Pop City on Google-Comes-to-Pittsburgh

Perhaps my earlier skepticism about Pop City was misplaced. The most recent issue has an engaging story about bringing Google to Pittburgh:
Although the new Pittsburgh office—Google’s fifth satellite-- is housed temporarily in One Oxford Center, it is likely to be permanently located on or near campus. Google has established offices in New York, Kirkland, Washington, Santa Monica and Phoenix. One reason? It's become increasingly difficult to recruit talent to their home office due to the high cost of housing in California. People visit, see how much house their money can buy and decide not to relocate there, says [Peter Norvig, Google’s director of research]. “We had noticed we were making offers, and they were turning them down….We were having success hiring people right out of college, but when people were established with a house and family, it was harder to get them to move.”

He adds, “Certainly Pittsburgh is more affordable.”

It’s a win-win for talent that refuses to leave and for firms like Google. “CMU has a long history of being practical rather than theoretical,” Norvig says. “It’s hard to imagine a better partner.”

[Trivia bonus: Peter Norvig is the author of the greatest PowerPoint presentation ever.]


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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at]gmail.com. Mike also blogs at Madisonian.net, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

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