A $3,000,000,000 campus.  2,800,000 square feet.  176 acres.  7,000 square feet of solar panels.  6 kilometers of custom curved glass imported from Germany.  4 years to build.

Now add an extra $2,000,000,000 and 1 year to the top of it and you have Apple’s next headquarters in Cupertino, California.

That’s insane, but that’s what Bloomberg BusinessWeekis saying in their article “Inside Apple’s Plans for Its Futuristic, $5 Billion Headquarters”.  I’m a big fan of Apple’s products – proud owner of an iMac, MacBook Pro, iPad, iPhone, and AppleTV – but this is excessive. (Editor’s Note: I see the irony in that sentence)

“Campus 2” appears to be the last great vision of Steve Jobs, who passed away shortly after the project’s approval.  And it all sounds very Jobs-y:

“Jobs insisted that the tiny gaps where walls and other surfaces come together be no more than 1/32 of an inch across, vs. the typical ⅛ inch in most U.S. construction.”

The article is full of great little tidbits explaining what a ridiculous undertaking this is, but it fails to show how un-Apple it is.  This is a $5 billion expenditure that simply transports the same amount of workers into a new shell – this isn’t making them money and it certainly isn’t pushing innovation in any real way.  Doing it just to do it – or constructing the new campus simply because you have the cash on hand – isn’t something that Apple has subscribed to in recent history.  One of the best aspects of an Apple product is that they aren’t wasteful and certainly not saturated.  Everything works towards a common goal of enhancing user experience.  Wood “harvested from a specific species of maple” doesn’t seem to push that ideology.

But that was Steve Jobs towards the end of his life – look at the guy’s yacht that he never got to sail.  All this new campus proves is that there was not a single person at Apple that could challenge Steve Jobs about his vision.  No one could say that it doesn’t matter how many solar cells line the roof, creating and shipping six kilometers of curved glass jettisoned across half the world is toxic enough for the environment.  It was Steve Jobs’ vision, and goddamn it, we are going to see it through.

That’s silly.  Build the building, but stop with that comical stuff: pour the concrete normally, cut out the 1/32 inch garbage, and save some cash.  Steve Jobs had some great ideas.  He did.  This wasn’t one of them.  But it is too late to turn back.  Just stop being scared of Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs is dead.  Move on.