My wonderful Seattle Trip By Vihan Y, Dallas, TX

Updated: Mar 19, 2020

Seattle; the home of a hot cup of Starbucks coffee, lots of drizzles, the Seahawks, and those little companies Amazon and Microsoft. Entering the city for the second time really shined a new light on the busting productivity and I no longer looked at Seattle as a cold and wet place but as a place that inspired productivity and business.


Amazon’s Dedication to Employee Retention:

As we traveled throughout the city we saw the ubiquitous skyscrapers with the black and reflective glass, the aroma of Starbuck’s Coffee, and the ever so slight taps of drizzle on our car roof, I was amazed when I saw the Amazon Headquarters. Close to the heart of the cities was a whole cluster of interconnected buildings and a stack of spheres. At first the spheres looked like some sort of high tech building but I was shocked to see the tiny bits of foliage through the glass, this wasn’t a tech building, but the Amazon Rainforest. Not the one in South America, but a sort of lush green garden with a vast variety of vines, trees, and shrubs. Creatively named the spheres, Amazon had created a safe space for employees, that acted as stress reliever for employees within a tranquil environment of plants and bushes. Not only did these spheres cost a whopping 4 billion dollars, but it serves no profit to the company. This alone shows Amazon’s dedication to productivity, employee retention, and the overall happiness of the company. Other than just sacrificing tons of resources for creating the optimal environment for its employees Amazon’s headquarters provides a reinforced belief of its cutting edge technology.


The Amazon Go Experience:

Amazon created the first cashier less grocery store that is open to the public. Amazon Go shocked me with its ingenuity. Amazon Go is the only shop in the world in which you can walk into the store pick the items you need and walk away, no lines to wait in and no security. Amazon Go fuses technologies found in self driving cars, sensor fusion, computer vision, and deep learning to track items going in to your virtual cart and then charges your amazon account when you walk out. The amount of work required to make it work is astonishing as at first it seems as though they would be really easy but Amazon is effectively able to track your items without fail and theft is very difficult if not impossible, so much so that Amazon is confidently able to say if you are able to steal it then you can have it for free.


Microsoft Capturing Young Talent:

However, Seattle isn’t home to just Amazon but also that little company known as Microsoft. Microsoft’s Redmond Campus effectively recreates the college experience for employees. The campus itself is just like a visual representation of the growth of the company from creation to now. Starting off with an initial 7 buildings, Redmond now features an impressive 131 buildings. The main building, we visited was the Xbox Main building which features the cutting edge technology in virtual reality and video games. It provided a realistic feel of driving with a rocking chair and a steering wheel and a collection of gaming consoles for free use. Microsoft offers some of the best all in one laptops with its Surface Pro and it was intriguing to see it in person for the first time ever. The campus also featured a football field and a cricket field which really provides a sense of home for immigrants and Americans in order to really keep their employees for longer time. Microsoft really shows it dedication in keeping the most productive and happy work place and allows its employees to grow not only as individuals but as hard working Americans


Reflection:

Microsoft and the actual Amazon offices didn’t just offer fun features but also created an environment that truly exemplified the employees' best interest. This intrigued me and got me to think a little farther in life than just college, as life doesn’t end with college and I don’t want to be completely helpless when that happens. These two different companies wanted to keep their employees happy and to stay in their offices. They spent the time and effort to not only pay them well but to also allow them to grow as individuals, and that is when I decided that when I grew up no matter if I create my own company or work for another, I wanted to be in that same productive environment.

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