Why Facebook is Building a City


This video is sponsored by CuriositySteam. Watch over 2,400 documentaries free for 31
days with the link in the description. South of San Francisco, in Menlo Park, the
heart of Silicon Valley, lie a series of unremarkable offices. They have creative names like “Building
57”, “Building 40”, and wait for it! none other than the Employment Development
Department! There’s a plan, though, to turn this 59-acre
office park into a more-or-less fully self-contained, city called Willow Village. It’ll have a grocery store, pharmacy, retail
stores, playgrounds, hotel rooms, a community center, and 1,500 housing units. Oh, and one more thing it’s 100% owned by
everyone’s favorite company. No, not Equifax. Not Comcast or Enron. Worse: Facebook. In just a few years, Facebook employees will
be able to work, eat, play, shop, and now, sleep, all without leaving the property of
the world’s most trustworthy company. Google, meanwhile, plans to build over 10,000
homes in Mountain View, And Apple just finished the 6th most expensive
building in the world, behind Singapore’s famous Marina Bay Sands. As companies expand their physical presence,
the line between public and private is being blurred, and local governments find themselves
not governing but being governed by more powerful corporations. And it all stems from one simple economic
problem. College majors are generally fairly constant. About the same percentage of students choose
physics, or psychology, or English from one year to the next. Generally. Up until 2008. The financial crisis had an immediate, and
so far, it seems, permanent effect on colleges. When the sun is out and jobs are abundant,
like right now, the relative value of more education is lower. Your goal is to get employed as fast as possible
and ride the wave. When times are tough, the opportunity cost
is much lower – it’s harder to get a job, keep it, or get promoted. So, you do the opposite – go back to school
and pick the most marketable major available. And that’s exactly what happened. The Great Recession changed the entire purpose
of education. The number one reason people chose to go to
college in 2006 was “to learn more about things that interest me”. In 2009, it was “to get a better job”,
and has stayed that way ever since. First, students left the humanities. In the ten years after the recession, U.S.
English degrees dropped 22%, Education 19%, and Philosophy or religious studies, 15. Meanwhile, Health-related degrees have doubled,
Biological and biomedical sciences have increased 61%, and engineering, 60%. Computer Science, specifically, has absolutely
exploded. It’s not hard to see why. If you find yourself getting mediocre grades,
often missing class, and with totally unremarkable skills, congratulations! As an average U.S. computer programmer, you
can expect to make $50-55,000 a year, right out of college. No experience or graduate degree required. In other words, to earn more than 64% of the
country, all you need to do is stay in school for 1,460 days. If you keep doing average work, don’t go
back to school, but manage to keep this up for a few more years, congratulations again! Now you have experience. You’re looking at a median salary of $105,000,
making more than 88% of the country. Now, I’m no economist but, something about
this doesn’t seem quite right. Students are picking majors based on their
career prospects now more than ever, salaries are off the charts and credentials, quick
to obtain, which means, the market should be absolutely flooded with Computer Science
students, increasing supply, allowing salaries to fall, and soon reaching an equilibrium. The problem is that demand for Computer Science
has grown really quickly, even compared to other engineering majors, but universities
are slow. If they could snap their fingers and produce
more professors, they would. But the lag time is incredibly long. If you’re a new high school graduate who
sees demand for Computer Science teachers, it’ll take at least nine years to get a
bachelor’s, then master’s degree, then doctorate, and by then, things have may have
changed. More importantly, if you can make six figures
with just a bachelors degree working for a company, why spent five more years only to
make the same or lower salary? Schools are competing for professors with
the very companies whose high demand for graduates has created the problem in the first place. They can only increase class sizes so much
before it starts to hurt the staff-to-student ratio, which lowers the school’s ranking. At the University of Washington in Seattle,
only a third of students who apply to CS programs are accepted. To be clear, that means two-thirds of freshman
and sophomore students who are already accepted to the school can’t get into their desired
major because it’s full. As of 2017, about 530,000 open jobs are fighting
for about 60,000 new graduates a year. Employees, even mediocre ones, but especially
the most talented among them, have most of the leverage here. Not only do they always have the promise of
high salaries, signing bonuses, and stock options elsewhere, But because tech companies are so concentrated
in Silicon Valley, changing jobs is really easy. You won’t have to move to a new state, or
climate, maybe not even a new house. Apple Park is a 15-mile drive from Stanford,
Tesla Headquarters, 3 miles, Facebook, 9, and Google, 7. Software companies, therefore, have about
the same turnover rate as McDonald’s. The average Tesla employee, for example, lasts
2.1 years, and three is considered quite good. So tech companies have to go out of their
way to make workers happy. That means free food, gym memberships, cellphones,
unlimited vacation days, laundry, bikes, childcare, yoga, nap rooms, luxury lockers, and massages. Google, Apple, and Facebook will even pay
for women who aren’t ready to have children to freeze their eggs. Still, it’s not enough. Especially for Facebook, whose poor reputation
has reportedly made it much harder to attract talent. According to CNBC, nearly every applicant
Facebook offered a job to in 2016 accepted, while only about half do today. The ultimate way to keep employees, though,
is to involve yourself in every aspect of their lives. It’s much harder to leave a company when
it owns your house and those of your friends and family. Already, Facebook offers at least $10,000
to live near the office. Apple and Google, meanwhile, drive employees
who live in San Francisco to work in luxury, WiFi-equipped busses. For the employee and the company, all of these
things make sense. But they often come at the expense of the
community as a whole. By using municipal bus stops to load and unload,
they use public infrastructure without supporting or improving the quality of public transportation. They’ve also made housing unaffordable,
not only around their campuses but in neighborhoods as far away as San Francisco. And, as their physical presence grows, they
begin taking over some of the roles of government. In 2014, for example, Facebook paid for a
new police station next to its campus, along with the $170,000 salary of an officer. That should be a red flag. It’s time for the country to reevaluate
the power big companies have over government, and maybe not the time for Facebook to try
replacing the US Dollar. If you’re as curious as I am about why Facebook
wants to dominate payments in developing countries like India, let me recommend watching “What
Facebook Knows About You” on CuriosityStream. If you enjoy these videos but wish there were
more of them, you’d probably love watching their series on technology, business, China,
and science. CuriosityStream was created by the founder
of the Discovery channel, with all sorts of interesting documentaries, like this two-part
series explaining the history of China’s Great Wall. You can watch it pretty much anywhere, including
PC, Mac, iOS, Android, and your smart TV. For you, the first 31 days are completely
free if you use the link in the description and the promo code “polymatter”. If afterwards you decide you like it, unlimited
access starts at a very affordable two dollars and ninety-nine cents a month. Thanks to CuriosityStream and to you for watching
this video.

100 thoughts on “Why Facebook is Building a City”

  1. It's like disney world
    Except there's ads everywhere and people who sell your personal information to third party companies.

  2. google, facebook and amazon should've been broken up a LONG time ago by anti-trust laws. guess the government doesn't even have the authority to do this anymore

  3. As someone who is majoring in computer science, and has liked programming since I was a little kid, let me tell you something.
    Computer science is not an easy degree nor is it an automatic job. Right now the entry level job market for computer science is flooded with unqualified college grads/bootcamp grads/self taught learners. According to stack overflow the average developer started programming like really young, I mean early middle school, late elementary school. Any of the really crazy compensation jobs with cool benefits and the like require lots of leet code practice (especially if you aren't good at verbalizing your thought process), tons of studying, good internships and a nice github portfolio. Obviously this isn't one size fits all, but in general there are lots of computer science majors that aren't good engineers. Most either go into management, investing, or into another tech career. Please study something else for gods sake, all the people who do really well actually like what they do, so it's hard to compete against them. Do something you love.

  4. I live in Menlo Park and am excited for the new Facebook campuses, the others are cool but not easily accessible to the public as opposed to the proposed new ones

  5. Sounds like big companies are going to own employees who live on their property. History repeats and the serfs will work for the feudal lord!

  6. Zuckerburg thought of building everything an employee could ever want….except a church. Is he afraid of getting hit by lightning if he goes near one?

  7. Maybe we should consider an evolution of sorts of government. A corporate democracy. Government "voice of the people", or essentially a union can more easily hold corporations accountable for their behaviors. This would mean that a city that fails, would be bought out by a functioning corporation. It would also be reasonable to allow the government to assume ownership of a "city", if the employees deem the corporation in default of the terms of employment.

    Idk, I definitely see possibility for an evolution of government here

  8. So basically they’ll work there, pay to live there, pay for the groceries etc there….almost making them slaves in a sense. I mean, anything they make goes right back into Zuckerburg’s pockets. Also they should name the place Zuckerburg. Only because suckerburg would be too obvious.

  9. That where they'll build the new quantum computer to be our new A.I. Overlord…."All Hail King Mark!!" the new lizard king

  10. 7:01 ”luxury wifi equipped buses”
    Those exist in small towns in northern Sweden and it’s not that big of a deal, they have hybrid motors too

  11. lost me at the part where someone with just a Computer Science bachelor's degree can get a 50K job out of the gate with no experience… not true for me.

  12. I'm pretty sure in most places they have to pay the same protperty taxes we do. So how are they not paying thier share of the maintenance and transit? Your vid sounds like companies being way cooler to thier emploeyees than anyone I ever worked for and you shiting on them for being good to their workers. So I guess your argument is they are evil in trapping thier workers because they are treating them better than competetors. Think that thourough for a few min.

  13. Pullman towns are a practice dating back to 1880… maybe we can stop being shocked about their mere existence, and start to wonder why the state infrastracture is always found lacking by corporations and why they are allowed to grow tumor-like communities instead of being channeled into improving the same infrastructure they want to secede from.

  14. Dang Hater video. Someone wish they started a company in their dorm room. Your youtube channel will never be good as facebook

  15. This shit is the dumbest shit ever
    Instead of helping other parts of our country
    They want to build a ducking city
    Wtf
    Our roads are fucking terrible and we want a city

  16. The corporate state is going to be the BEST version of the State ever imagined. Most people do not understand this. The “Corptocracy” is just the natural evolution of the State from tribal lord to theocrat to monarch to democracy, etc etc.

    The Corptocracy will actually be an upgrade over Democracy.

  17. So Facebook can keep a closer eye on you..

    Zuckyboy wants to be inside your pants literally.

    You Americans better prepare for your plutocracy..

  18. So, you criticize FB, but you use YouTube which is owned by Google? Hmm, that's interesting. I think there's a word for that. Starts with an H.

  19. I wouldn't blame the problem of high housing prices in San Francisco entirely on big tech companies. San Francisco, unlike most other major U.S.cities like constructed way less new housing, the NIMBY idea infest sone homeowners who want to keep their house price high by artificial chocking the supply. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExgxwKnH8y4

  20. I go to the University of Washington and that is totally true…plus we’ve seen an increase in CS interest especially with the influence and funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation! Luckily I’m getting a degree in Biochemistry so the demand isn’t as high…but the humanities has certainly seen a decline at the UW and a large inc in STEM.

  21. Whoa… ZUCC = Our Dystopian Reptile Alien Lord….
    And That City more like experiments for ZUCC to build his reptilian army .. 😏

  22. I think what they’re doing is great. They’re improving the quality and infrastructure of these cities without wasting tax payer dollars. In return, tax dollars can then instead be spend on developing more rural areas.

  23. While I struggle to find an Engineering job in the UK now that I've finished my degree, this video reminded me of why I wanted to move to Silicon Valley.

  24. I’m just gonna remind everyone that this is exactly what car companies did back in the early 1900s to ensure worker retention. They’d essentially take over entire towns and write into workers contracts that they are to live in company housing, own a company car, etc. It’s psychological manipulation.

    At a smaller scale, some businesses already do this. Banks do it by giving you good credit card opportunities, loans, anything on top of your bank account. Apple does it by offering you several different device types that are all compatible. It creates a “sticky” customer that is less likely to leave because they’re extremely dependent on this one company’s services.

    Now imagine that in the workplace. You’re given a job that pays you to work for them. But what you don’t realize is now you use their grocery store for food, their gas station for gas, their housing units for shelter, their everything for your everything. It means you are now almost 100% dependent on this company you work for in order to have a stable life. This can destroy your workers rights. Companies can take huge advantages over their workers with this. Not only does it make you 100% dependent on them, but it also keeps their cash in their pockets. They pay you, you buy THEIR goods and services, they get the money right back and reinvest it in the services you use. It made lives miserable back in the days with car companies, and it’ll make lives miserable today too. Keep history in your back pocket.

  25. You are one of my favorite channels on YouTube your videos are amazing quality and are really interesting keep going

  26. In Silicon Valley, Facebook's HQ is widely considered the worst by designs haha. I hope their new buildings will hopefully be slightly more aesthetic

  27. I hate facebook. I tried to delete my account and they literally dont let you. Just try it and see, its ridiculous.

  28. This is why they are a 1 billion dollar company while you're sitting here rambling about a marketing crisis? I thought this was about facebook making a city. Stay on topic. The government is kinda running out of money, because they are in so much debt. So umm you saying that we can make 50k without a degree and we only have to work 3-4 years!? That's how long we stay in highschool. If you disagree with me please, respond.

  29. It's the same thing big mining, manufacturing and railroad companies did in the 50s, 60s, and 70s pal. It's no different, it just has slightly different context and rarely lasts. Besides, I would rather leave the future to smarter and more forward thinking companies than old blowhards only looking out for their own agenda. Sure, companies can go awry, but the public is watching. It's much easier to take down a company doing the wrong things over a government, just saying 😉

  30. I'm pretty sure that the high prices in Silicon Valley (and California in general) have more to do with local NIMBY laws that restrict the building of new and more housing.

  31. This is nothing new. Before the Great Depression and the New Deal, Company towns were everywhere. Everything in those towns where owned by the Company that build them, and all the people there worked for that company.

  32. This is more disturbing than your Amazon video…. Big companies owning entire towns their employees live in and hiring their own police forces is right out of the Gilded Era before we added regulations

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