I went to the Google annoucement press conference in Lansing today. Here are the raw notes I took during the event. I didn't live-blog it because there was no wifi in the press room.
Look for a story on Arbor Update to follow - I used my press credentials (snort) to get in, though I had to talk my way past the press secretary who said they had never had a blogger cover a press conference. Ah Michigan, my Michigan.
Google jobs listings:
News coverage: "Tech firms eye Google" - Ann Arbor News. Mentioned in the story:
Predicting all of this:
- Michigan Business Review - June 2005 story
Other news coverage:
- Arbor Update
- Detroit Free Press story - 832 Diggs, 92 comments
- New York Times story
- MLive news bulletin
- Business 2.0 - "Google finds more pliable programmers in Rust Belt". Ouch.
"After an extensive search, google clicks with Michigan"
Lots and lots of youth (median age 23 or so) in front wearing Google / Michigan Economic Development Corporation t-shirts. Not clear right now who they are. Later I discover they are extras, not Google employees, not sure really who - clearly they were there for the TV cameras.
TV cameras a-plenty, and I counted nine, plus a gaggle of photographers. No wifi in the room. I was hoping my Sprint EVDO service would work, but it crapped out on me this a.m. and I didn' t have time to fix. (Note to self, where is there a closest capitol cafe?). I ended up in Okemos to post this.
(Later, I understand that there's a Beaner's nearby to the Capitol with wifi).
Granholm here. Mike Finney too.
"michigan has been googled."
david fisher, us dir online sales
grady burnett, dir michigan ops. (ex doubleclick, UM AB '95. "robert grady burnett", sometimes "bob burnett")
Jim Epolito, michigan economic development corporation. ex Lansing-based Accident Fund CEO.
bill milliken, ann arbor spark
michael finney, ann arbor spark
"these great young people who have joined us today". "keeping them in michigan after they graduate".
deal sealed at 10:15, 1000 new Google jobs to michigan. "how cool is that".
they are hiring right now. jobs pay $50000/yr. represents a tremendous win for the state of michigan. expect another 1250 jobs in the area. Google Jobs listings for Ann Arbor.
If you build vehicle engines, Michigan is place to be. If you build search engines, Michigan is the place to be.
"unbelievable quality of life", affordable.
21st century jobs fund. "we want your business and we'll give you the upper hand"
larry page is from michigan, east lansing high, u of michigan.
"transform and diversify our economy"
Jim Epolito. (lots of bad google puns)
plan for economic recovery - high tech project. 1000 jobs. good paying jobs. up and running at noon today. winning for state. tax revenue $165m, backing out $38m tax credit.
state of michigan needs this good news.
diversification of economy.
(falling over themselves to be thanking them, really embarrassing in many ways....)
one request made, keep this airtight, tell no one of these discussions. (there were hints earlier knowing, mostly around the real estate speculation; see the Michigan Business Review story from 2005 that pretty much spelled this all out.)
david fischer (fisher? google him)
young guy, or at least he looks young.
google looks to hire "best and brightest", expand and grow where the talent is. initial offering is adwords, allow us to scale and grow. sales and support for adwords. "bright, talented, motivated people".
http://www.google.com/jobs - postings for the jobs hiring in michigan. eager. as quickly as we can. fall, office is up and operational. (where?)
grady burnett, relocating from california, UM alum, family all over the state. he is going to be executing and hiring.
things moved very quickly. "making this happen in short order"
Lost 1200 manufacturingg jobs in Washtenaw County, glad to have jobs back. work of the wdc has just begun. benefits of state land of toyota to tech center, for that reason we think work will go smoothly. (hard to understand)
chris kolb, pam byrnes, alma wheeler smith.
? governor, multiplier effect - is that modeled? does that work for non-mfg? will this do anything elsewhere in the state
* model from umich, effect in se michigan, psychological impact in the whole state."great psychological boost"
? what kind of experience is needed?4yrs, masters?
* college degree usually. best and brightest. advertising, marketing. hire people with diverse backgrounds, engineers, art history majors.
? how important was the tax cut
* we looked at the right next step, hard to break them apart.
? single business tax, role in decision
* we look at all of the factors, weigh them all
? what was it about that tipped it over
* talent pool, ability to attract and retain people, excited about what we saw in michigan, helped that larry page had michigan ites
? governor, did the UM nail this down
* not going to respond to the criticism of naysayers
? michigan jobs. how is this going to carry forward
* marketing efforts to give people notice to think of Michigan as a technology state
Some observations from discussions after the press conference.
It's going to be a lot of work for Google to get enough space to their liking in downtown Ann Arbor. The most likely building, the ex TCF Bank building nee McKinley Town Center, is already leased up enough that they couldn't fit everyone there. Thano's lost their long-term lease, and there's thus a chunk of buildable space extending up Liberty to Tally Hall, but not enough to put 1000 people and their cars in.
Google swore quite a few people to secrecy on this one, and I had written off any local Googleplex as a result of the negative reaction to the earlier rumors swirling around town.
Sharpen up your Adwords skills, and learn what you can about click fraud.
More Google advertising will have some net negative impact on the Michigan economy, as newspapers, radio and TV struggle with diversion of spending money.