When Apple’s flagship “Infinite Loop” headquarters was built in 1993, the name implied many promises of eternal iteration. Regrettably, none of these promises are likely to be fulfilled.
While it’s impossible to predict whether _some_ characteristic of the landmark might one day meet the standard, none of the most obvious candidates have passed the test:
- The buildings form a connected loop, so you can technically walk from one building, to the next, to the next, etc. This gives a feeling of an infinite sequence, but it’s apparent to anybody that there are in fact only 6 buildings, labeled IL1 through IL6. Add in IL7 if the Peppermill (now BJ’s) is accounted for, and you get seven. Seven is nowhere close to infinite.
- Given the size of the building compared to Apple’s relatively modest Silicon Valley workforce, it seemed at one time that it might house infinite employees. As time wore on and Apple’s successes grew, the number of employees who could be packed into the buildings’ narrow confines was shown to be … decidedly finite.
- Lifers at Apple might have once expected to work a virtually infinite number of days (and nights) on the campus, but as time wore on it became evident that these people either retire or move on to other companies. Finally, the remaining hope for infinite workdays was dashed by the construction and opening of Apple Park, where many current Infinite Loop employees will now work.
In fact Apple Park exceeds, by every reasonable measurement, the “infinite” aspirations of Infinite Loop. The extent to which one can walk around it infinitely is grander. The number of employees it can shelter, while shying considerably from infinity, is nonetheless greater. And the career longevity of folks who call Apple Park home today is, I’ll concede, about the same as it was at Infinite Loop.
The pragmatism in naming Apple Park is evident. In corporate headquarters, nothing is infinite. Not even for Apple. In naming this major headquarters upgrade, it makes no such allusions.
So what’s the perfect name for a smaller hoop of a campus, residing a stone’s throw away from the mighty Apple Park? Apple Playground, of course. You’re welcome.