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Google Goes Back To Its Wolverine Roots

Google has once again proven it's a step ahead. It could have chosen the overcrowded, overpriced Silicon Valley to set up a new center employing 1,000 workers, but it instead chose Ann Arbor, home of co-founder Larry Page's alma mater, the University of Michigan.
Google has once again proven it's a step ahead. It could have chosen the overcrowded, overpriced Silicon Valley to set up a new center employing 1,000 workers, but it instead chose Ann Arbor, home of co-founder Larry Page's alma mater, the University of Michigan.The Midwest doesn't typically come to mind when tech companies look to expand, which is too bad. Top universities like U of M continue to churn out smart and talented grads, who promptly take off for places where the jobs are plentiful. A few years later, they're trying to justify spending nearly $1 million for a post-World War II tract home.

I have some knowledge in this area. After spending nearly 20 years in the Bay Area, I moved back to Ann Arbor. I have no regrets. None. It's progressive, fun, intellectually stimulating, and has real seasons. I loved the defense that David Fischer, Google's director of online sales and operations, gave during a recent press conference as to why the company was building "in the heart of the rust belt": "We don't get caught up in the conventional wisdom, and try to look at things with fresh eyes."

And as for Michigan, it can sure use Google's presence. Consider that the total value of Google shares is reportedly worth $127 billion. That's $50 billion more than the combined value of General Motors, Ford Motor Co., and DaimlerChrysler AG.

Welcome to town, Google. No rust here-just lots of bright and shiny minds. You're going to enjoy your new home.