Thiel-ing out at Google

Does anyone know what Larry Page means by this?

Even more than technology, he puts this down to policy changes needed to make land more readily available for construction. Rather than exceeding $1m, there’s no reason why the median home in Palo Alto, in the heart of Silicon Valley, shouldn’t cost $50,000, he says.

5 Comments on "Thiel-ing out at Google"

  1. It’s a coding mindset.
    (Warning! Prejudice alert!)

    Because code is basically just a sandbox, coders think that the way to do things is just change lines of code – if it doesn’t work, change it back. The law looks like lines of code.

    Thus many software types think changing the law is an easy, cost-free way to fix a problem. Because at heart, they:

    a) Aren’t able to think beyond the first dependency.
    b) Think code changes are easy to revert.


    1. I’ve been to Palo Alto – I can’t imagine what change to planning regulations would get the median home there down to $50k. He’s confusing incremental and order-of-magnitude changes, which is actually a very un-codery thing to do.


  2. I’d like to know what sort of house he thinks can be built for 50k dollars? A couple of shipping containers welded together? Concrete boxes?

    Okay, grand designs isn’t exactly proper research, but I’ve been struck by how many people trying to build their own home on a limited budget have ended up spending near or over 100k pounds on it. Sure, if you do all the work yourself and have a spare JCB you can build a cob house or suchlike for much less than that, but obviously real life isn’t like that.


    1. Built for $50k: An apartment. If you could build, say, 20 stories high on any bit of land you own, then you could build a block that had ten apartments per storey. That’s 200 apartments. If you can’t build that for less then $10,000,000 then you’re really not trying.


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