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  #481  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2017, 7:20 PM
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http://www.govtech.com/Illinois-CIO-...or-Amazon.html

Illinois CIO Hardik Bhatt to Leave for Amazon

BY EYRAGON EIDAM / SEPTEMBER 7, 2017
GOVTECH

Though the CIO could not discuss the finer details of his new position with the technology giant, he could say that he would be part of a new public-sector-facing team focused largely on the Internet of Things (IoT) as it relates to transportation and smart cities.

Bhatt, who was appointed by Gov. Bruce Rauner in March 2015, led the Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) in an aggressive transformation program. He said he will miss the work he does for the state, but that he hopes to continue working closely with the public sector in his new capacity.
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  #482  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2017, 8:25 PM
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An older article but it was never posted yet.

https://www.chicagobusiness.com/arti...s-deal-to-lose

September 08, 2017

Amazon is Chicago's deal to lose


John Pletz on Tech

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  #483  
Old Posted Sep 12, 2017, 2:13 PM
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oh lord - i just realized that, with proposals due in October and a decision sometime next year, there's a good chance Amazon execs will be touring the Chicago site in the dead of winter.
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  #484  
Old Posted Sep 12, 2017, 2:36 PM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is online now
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oh lord - i just realized that, with proposals due in October and a decision sometime next year, there's a good chance Amazon execs will be touring the Chicago site in the dead of winter.
Chicago having a winter doesn't seem to be a sure bet anymore. Seems the last few years since the Polar Vorticies have been maybe a couple of two week periods of actual winter punctuating 5 or 6 months of 55 degree gloomy Seattle weather, lol. For all we know it will be 60 degrees in the middle of December.
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  #485  
Old Posted Sep 12, 2017, 3:54 PM
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^ Let's not be that optimistic
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  #486  
Old Posted Sep 12, 2017, 4:32 PM
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Insurance-tech startup raises $2.5 million

A Chicago startup has raised $2.5 million in hopes of using artificial intelligence and Big Data to help insurance companies make smarter underwriting decisions more quickly.

DataCubes raised the money from Seyen Capital and MK Capital. The company was founded last year by Kuldeep Malik, a co-founder of mobile-advertising software company Persio (formerly called Iris Mobile), and Harish Neelamana, who previously worked for insurers Zurich and Allstate.

DataCubes, founded last year, launched its product in November. It has several customers, Malik says, declining to name them. Among them are one that's using it for a direct-to-consumer insurance offering and another that uses DataCubes' artificial intelligence to analyze all of its customer applications.

The company has 15 employees and expects to be at 25 by year-end.

Article: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/artic...tal-mk-capital
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  #487  
Old Posted Sep 12, 2017, 5:39 PM
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oh lord - i just realized that, with proposals due in October and a decision sometime next year, there's a good chance Amazon execs will be touring the Chicago site in the dead of winter.
Pretty sure Amazon is familiar with Chicago weather since they have an office here and just recently expanded it.
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  #488  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2017, 4:08 PM
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http://www.chicagobusiness.com/

September 13, 2017

Joe Cahill on Business

Whatever it costs to land Amazon's HQ, Chicago should pay it




Amazon's headquarters contest offers Chicago a chance to top its upset win in a similar competition for Boeing's home base 16 years ago. Sweet as that victory was, Amazon's "second headquarters" is a potential watershed with far greater economic ripple effects. Amazon would create more jobs, address growing gaps in the local economy and make Chicago a big-league technology hub.

Amazon has come along when Chicago is at a low point, as did Boeing in 2001. Back then, Chicago's viability as a corporate headquarters center was in doubt. Some big Chicago-based corporations had disappeared in mergers during the previous decade. The city's struggles were lovingly detailed for a national audience in BusinessWeek magazine's infamous "Chicago Blues" cover story in 2000, infuriating then-mayor Richard M. Daley.



Daley responded in the best way possible, orchestrating a winning bid for Boeing's headquarters. Some criticized the $60 million in government subsidies Boeing got, but I say it was money well spent. The surprise victory silenced doubters and confirmed that Chicago has all the essential qualities of a corporate base—international air travel connections, deep talent pools, top-flight universities and diverse cultural amenities. A flock of companies have since moved their headquarters to town, including Archer Daniels Midland, ConAgra, Motorola Solutions and, soon, McDonald's.

Nobody questions Chicago's strengths as a headquarters locale anymore. But deeper concerns hang....

Amazon alone won't solve those problems. Still, reeling in the giant online retailer would be a big step in the right direction, catalyzing growth and showing that Chicago is more than a bag-drop for globetrotting corporate poohbahs.

Unlike Boeing, Amazon would bring far more than just a headquarters. The Seattle-based company says its new installation eventually will employ up to 50,000, vastly exceeding typical corporate office headcounts.

Sadly, Chicago's resurgence as a corporate base coincided with the rise of the minimalist headquarters. Nowadays, companies staff their "corporate centers" with a few hundred MBAs, lawyers and other c-suite types. No longer does the headquarters spawn thousands of lower-level jobs. When Boeing moved 500 corporate jobs to Chicago, tens of thousands of professional, management and manufacturing positions stayed behind in Seattle. ADM left 4,200 workers in Decatur when it moved 70 HQ jobs to Chicago three years ago. Caterpillar is bringing 300 jobs to Deerfield, and leaving 12,000 in Peoria.

Even if Amazon were to create only one-tenth of the jobs it's dangling in front ...

At that pay rate, every 10,000 jobs created by Amazon would inject $1 billion per year into the local economy. About $50 million would flow to Illinois as income tax payments, bolstering depleted state coffers. Spending by Amazon workers also would generate sales and property tax revenues for municipalities. Multiply the numbers by five if Amazon reaches the 50,000-job target. And that doesn't include knock-on effects.

GAME-CHANGER

Amazon also would secure Chicago's digital future. Despite a series of successful tech startups, Chicago still ranks as second-tier at best with the digerati. Graduates of the University of Illinois' renowned computer science program head for the West Coast at an alarming rate. Our tech companies tend to sell out before they get big, leaving us without a flagship in an expanding sector that's generating new jobs while other industries shed workers.

Amazon would become Chicago's tech flagship overnight....


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  #489  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2017, 8:51 PM
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^ I think Cahill can be a bit over-the-top at times.
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  #490  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2017, 8:57 PM
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I'm over the Amazon debacle. Rumors swirling Boston is likely the location, which makes some sense from a talent perspective but absolutely zero sense from a housing perspective. Boston is already unaffordable, so not sure how Amazon will do anything to help that. We'll see though. Still hoping we can pull this one out, but I think we're all setting ourselves up for disappointment if they do choose to bypass Chicago.
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  #491  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2017, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by IrishIllini View Post
I'm over the Amazon debacle. Rumors swirling Boston is likely the location, which makes some sense from a talent perspective but absolutely zero sense from a housing perspective. Boston is already unaffordable, so not sure how Amazon will do anything to help that. We'll see though. Still hoping we can pull this one out, but I think we're all setting ourselves up for disappointment if they do choose to bypass Chicago.
What 'debacle'? Cahill is just another useless talking head, it's best to ignore him (and Hinz).
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  #492  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2017, 1:36 AM
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http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/wha...kes-heres-six/




What Chicago site might win Amazon ‘HQ2’ sweepstakes? Here are 6 . . .



Chicago News 09/13/2017, 08:07pm




Chicago's Old Main Post Office could provide an ideal branding opportunity for Amazon's second North American corporate headquarters. The above is a Sun-Times photo illustration of how "wrapping" the building with an Amazon logo might look. Chicago will compete with other cities to try to land the facility and its tens of thousands of jobs.
Fran Spielman

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Wanted: Eight million square feet in a metropolitan area of at least a million people in a “stable and business-friendly environment” within 45 minutes of an international airport.
Site or multiple sites welcome, but must be big enough to grow to 50,000 employees. Accessible to mass transit and close to major highways. Vacant land, existing buildings or a combination of the two a must. Think big. Be creative. But be quick about it. Bids are due Oct. 19.
Amazon’s decision to build a second North American corporate headquarters, known as “HQ2,” has touched off a whirlwind competition for the economic development prize of the century.
If Chicago hopes to win it, the city must get inside the head of CEO Jeff Bezos, study his track record and corporate philosophy and put together a competitive incentive package for the site that best anticipates those needs.
Several sites appear to fit the Bezos/Amazon mold, including the Old Main Post Office over the Eisenhower Expy. and Congress Parkway; the Michael Reese Hospital site along Lake Michigan; McCormick Place East or a combination of the last two, and two prime locations in the old North Branch Industrial Corridor along the Chicago River.
“Instead of focusing on the real estate, focus on the man,” said Chicago developer J. Paul Beitler, who has no stake in any of the prospective sites. Bezos is “a man who wants everything for free. He moves quickly. He buys Whole Foods in one month. He’s not going to sit around while you build him a building. And if he does build a building . . . it’s not going to be a monument.”
“He will dance with this with all of the various cities. But at the end of the day, it’s all about cheap. He makes his profits in pennies. He builds big empty warehouses. He’s not gonna sit around while a committee decides what the design is gonna be and pay the cost and take the risk. He’s not that kind of a risk-taker. He’s a bulk buyer. . . . Where can you go to buy bulk cheap?”

A look at the top prospective HQ2 sites in Chicago:

...



THE OLD MAIN POST OFFICE:

It has 2.5 million square feet. But as far as Beitler is concerned, no other site in Chicago fits the Amazon/Bezos model.

“If it goes anywhere, it’ll go to an existing building that’s close to driving and rail transportation, that accesses the Millenials, that has the look of what Amazon’s about, which is a big factory,” Beitler said. “There’s no other building around that has the size, the location, that can get the TIF from the city and everything else that this can. He literally walks into it for free.”
Developer Dan McCaffery added, “It’s hard to vote against the Post Office in so many ways. Geez. It’s right there, sitting on transportation. Sitting on a major freeway and still basically walkable to downtown.”
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  #493  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2017, 1:53 AM
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I'm over the Amazon debacle. Rumors swirling Boston is likely the location, which makes some sense from a talent perspective but absolutely zero sense from a housing perspective. Boston is already unaffordable, so not sure how Amazon will do anything to help that. We'll see though. Still hoping we can pull this one out, but I think we're all setting ourselves up for disappointment if they do choose to bypass Chicago.
Debacle? Not sure what that means yet in this context.

I saw the report just now about Boston on how executives are pushing for it. It makes some sense and doesn't. Amazon is a hot name, but they also probably think too highly of themselves in regards to getting talent when they mentioned Harvard and MIT. No offense to them, but it's true - most companies are like this though. The senior executives in this case are just expressing where they'd personally like to end up, but they also usually don't actually know what it takes to hire tech talent. This isn't a C-Suite HQ - this is a HQ they need to hire tens of thousands of people for. What they say is pretty much stupid considering how many people they have to hire. They have to consider already experienced work force plus a pipeline of good tech talent who is capable of making actual software on a team interacting with numerous other teams.

When you are making actual software, it's different. Merely being smart will not get you a job at a good company. Communication is extremely important. I have interviewed at least 60 to 75 people alone this year (in NYC) since maybe February or March for positions at my company (I am a software engineer) - some for entry level and a lot for more experienced senior positions. We've hired maybe 3 or 4 of those people. Why? Because a lot of people just frankly were not good even though their resumes were great. It's been a struggle - I couldn't even imagine at this point being tasked with hiring 200 GOOD candidates at any level. I work for a company that is extremely well known and gets a lot of demand for hiring. You could give me two candidates - one from Cal Tech and another from the University of Iowa. If I thought both could do what I needed them to do, they were intelligent and fast learners, but one of them was immensely better at communication than the other then I'd take the one better at communication. I would give absolutely zero fucks where they went to school and in reality, this is how MOST tech companies are. Communication is extremely important and costs companies thousands if not millions per year due to bad communication while making things like software. I have turned smart people away who went to prestigious schools only because their communication skills were not good and they'd be a risk to us for that reason alone. Don't care about their 180 IQ at all.


Most tech companies also do not get talent like MIT - they do get the Stanfords of the world sometimes, but on average they aren't hiring ivy league or equivalent talent. They are going to solid public universities with solid programs like U of Washington, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Michigan, etc instead. A lot of the people at schools like MIT and Harvard also are not interested in going into industry unless they will get research positions at these places. They usually either go into research at various organizations whether it's university or they go to companies where they will get paid way more than Google. Who do you think is working for companies like Jump Trading in Chicago or NYC? I'll give you a hint - they are what companies like Google want but they skip companies like Google entirely.

Here is an article about which universities have the most alumni working in Silicon Valley. No Ivy League school is on the list and MIT is merely 20th. In fact, 3 schools from the midwest (Illinois, Michigan, and Purdue) all have more alumni working in Silicon Valley, individually, than MIT does. In fact, not a single university from the Boston or NYC area cracks this list. Cornell is the closest which I believe is not in the NYC metro area, but close enough I guess. Meanwhile outside of the west coast, 11 universities are on this list and 5 are in the midwest or Texas. Another one, Penn State, is a Big Ten school. 4 are from the Northeast if you count Carngie Mellon (not sure if that's considered NE) and Penn State:
https://qz.com/967985/silicon-valley...he-ivy-league/


Also, when you need to staff up THOUSANDS of workers in an area, you need to have those types of workers already in your area who are experienced in what you need them to be experienced in. Also you need to have a pipeline of people who will move to your city or universities that graduate a lot of people from great programs (aka Illinois, Michigan, Texas, etc). MIT and Harvard's graduating classes are small and most aren't going to work for Amazon - let's be real. They are instead going to be hiring regionally from Boston University (not bad, actually), Boston College, and probably Penn State, UMass, etc with the occasional MIT, Columbia, Brown, and Harvard sprinkled in. Not bad, but the best? I'd say you could regionally do better for this type of work outside of the west coast.


Also being on the east coast doesn't make as much sense as somewhere in the central US for their flight situation. They want a place with daily flights to Seattle, SF, DC, etc. Being in the middle of the country has its advantages with that. Take it from someone who used to fly every week for a living for multiple years. Close to good talent, but Amazon also, while a good company, isn't necessarily the stopping point for top recruits. Good recruits, yes - but the absolute best candidates don't even go to the Googles or Facebooks of the world.

In the end though, not even close to a done deal - it would be dumb for them to have RFP and then within under a week without reviewing anything say "YEP BOSTON IT IS!" Point is, how much sway do these senior executives actually have? They are probably personally going for it - and half of them probably wouldn't live wherever it is. It's not a HQ relocation - it's up to 50K workers. The executives hopefully know that they are not just deciding for themselves. They are picking the locations that would be best for the types of workers they want.

Not saying Boston is a bad choice - it's actually one of my top 3 that it would go. However, I think Chicago is better - honestly - from what they want at least and understanding who they need to hire and from where, as tech is my industry. The executives seem to be expressing where they personally would like to go but often times executives have no idea what they are talking about regarding how to hire talent in the tech industry. Being close to MIT is not going to mean anything. They need the other universities like Boston College, Boston University to be turning out the talent they want more than Harvard and MIT.


Anyway, here are some quotes from the article
Quote:
Amazon said every city remains “on an equal playing field.”

“We are energized by the response from cities across North America who have already reached out to express their interest,” Amazon said in an email. “There are no front-runners as this point. We are just getting started with the process.”
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  #494  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2017, 1:59 AM
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oh lord - i just realized that, with proposals due in October and a decision sometime next year, there's a good chance Amazon execs will be touring the Chicago site in the dead of winter.
If I remember correctly Boeing visited Chicago First of the three cities in early March.

[ It was very cold but sunny if I recall] for two days than both two days in Dallas and Denver.

They took helicopter rides over all of the three btw. By Helicopter they ruled out Elgin as just too far away. Also The snow was gone by than.


Denver wasn't even a real chance. The burbs over there sent a bid vs the city of Denver and it was only like 16 million in incentives. I think they learned a lot from that failed bit. They came in a way back distant third back than.

Dallas made a good bid, and IMO it could have gone either way.

IMO they are already scouting out the site selection process right now.

It will Not be in the third week of January.


But I have to admit the leak from Boston was worrisome but its still early and leaks can be fake news... I would rather deal with a Chicago leak vs any other city...



Chicago will look pretty good from the sky in October.

Even if they do not do all I said they would Amazon is an impulsive company that moves fast. See Whole Foods as an example.

We have the spaces for them.

They will do helicopters or if not you can be sure about drones flying the friendly sky's looking down at transient, homes, access, and what not for the next month or so.


This is Amazon right now. They can do what ever they want and will do so.

I personally believe they will make up their choice far before 2018.

Do the competition have any plug and play sites right now like Chicago does IE the OPO? I have not heard of any thus far but this is a Chicago centric thread, perhaps they do.

Further input on the last sentence would be appreciated.

BTW Bezos is about as blue of a liberal as you can get. I know he spent time growing up in southern Texas, But....

Again I ask Where is Obama in all of this sell? What about his legacy and his library.

If anyone would want to cement his legacy in the City that put him in the White House you would think he would be all gang busters to help out. As of now I have heard nothing from his camp or anyone from Illinois touting him.


It seems Durbin is more active on this type of thing when really Obama should be leading the way [ he would have more sway than the orange one on this deal that I am sure of. ]
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  #495  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2017, 2:17 AM
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I'm over the Amazon debacle. Rumors swirling Boston is likely the location, which makes some sense from a talent perspective but absolutely zero sense from a housing perspective. Boston is already unaffordable, so not sure how Amazon will do anything to help that. We'll see though. Still hoping we can pull this one out, but I think we're all setting ourselves up for disappointment if they do choose to bypass Chicago.


I hate this topic, but more so I hate this garbage about Boston having some magical "talent advantage". Myth.

Yes, we don't have Harvard and MIT, and yes there are truly gifted people at these universities. But U of C is in the low single digits in ranking, and NWU not far behind that. We also have lots of other colleges and universities, and Chicago draws from a huge hinterland (Big Ten) of Universities that are very good, if not cream of the crop. Boston doesn't have anywhere near that size of hinterland.

Amazon cannot fill 50,000 jobs with Harvard and MIT grads, especially given how much competition there is for that level of talent.

Chicago wins the talent war on this one, if you're taking volume into consideration. Let's stop perpetuating this myth about Chicago having a talent shortage.
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  #496  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2017, 2:27 AM
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If they want Harvard/MIT grads then open a small tech-developer office in Boston and fill it with a couple hundred top grads. Problem solved.

But if Amazon truly wants 50,000 solid people then they are being buttholes if they put it on the east coast. There will be an all out war to get that many grads, and they will have to pay more, or else have to settle for community college grads as opposed to grads of solid Big Ten schools.

That right there is Rahm's pitch to them. He should hammer this point home (along with Chicago's other attributes, of course).
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  #497  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2017, 2:53 AM
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^ Most people who talk about hiring for tech talent at real software companies or companies who have large tech divisions, who only talk about the MITs, Harvards, Cal Techs, etc of the world have no actual real life experience actually hiring for large amounts of tech talent. Or they are completely delusional. You aren't going to be filling up your work force with thousands of MIT workers - it's not going to happen. Not even Silicon Valley does this at the top companies. There are tons of workers from schools there like UC-Davis, UCLA, Michigan, Illinois, etc.

There'd probably be a point if you were opening up a smaller research based office and you were doing something really, really interesting and paid really, really well. Outside of that, Chicago definitely wins for proximity of having "loads" of people who graduated from good, solid engineering/computer science/computer engineering programs. I made a long post above, but as someone who is a software engineer, and a manager, and interviews and hires people - I'll tell you right now that tons of people in the world have opinions about the tech industry and few have a fucking clue of what goes on, what types of people get hired, and from where. That includes high level executives at every company I've ever been at when it comes to this topic. Hopefully someone smart in Amazon knocks some sense into them. Chicago, Austin, Atlanta, Houston, or Dallas would be much better for staffing up thousands of solid tech workers whether experienced or college hires than Boston would be. As much as I like Boston, this is true.
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  #498  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2017, 2:10 PM
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I'm not saying Boston has greater access to talent than Chicago, but they do have talent. They're a serious contender IMO. Again, I do think Chicago has everything Amazon is looking for and has the space/ability to grow with the company. Boston would have a harder time with that.
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Old Posted Sep 14, 2017, 2:56 PM
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I'm not saying Boston has greater access to talent than Chicago, but they do have talent. They're a serious contender IMO. Again, I do think Chicago has everything Amazon is looking for and has the space/ability to grow with the company. Boston would have a harder time with that.
Of course Boston has talent and is a serious contender. However, people who have no experience making software don't understand that having access to MIT basically means jack shit when you need to staff up so many workers. If you are a good company doing really interesting things and paying very well, you are going to be able to get workers from MIT, Harvard, etc no matter where you are located. Go to some of the high frequency trading firms in Chicago and see where people were educated. Hell, even many of my professors when I went to school in Iowa were educated at MIT, Carnegie Mellon, and Cal Tech. Location means almost nothing to most people of this calibur. It has to do with the type of work they are doing and/or level of pay. As hot of a name as Amazon is, they aren't at the level to be having MIT grads flock to them.

I was talking about this today with a few of my coworkers today (they are of course in NYC with me....one with a degree from Columbia. The other from NYU). They have no ties to Chicago or Boston and were in total agreement that being close MIT and Harvard means nothing and is a totally asinine reason to pick Boston.
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  #500  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2017, 5:14 PM
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...
I was talking about this today with a few of my coworkers today (they are of course in NYC with me....one with a degree from Columbia. The other from NYU). They have no ties to Chicago or Boston and were in total agreement that being close MIT and Harvard means nothing and is a totally asinine reason to pick Boston.
Being close to MIT and Harvard is inconsequential *for a headquarters*.

There is advantage to having some sort of office near them - you can partner with the schools for certain kinds of projects in ways that all but require proximity to do. But you are absolutely right that that does not require a headquarters placement to achieve.
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