There has - of late - been something bothering me. When all of Wall Street, a good bit of the blogosphere and portions of the tech-press sound constantly like the Rob Enderle of old, what is Rob Enderle to do?
If you say “fade away into silence,” I may say you’re a dreamer. Don’t worry. You’re probably not the only one.
I sometimes wonder whether Enderle is an ever evolving performance art piece. My favorite thing he’s ever done is say - back in 2007- that by making a smartphone without a physical QWERTY keypad, Apple was opening itself up to a world of litigation. Teenagers text while driving, you see, and without those physical keys, they’d have to take their eyes off the road to do that with an iPhone. Thus an increase in traffic accidents - maybe even fatalities - thus the lawsuits against Apple.
But that was 2007, when not everybody was writing about Apple. Oh everybody was writing about the iPhone - especially that summer - but every single thing associated with Apple, from whether one of its suppliers far up the supply chain was polluting a river to who Steve Jobs hired to be Apple’s sushi chef was not something you expected to turn up in stuff written about Apple. A lot’s changed in six years.
So what’s a guy like Enderle supposed to do? Go bigger. And - some might argue - dumber. I’d be on their side, by the way.
Writing an opinion piece for TG Daily, Rob Enderle has brought the world word of the new campus announced by graphics chipmaker Nvidia, and why it will be better than the new space-donut campus being built by Apple.
Enderle has worked in a lot of buildings, you see, some great some not so much. This wealth of experience qualifies him to judge based on artist renderings of the two campuses. You’ve probably seen Apple’s. It looks like a big, space-donut, set way off the street surrounded by trees, empty in the middle - save for more trees. Nvidia’s, on the other hand, is two triangular buildings - kind of wavy on the top - closer to the street than Apple’s proposal, but allowing in a lot of natural light.
Enderle writes - based on the artist renderings - that Nvidia’s design “almost appears translucent and the core design is specifically focused on encouraging collaboration.”
On Apple’s design, he writes:
“Apple’s culture is more of an office and individual contributor culture and the firm is known for the managed conflicts been software, engineering, and design. As a result, the building appears to be more about personal space and it is likely focused on offices and conference rooms.”
“In contrast,” he goes on to write, “Nvidia is more about getting teams to work together and the interior design should be ... more open, warm, and comfortable.”
See I would argue that what Apple is doing for the environment - both by dropping so many trees onto its campus and in employing alternative energy in a big way is a big deal, providing a campus on which I’d be proud to work... and then it hits me. Enderle has done it! Not only is he arguing about imaginary buildings, he’s gotten me to do it too!
Part of me’s a little angry, but at the same time I kind of want to thank Enderle for reminding me that no matter how stupid things get, they could always be more so.