Outside my livingroom window is 30 Rock, the headquarters for NBC. It’s a very big building and they pay a very big rent to be there.
It’s remnant from another era.
Have you ever seen The Facebook Building?
Have you ever been inside it?
Have you ever even seen a picture of it?
Where is Facebook?
It is nowhere, and it is everywhere.
Where is the Craigslist Building? Craigslist, the website that destroyed the newspaper business in the US.
You don’t need the building to gather, curate, edit and distribute information.
You don’t need the overhead.
The New York Times building on 8th Avenue and 40th Street is a stunning tombstone to $800 million that could have been spent on content, instead of steel and glass.
I've talked about this before: Keeping your offices and losing your people. Now ask yourself the same questions about big science. How may more scientists could we fund if we administered it differently? That NSF building: really necessary? Aren't they just gathering, curating, editing, and distributing information? What about those huge overhead charges imposed by our universities?