Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
It's become a little tired, hasn't it?
The betting became raucous. The competing cities rose and fell like bitcoin prices.
Now, Bert Sperling, a renowned expert whom the New York Times once said "picks the best places," has declared that he knows where Jeff Bezos will place his latest monument to commerce.
Well, when I say he knows, Sperling's words are "we can now confidently say." We being his Best Places website.
If he's right, there'll be protests in the streets. And in the hills and valleys.
For Sperling confidently says that the location will be a particular part of Loudoun County, Virginia.
Should you have never ventured there, it's 35 miles west of Washington D.C. It'll be shortly served by the new Silver Line of the Washington Metro.
Oh, but come on, Bezos isn't going to toss a vast corporate city in the middle of some fields, is he?
Sperling confidently says that "the new Amazon HQ2 will be [in] the unincorporated community of Oatlands, Virginia."
The renowned expert says -- confidently -- that this decision isn't about business. Amazon can stick its headquarters anywhere it likes.
Instead, it needs to be somewhere politically friendly and "near, but not in a mega city."
Sperling confidently asserts:
Amazon does not want their HQ2 to dominate a region. Consider this. Those 50,000 new employees Amazon has said will be working at HQ2 will bring an additional 120,000 to 140,000 residents to the area in the form of family members, civil workers, and support businesses such as retail, healthcare, and services.
Sperling explains that a new Amazon HQ will mean an additional 200,000 residents. That's like dumping Salt Lake City somewhere else.
You wouldn't want to do that to a big city, would you? Sperling offers:
With the major influx of population and infrastructure, Amazon will need to avoid the downtown core and essentially create their own city on the outskirts of a major metropolitan area. There is no need to compete for expensive and crowded downtown space. Amazon can create their own bold vision starting with a blank canvas.
I do hope this bold vision looks a little better than all of Amazon's ugly physical products.
Actually, talking of those ugly things, Sperling paints a picture of HQ2 as Bezos's own technological Truman Show:
With a clean slate, architects and planners can create new communities and neighborhoods which incorporate smart homes and streets which are friendly to alternative transportation. With new homes comes the opportunity to use them as test beds for new Amazon products and services such as drones and autonomous vehicles, cashier-free stores, and in-home package delivery.?
How long before it's called Amazonville?
How long before someone markets the location as Virginia Is For Drones?
Please spare a thought for the happy residents of rural Loudoun County, near the Maryland border. The biggest city around there is Leesburg, with 53,000 people.
How will they feel about 200,000 hipsters coming to town? It'll be like a Zombie Invasion.
Indeed, the locals are already recoiling at the very thought.
Naturally, I contacted Amazon for swift confirmation of this confident news. First, I received an email encouraging me to buy another book.
Then, a company spokesman told me:
You will hear through Amazon's official channels when a decision is announced.