Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Trophy buildings

You have to be pretty successful and confident to build a structure that is a testament to your own success. Much like the pharohs of old many corporates have adopted a similar approach calling an end to their success and rein at the top by creating trophy buildings instead of pyramids. Historically trophy buildings have been one of the most consistent contrarian indicators.

The most galling recent example was the AOL Time Warner centre (now without the AOL) at the time the centre was the most expensive building in US history. Construction began in 2000 which turned out to be the end of the dot.com boom. Unfortunately more and more reports are surfacing about the 'strategic purposes' of new buildings being considered at current technology giants.

Time Warner centre no longer the most expensive building


Amazon is hopefully not calling their shares a bubble with an environmentally friendly three giant biospheres (bubble) in the middle of Seattle. Not too extravagant but a little strange.

Amazon's three biospheres


Meanwhile Apple is building what looks to be a UFO. The building will be all curved including glass, just like Apple's products no corners only curved edges! The building would contain 40 foot floor to ceiling pans of concave glass. It will cost an estimated $5 billion to construct according to some reports it is already heading to a $2 billion overrun. At this rate taking the title as the new most expensive building in US history. Thankfully Apple agreed to return an extra $55 billion to investors otherwise investors would have been up in arms over the cost.

Apples iUFO headquarters


No corners, building is all curved

Meanwhile Facebook and Google plan to expand their address, nothing to controversial though with Facebook building a park on the roof top pretty normal behaviour for Silicon Valley.

Trophy buildings don't get much better than Apple's. A UFO definitely beats a pyramid.

Jason


Disclosure: Decisive has long positions in GOOG, FB stock
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