It just seems to never stop! The eternal battle between Apple and Google will never be settled, and that’s ok. The secured nature of Apple versus the openness that is Google seems to not only be an operating system theme, it also translates to their headquarters.
I spent a weekend recently in the Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bay Area for game 7 of the NBA Finals (yes, I was inside the Oracle Arena IN PERSON!), but I was able to find some time to stop by and pay my respects to both Apple Inc. (1 Infinite Loop), as well as, Googleplex (1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy). Let me tell you all, I was definitely geeking out from both visits! Just imagining the innovations that came out of both headquarters helped me enjoy the short stops.
Apple HQ was the first stop, arriving fairly early. As soon as I pulled up to the parking lots, I was met by security to ask what my business was in the HQ. I explained that I was a big fan and that I had only wanted to take pictures of the campus if allowed. The security acknowledged this and stated I am allowed to take pictures, but had to abide by certain rules (no use of tripods) and I agreed. As I was walking around, a second security person inquired about my purpose, and I explained the same to him. I let him know what I told the first and that a first security person already asked me. He apologized and sent me on my merry way. I proceeded to take my pictures, enjoy the scenery for a bit, and left with a HUGE SMILE on my face. To think that Steve Jobs used to roam that complex and those hallways were pretty amazing.
Next stop was Google HQ: complete opposite of my experience of Apple. As soon as you pull up to the front, you are greeted with the Android logo, as well as the first of many Google buildings. Also, bikes! Bikes everywhere! The security personnel who were present explained to some of the tourists that we are all welcome to take the bikes and FREELY ROAM the campus. I was mesmerized, I was geeking out, and I took them on this offer of roaming the campus on Google-colored bikes. I saw other visitors biking, some were resting on the benches, and others were checking out the activities Google had to offer while on the campus. I stayed WAY longer than what I allotted for this stop, but it was definitely worth it. I will also include a video of my bike ride around Googleplex should you want to check it out.
Whether you are an Apple fan or a Google fan, both of these places should be on your list to see if you are ever in the area. These headquarters have helped shape how we live, how we interact, and how we use technology on a daily basis. Being able to see both of places made my weekend that much better.