are generally fairly constant. About the same percentage of students choose
physics, or psychology, or English from one year to the next. Generally. Up until 2008. The financial crisis had an immediate, and
so far, it seems, permanent effect on colleges. When the sun is out and jobs are abundant,
like right now, the relative value of more education is lower. Your goal is to get employed as fast as possible
and ride the wave. When times are tough, the opportunity cost
is much lower – it’s harder to get a job, keep it, or get promoted. So, you do the opposite – go back to school
and pick the most marketable major available. And that’s exactly what happened. The Great Recession changed the entire purpose
of education. The number one reason people chose to go to
college in 2006 was “to learn more about things that interest me”. In 2009, it was “to get a better job”,
and has stayed that way ever since. First, students left the humanities. In the ten years after the recession, U.S.
English degrees dropped 22%, Education 19%, and Philosophy or religious studies, 15. Meanwhile, Health-related degrees have doubled,
Biological and biomedical sciences have increased 61%, and engineering, 60%. Computer Science, specifically, has absolutely
exploded. It’s not hard to see why. If you find yourself getting mediocre grades,
often missing class, and with totally unremarkable skills, congratulations! As an average U.S. computer programmer, you
can expect to make $50-55,000 a year, right out of college. No experience or graduate degree required. In other words, to earn more than 64% of the
country, all you need to do is stay in school for 1,460 days. If you keep doing average work, don’t go
back to school, but manage to keep this up for a few more years, congratulations again! Now you have experience. You’re looking at a median salary of $105,000,
making more than 88% of the country. Now, I’m no economist but, something about
this doesn’t seem quite right. Students are picking majors based on their
career prospects now more than ever, salaries are off the charts and credentials, quick
to obtain, which means, the market should be absolutely flooded with Computer Science
students, increasing supply, allowing salaries to fall, and soon reaching an equilibrium. The problem is that demand for Computer Science
has grown really quickly, even compared to other engineering majors, but universities
are slow. If they could snap their fingers and produce
more professors, they would. But the lag time is incredibly long. If you’re a new high school graduate who
sees demand for Computer Science teachers, it’ll take at least nine years to get a
bachelor’s, then master’s degree, then doctorate, and by then, things have may have
changed. More importantly, if you can make six figures
with just a bachelors degree working for a company, why spent five more years only to
make the same or lower salary? Schools are competing for professors with
the very companies whose high demand for graduates has created the problem in the first place. They can only increase class sizes so much
before it starts to hurt the staff-to-student ratio, which lowers the school’s ranking. At the University of Washington in Seattle,
only a third of students who apply to CS programs are accepted. To be clear, that means two-thirds of freshman
and sophomore students who are already accepted to the school can’t get into their desired
major because it’s full. As of 2017, about 530,000 open jobs are fighting
for about 60,000 new graduates a year. Employees, even mediocre ones, but especially
the most talented among them, have most of the leverage here. Not only do they always have the promise of
high salaries, signing bonuses, and stock options elsewhere, But because tech companies are so concentrated
in Silicon Valley, changing jobs is really easy. You won’t have to move to a new state, or
climate, maybe not even a new house. Apple Park is a 15-mile drive from Stanford,
Tesla Headquarters, 3 miles, Facebook, 9, and Google, 7. Software companies, therefore, have about
the same turnover rate as McDonald’s. The average Tesla employee, for example, lasts
2.1 years, and three is considered quite good. So tech companies have to go out of their
way to make workers happy. That means free food, gym memberships, cellphones,
unlimited vacation days, laundry, bikes, childcare, yoga, nap rooms, luxury lockers, and massages. Google, Apple, and Facebook will even pay
for women who aren’t ready to have children to freeze their eggs. Still, it’s not enough. Especially for Facebook, whose poor reputation
has reportedly made it much harder to attract talent. According to CNBC, nearly every applicant
Facebook offered a job to in 2016 accepted, while only about half do today. The ultimate way to keep employees, though,
is to involve yourself in every aspect of their lives. It’s much harder to leave a company when
it owns your house and those of your friends and family. Already, Facebook offers at least $10,000
to live near the office. Apple and Google, meanwhile, drive employees
who live in San Francisco to work in luxury, WiFi-equipped busses. For the employee and the company, all of these
things make sense. But they often come at the expense of the
community as a whole. By using municipal bus stops to load and unload,
they use public infrastructure without supporting or improving the quality of public transportation. They’ve also made housing unaffordable,
not only around their campuses but in neighborhoods as far away as San Francisco. And, as their physical presence grows, they
begin taking over some of the roles of government. In 2014, for example, Facebook paid for a
new police station next to its campus, along with the $170,000 salary of an officer. That should be a red flag. It’s time for the country to reevaluate
the power big companies have over government, and maybe not the time for Facebook to try
replacing the US Dollar. If you’re as curious as I am about why Facebook
wants to dominate payments in developing countries like India, let me recommend watching “What
Facebook Knows About You” on CuriosityStream. If you enjoy these videos but wish there were
more of them, you’d probably love watching their series on technology, business, China,
and science. CuriosityStream was created by the founder
of the Discovery channel, with all sorts of interesting documentaries, like this two-part
series explaining the history of China’s Great Wall. You can watch it pretty much anywhere, including
PC, Mac, iOS, Android, and your smart TV. For you, the first 31 days are completely
free if you use the link in the description and the promo code “polymatter”. If afterwards you decide you like it, unlimited
access starts at a very affordable two dollars and ninety-nine cents a month. Thanks to CuriosityStream and to you for watching
this video.

100 thoughts on “Why Facebook is Building a City

  1. In Silicon Valley, Facebook's HQ is widely considered the worst by designs haha. I hope their new buildings will hopefully be slightly more aesthetic

  2. I hate facebook. I tried to delete my account and they literally dont let you. Just try it and see, its ridiculous.

  3. This is why they are a 1 billion dollar company while you're sitting here rambling about a marketing crisis? I thought this was about facebook making a city. Stay on topic. The government is kinda running out of money, because they are in so much debt. So umm you saying that we can make 50k without a degree and we only have to work 3-4 years!? That's how long we stay in highschool. If you disagree with me please, respond.

  4. It's the same thing big mining, manufacturing and railroad companies did in the 50s, 60s, and 70s pal. It's no different, it just has slightly different context and rarely lasts. Besides, I would rather leave the future to smarter and more forward thinking companies than old blowhards only looking out for their own agenda. Sure, companies can go awry, but the public is watching. It's much easier to take down a company doing the wrong things over a government, just saying 😉

  5. I'm pretty sure that the high prices in Silicon Valley (and California in general) have more to do with local NIMBY laws that restrict the building of new and more housing.

  6. This is nothing new. Before the Great Depression and the New Deal, Company towns were everywhere. Everything in those towns where owned by the Company that build them, and all the people there worked for that company.

  7. This is more disturbing than your Amazon video…. Big companies owning entire towns their employees live in and hiring their own police forces is right out of the Gilded Era before we added regulations

  8. So facebook is developing the game Sims : Reality
    All residents gotta learn jabbadoo language, and zuckerberg will have loads of fun

  9. In the Netherlands we have something called “arbeidershuisjes” roughly translated as “workers houses”. It was owned and build by big factories for their employees. Now a days these factories moved to third world countries but the houses are still there. This is just the modern version if that in the US.

  10. This is nothing new these towns existed for coal, cotton, farming they were nothing more than slave towns the company paid you in credit your rent for company housing, company restaurants, grocery stores , company hospital everything but money and you would never make enough to break even . Tennessee ERNIE fORD HAD A SONG ABOUT IT.

  11. LOL! 4:49 Worrying about staff-to-student ratio in the Internet age where there's Khan and Coursera your many sponsors… If Einstein's alive we'd all be able to listen to his lectures. Class size? The planet.

  12. 7:12 "By using municipal bus stops to load and unload, they use public infrastructure without supporting or improving the quality of public transportation."
    Franklin begs to differ. "there were only two things certain in life: death and taxes"

  13. You're saying the average engineering student is an average student.
    The average student who sometimes misses class and does c+work in other classes does not qualify to be an engineering student.

  14. Good answer to the question in a way but very oriented tone. May not agree with the opinion but well made video 🙂

  15. After Facebook builds the self sustaining city they'll declare independence to free themselves from those dang privacy laws they have to follow

  16. The problem is that companies only want CS programmers that have bachelors degrees and not associates. A CS associates basically is worthless and more companies should hire programmers at this level. You have the CORE programming principles at an AS level and that is more than enough for most jobs

  17. So they can spy on people, video them 24/7, and sell them to erotic sites (if two people had a bit too much to drink) or other companies. Although, Facebook might pay for everything there since we would be giving them content to be uses for cash. 🙂

  18. It's all beginning to come true. The corporations are taking their first baby steps towards replacing governments. Damn.

  19. facebook just wants to keep all of their employees in one place this is why i find facebook dumb and untrustworthy company

  20. How to conquer the world:
    Make a bagel company.
    Make bagel city.
    Make more bagel cities.
    Now you own the U.S.
    Repeat with the rest of the world.

  21. My company gave me a huge sign on bonus with the catch that I would have to pay it back if I quit before a period of time knowing that I would never want to pay it back or could pay it back.

  22. You know there are many, many cheaper ways to enhance staff retention? Even for an infamous company like Facebook. The far more obvious reason for this investment is that staff requirements provide a stable revenue stream to underwrite the required return on this investment, and FB wants to monetize that benefit rather than hand it off to a third party. Not everything is a conspiracy theory, Polymatter…

  23. Because it's goal is to be a comunist dictatorship for its employees!!! Mark Zoickerberg is literally like Kim Jung Un!!
    You can't say shit because everyone wants to backstab you and everything can be offensive!!

  24. Remember 20 years ago when people heard you were going to college they would say "good for you" Fast forward 20 years, and now it's "What, your going to college? What did you major in? What?! you should have majored in STEM! Good luck getting a job at Starbucks!"

  25. So, a lot of misconceptions here. First, you don’t need a CS degree to become a programmer. Colleges fail to adapt quickly is an accurate statement. I have personally interviewed and seen dozens of programmers coming straight out of college with a polished masters degree, and absolutely no idea how to do the job they want. You could easily not go to school, use an online resource for CS based training, accept an unpaid internship, save yourself money and time and land a great job after about a 1 – 1.5 years of doing this. That’s a problem with traditional schooling. Adapting to new programming languages is tough and they can change often and new ones may come up quick. The good news is that once you learn one the others aren’t that hard to grasp as most concepts are similar.

    Next, Facebook isn’t destroying San Francisco communities. It’s a small city. Jobs being abundant is certainly better than not. Just ask anyone around the mid-west/Detroit during the 07-08 collapse. McDonalds wanted a 4 year degree (sarcasm). Those jobs bring needs and you are kidding yourself if you believe San Francisco knows how to fit together housing needs for a growing city. They suck at it to be blunt. Politicians who serve their own self interests and don’t care about common people.

    Facebook using public stops is actually beneficial to the community at large. The is no direct routes to get to these campuses in terms of just a BART/Caltrain stop. Therefore people would normally default to cars. These busses keep cars off the road at peak hours. Environmental win/society/communal win.

  26. I have never had a Facebook account and I never will. Did America learn absolutely nothing from westward expansion? Employers should never have that much control over an employee's life…

  27. Apart from being Orwellian, this has links to Japanese corporatism that started to be exported to Europe in the 1980s. The idea is to make sure each employee becomes totally reliant on the corporation, for shelter, food, fashion, education and who knows, even sex, and certainly spare time activities. It is a journey towards a false utopia which is in fact a ghastly dystopia, and requires an increasingly unquestioning body of young people who seem to have lost all critical faculties or independent thinking.

  28. ok.. first off i know of many cs students that "technically" got C's or B's in college and ended up with not being able to do their jobs because you would be surprised how many people can copy code and hand it in as their own.. also.. you would be surprised by how many colleges are pushing CS classes onto new students that don't understand it…. i tutored 9 friends that their advisors recommended them take the first programming class as their computer science elective and i just looked at them and asked why… they literally did not need that class and that class would not have helped them due to how basic it is…. over half of them ended up dropping the class later in the semester due to not grasping the subject

  29. build what on the who now?
    they already infiltrate our accounts and monitor them and continuation on breaking people's privacy not to mention spying on their devices as well
    they now infiltrate the comments as well and select comments to keep or hide
    if you remember many years ago on android they showed you the thing the app will access to in order for you to download the app with your consent
    and facebook have access to every freaking thing from photos to messages to phone contacts
    i will never live in a city built by facebook or a smart city even looks like 1984 and big brother at work
    it also reminds me of that black mirror episode ''nosedive''

  30. YFacebook demonetizes anyone who goes against their narrative agendas or political views.

    They don't support any critical thinkers.

    Facebook is a physcological operation.

    They create their own trends and algorithms on an apex predatory A.I. disguised as a social media platform in order to label and categorize the entire world.

    They want to obtain full spectrum control through their methods of dividing to conquer.

    NOTICE!! They achieve it through this constant Surveillance State System.

    They scrub everyones personal data and background history to create a census and push a minorty report into our societies.

    They won't stop until they reach a one world order.


  31. Private police isn't a new thing and the housing crisis in San francisco can be averted by building homes but all the laws there are making it hard to do that.

  32. And tell me the difference between companies controlling us and a goverment lol. Atleast people working at companies sometimes have education.

  33. You load sixteen tons, what do you get

    Another day older and deeper in debt

    Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go

    I owe my soul to the company store

  34. I have a general interest of Computer Science. And I may pick Computer Science for collage/university (for the money). So.. win-win for me?

  35. So a little google told me Facebook has about 35,000 full time employees, yay! 1500 homes that'll sure help out bunches!

  36. Cause suckerberg is an egotistical douchebag that stole the company from his friends and is now stealing ideas to stay relevant so his crap company doesn’t become MySpace? That’s what I’d chalk it up to.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top