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Cisco Systems campus

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Saturday, December 14th, 2002 @ 11:43 AM
Subj: Cisco systems campus
From: (Alan Chan)

Well the last thing that I have heard regarding this issue, the campus was put on indefinite hold. Of which I am personally glad to hear. I am not particularly fond of the thought of cisco moving into the area. Reading all the feedback messages, I wanted to toss in a few comments I hope everyone seriously considers when cisco considers to build again in SSJ Coyote Valley area.

Let's take a step down memory lane. When cisco first made the proposal to build in the Coyote Valley area they indicated it would "just be for manufacturing". In addition, the campus off of North 1st Street would not close and remain as their Corporate HQ. Engineers would relocate to the SSJ campus to "be closer to resolve manufacturing issues".

Hmmm, let's think about this for a moment.

1) As nice a concept as it is to keep jobs in Silicon Valley, CA, why would you "manufacture" in this state/area? Especially considering every other industry has relocated manufacturing to a less expensive area, in CA, or in the US, or overseas for that matter. Manufacturing in Silicon Valley is just plain expensive, and from a business cost perspective, not very prudent.

2) Look at the nature of the company. Cisco is a Networking company. They tout their technologies as the end all be all of solutions allowing business to function where ever they may be located on the globe.

So, understanding who and what they are, ask yourselves this, "Why would a networking giant like cisco want to build a campus in SSJ for the reasons claimed above?" I would REALLY like to know, and to date have not heard a valid answer from any of the management staff there regarding this issue.If their "technology" is as good as they hype, they should in theory be able to place their manufacturing ANYWHERE and make it work. Could it be their technology is not cracked up to be the hype they claim it to be?

I guess, unless you are in the Networking industry, you really can't appreciate the irony or humor of this question. As a citizen of the area, however, you should be asking yourselves this because your neighborhood, possibly your investment (home, stock, etc.), and quite possibly your futures depend on it. Are you willing to bet the farm, or in this case, your home on a question mark, or at best a company making incongruous statements of their intentions?

How many of you were in the area during the last recession in the early 90s? How many of you were living or working here in the SSJ area? At the time, while I did not live in this area, I did work in this area. The one point I'd like to make about putting all your eggs in one basket is the following... While the rest of the Valley was on its way to economic recovery in the early 90s, the SSJ area was largely dependent upon IBM's well being, the major employer for the SSJ area. When IBM fell on hard times this area, this economy took 2-3 years longer to recover than the rest of Silicon Valley. In fact, it did not prosper again until 1995, when and where most of the rest of the Bay was already starting to go haywire rocketing upward.

Are we so eager to recreate the economic time bomb suffered by the old IBM crowd? Learn from the valley's history. Don't wash, rinse, repeat. This is not a Laundromat! From many of the comments I have read, I see very much a lot of concern about one's OWN welfare and not that of the greater community. If you really want to help yourself, ask cisco to account for their actions. Ask them why they need to build here. I have heard their original pitch for the campus, and after the economic implosion in the valley, I noticed their story morphed into it being their new Corporate HQ, as published in the SJ Mercury News. Gee, that was a nice bait and switch.

Considering Cisco is the largest employer in the City of San Jose, even larger than the City itself, am I the only one concerned we have wrapped up the majority of the city's well being on the financial health of a single company? Did no one learn anything from the IBM implosion of the early 90s and its affect on SSJ? Heck, just look at other tech centers, Phoenix, AZ for example. Their City planners finally got it thru their thick skulls after the semiconductors industry implosion of the late 80s/early 90s devastated their economies, they finally decreed, diversify the businesses in the area. It's the only sound and logical thing to do. We, as members of SSJ, and SJ proper should be concerned about the larger picture(s).

Economic health tied to a single company
Environmental impact of a Corporate HQ in SSJ for such a large company

Does anyone even consider what will happen to the cities and largely farm economies further south of us that gets devastated by moving business further into Coyote Valley? Do you think the people who farm the fields that provides our food will be able to afford living in the area? Probably not. Guess what, your food prices just went up if you think moving businesses into the area and placing developments onto farm land is a good thing. There needs to be a healthy mix of all the above.

I would be much happier, if we develop those lands at ALL, that they be populated with a greater diversity of industry, business, and economy. Allowing cisco to be the sole player in the city is disturbing at best. A nightmare waiting to happen when the economy heads south, so to speak. Oh but wait, it already is...

Anyone seeing the pattern unfold?

Ask questions. Because a company tells you something is good does not mean you should take it at face value and believe it. There is enough to be skeptical about their intentions in SSJ to worry. If you were familiar with the technologies and problems associated to the technologies, you would be even more frightened over the idea of how many people are willing to blindly follow a marketing or sales pitch or just be plain duped.


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