Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Amazon must have enjoyed this.

I'm not sure how many others did, after the initial amusement.

The company has garnered so much data about every municipality in America. Those municipalities have learned that taking part in vast reality shows may not be the wisest thing to do.

And now The Washington Post has declared it: Amazon is splitting HQ2 between Crystal City, Virginia, and Long Island City, New York.

Of course, ever since the Post revealed Crystal City's advanced negotiations, the rumors began to trickle out that the Virginia city wouldn't be alone in getting the big prize.

I wonder where those rumors might have come from.

Ultimately then, a split decision, one that will now have locals in the two cities trembling at the thought of an influx of the hip and self-regarding.

Those cities that lost--if lost is truly the right term in this slightly absurd affair--will now be wondering whether they were really in the race at all.

After all, there were experts who were so very sure where Amazon would end up.

Marketing personality Scott Galloway, for example, insisted that after all the nonsense, the only sense was to put HQ2 in New York. He wasn't wrong.

Location expert Bert Sperling insisted too--experts tend to be insistent--that Virginia would be Amazon-loved. Yes, he wasn't quite right about the part of Virginia, but he wasn't totally wrong either.

Now that the reality show is over, the reality begins.

In the end, Amazon simply chose to put its headquarters where it thought it could hire employees--and where they might be prepared to live.

It was as simple as that, it seems.

Which means that all the consultants hired by various cities all over America (and, who knows, even Canada) made some money, but no real contribution.

One can look forward to Amazon's fascinating explanations about as much as the people of Long Island City and Crystal City can look forward to their lives being radically altered.

Somewhere, though, there are smiling politicians raising a glass to their own ingenuity.

Their own ingenuity at being in the right place at the right time.

Published on: Nov 13, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.