HQ2: t-minus 20 and counting

Posted: January 18, 2018 in Humorous Bits, Observations and Commentary
Tags: , , , , , ,

Several months ago Amazon announced they planned to open a second corporate headquarters in either the United States or Canada. They named this new venture HQ2, not to be confused with the old school television shopping channels HSN and QVC. (2-3 weeks for delivery? How quaint!) Metropolitan areas were invited to pitch their “Pick Me!” stories. 238 proposals were received. Amazon promptly placed them in the “Save for Later” section of their shopping cart and continued their hugely successful mission to keep cardboard manufacturers busy.

Well, “later” has arrived. Sorta. The top 20 finalists were announced today. It is an understandably exciting time for these hopefuls. Amazon projects $5,000,000,000 will be invested in HQ2 and an estimated 50,000 new jobs will be created. If Seattle (home to HQ1) is any indication, HQ2 will spur explosive economic growth throughout the region, much like what happens to your credit card balance when you visit Amazon.

In their original request for proposal, Amazon outlined the criteria which will influence their final decision. Basic population and transportation parameters had to be met, along with a bunch of typical businessy gibberish. I suppose if you have an MBA it read like a Coben page turner, but most people don’t. Forget about boring metrics and long-winded statistical analyses. Amazon should simplify the selection process in a way most folks can understand – facile judgement and gut instinct. And this gut is wildly instincting. Jeff Bezos, take note about your “finalists.”

Atlanta, Georgia: Too much confusion about which Peachtree Street people mean when giving directions. The resulting transportation implications are apocalyptic.

Austin, Texas: Too much nightly bat infestation. Chiroptophobia is not a joke!

Boston, Massachusetts: Too much historical site demolition to make room. And, unlike Utah, Boston doesn’t have untapped uranium mines.

Chicago, Illinois: Too much deep dish pizza. Here’s a hard truth. If your pizza weighs more than your baby, it ain’t a pizza.

Columbus, Ohio: Too much controversy every October 12 about the city’s namesake. It is an unwelcome distraction from the important work of crushing the American retail model.

Dallas, Texas: Too much Texas. Austin doesn’t suffer from this particularly insidious malady. They have enough problems with the bats.

Denver, Colorado: Too much altitude. It will be tough to keep enough bottled water on hand for 50,000 lightheaded employees working 5,000 feet above sea level, much less effectively run a corporate behemoth.

Indianapolis, Indiana: Too much residual Pence. A rigid 30 day Plencing diet couldn’t hurt, but it may take more than 30 days to clean that out.

Los Angeles, California: Too much liberal Hollywood elitism, despite the fact the *real* Hollywood money is largely conservative. So the problem becomes too much right-wing power brokering.

Miami, Florida: Too much water water everywhere. Maybe not now, but it is safe to assume Amazon is committed to comfortably low water tables for the next 50 years, especially with all that cardboard.

Montgomery County, Maryland: Too much “Where the hell is this?” By the way, where the hell is this?

Nashville, Tennessee: Too much politeness. Politeness is disorienting, dammit.

Newark, New Jersey: Too much of a token “distressed urban renewal project” vibe going on. Is that why Detroit didn’t also make the cut? One mercy selection was enough?

New York, New York: Too much for the love of all that is good in the world please stop pouring concrete everywhere already. Unless they plan to level LaGuardia Airport. Do they plan to level LaGuardia Airport? God, let’s hope so.

Northern Virginia, Virginia: Too much vagueness about where this really is. Even so, it sounds uncomfortably close to Washington D.C. (see below: Washington D.C., too too)

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Too much Cheese Whiz. That stuff skips the stomach and marches right to the heart.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Too much river confluence. It messes with people’s biorhythms.

Raleigh, North Carolina: Too much validation as one of the best places to live in America. Amazon wants to be the savior, not just another twinkle in the glow of the Research Triangle.

Toronto, Ontario: Too much Canada. (see above: Nashville, politeness)

Washington D.C.: Too too much of too too little.

This may be a cynical take on these places. That’s fair. Clearly, Amazon doesn’t need the likes of us to tell them how to run their business. They have proven themselves altogether capable of making Bezos the world’s richest man, at least for today. They have repeatedly shown they can deliver an online purchase on the same day it was online purchased. They have ferociously demonstrated how quickly they can recommend more stuff to buy which is just like the stuff you already bought. Amazon knows what they are doing without our input. Should that preclude us from weighing in? Of course not! Should we be offering other viable solutions? Only if we are being paid to offer those solutions. This is $till America. And just to be clear, we don’t mean payment in the form of a free year of Amazon Prime®. That isn’t nearly enough, although The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is really quite wonderful.

HQ1. This could someday be yours too.

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