Granted Apple is the largest taxpayer in Cupertino. And true they have the aura of being the most valuable company in the world. And inevitably there is little doubt that Cupertino will approve Apple’s plans for a new headquarters.
But this is yet again a great lesson in how to make a presentation. Steve Jobs shows us how to be humble, how to be respectful, how to be gracious and how to endear himself to the community in which he lives and works. Even when he denies a request from the council’s president to locate an Apple store in Cupertino so the council members don’t have to drive elsewhere to buy their Apple products.
“It’s a little like a spaceship landed,” Jobs said of the design. “We’ve seen these office parks with lots of buildings and they get pretty boring pretty fast, so we’d like to do something better than that.”
If you’re cynical, you know that this is classic Apple theatre. But once again, Steve knows where he is, who is in the audience and exactly how to apply the art of understatement as he reveals what might be the most magnificent corporate headquarters ever built and begins the multi-step process of asking for the city council’s approval.
But there are other lessons here beyond how to give a presentation. And they’re in this less than Apple-esque designed graphic from Steve’s presentation. Call it corporate responsibility. Or a concern for environmental impact. Or simply good taste. But these numbers are not only hard not to like and admire, they serve as a reminder to businesses everywhere that it’s our responsibility not to consume space and energy but to actually make it better.
Apple plans to quadruple the amount of outdoor landscaping, double the number of trees on the property, reduce the above ground space made ugly by parking lots, and actually shrink the property’s building footprint.
A building made of all curved glass isn’t cheap. But perhaps it’s the mindset, commitment, and confidence behind such a building that will inevitably make the company inside it continually successful.