At Apple, More Evidence Steve Jobs' Legacy Is Intact

Photo credit: Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) has released more details of its new headquarters.

In a recent interview with the local San Jose Mercury News newspaper, Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer and Director of Real Estate and Facilities Dan Whisenhunt previewed the building that, when finished, will stand as a monument to the late Steve Jobs' legacy.

"We have treated this project just as we would any Apple product. And this will be a place for the most creative and collaborative teams in the industry to innovate for decades to come," Oppenheimer told reporter Patrick May.

Color me reassured. Why? Apple has always done best when pursuing Big Ideas that critics fail to understand, and few projects have drawn as many scratched heads as Apple's flying-saucer HQ.

"I love great design, lush landscaping, and early warnings. Apple's proposal for its new Cupertino campus appears to be all three," Foolish colleague Cindy Johnson wrote in June 2011, on the heels of Jobs' surprise visit to a Cupertino City Council meeting to present the initial plan.

For their part, Oppenheimer and Whisenhunt touted state-of-the-art environmental considerations, such as a ventilated design to avoid costly air conditioning for 70% of the year. LED lighting and on-site recycling are also included in the design.

So why talk about it now, when the building is still just a concept? An initial vote on Apple's design is scheduled for Tuesday.

Yet I also think Oppenheimer is reminding us that Apple hasn't changed as much as we might like to think. It's as if he, Whisenhunt, and others at Apple believe that, with the right shepherding, they'll be able to infuse Jobs' spirit, sensibility, and daring into the project. A last hurrah, if you will, for the leader who helped return Apple to greatness after years in the wilderness.

As an Apple shareholder, I'm fine with that. Especially if it engages and inspires a new generation of engineers to think as differently as Jobs did. Think I'm wrong? Have a better idea? Tell us about it in the comments box below.

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  • Report this Comment On October 14, 2013, at 2:37 AM, ninderad wrote:

    I hope they name the new headquarter " Steve Job (Art) Center".

  • Report this Comment On October 14, 2013, at 3:44 AM, Chilaw wrote:

    As a shareholder, I never like to see massive vanity projects like a huge HQ. If Apple declines in the coming decade, this will be a symbol of corporate excess and hubris. The unconventional Apple II, iPod, iPhone, iPad all came out of fairly conventional surroundings. You don't need a special mega-campus to innovate. One might even argue that tech history suggests the opposite.

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