And no, we're not talking about the previous post, and thank God for that. Turns out one of the shiny new clients in the shiny new buildings in Reston's Fake Downtown is none other than Google -- or as one of the two presidential candidates might call it, "the Google."
The tall buildings in Reston bear the familiar names of big government contractors: Northrop Grumman, CACI, Raytheon and Accenture. Last month another name appeared, but not one that's typically associated with the federal market.Sounds like the heady dot-com days all over again! But does the Reston Google office, besides being in one of them newfangled "tall buildings" they speak of in such awed tones in the Post, have all the amenities of the mother ship corporate campus in the Bay Area? Well, sort of.
Google has come to town, though you'd hardly know it from its nondescript, newly constructed building in Reston Town Center. The only clue to the company's presence is a small listing on the building's tenant directory.
The company's 18-person federal sales team is still unpacking boxes, arranging bean bag chairs and testing the new massage chair. Over the past couple of years, Google has been trying to educate federal agencies -- as well as the companies that work with them -- on how its search, e-mail and mapping tools can be applied to government business.
It may be one of the best-known consumer Internet brands, but Google staffers still get some blank stares when they explain their mission.
"Sometimes they'll look at us and say, 'But what do you actually sell?' " said Mike Bradshaw, Google's head of federal sales, who has sold technology to the government for IBM and Microsoft.
Their answer is nothing.
Take its new space, a departure from the typical cubicle-filled offices of Northern Virginia. The conference rooms are named after famous Virginia natives, such as Patsy Cline and Lewis and Clark. The room named after Ella Fitzgerald contains a floor-to-ceiling photo of the singer. Nearby are big-screen TVs, supposedly reserved for videoconferencing. Meals are catered daily in the cafeteria. Vint Cerf, referred to as the "Father of the Internet" for his role in developing the network, has an office next to a cluster of Adirondack lawn chairs intended to promote discussion among employees.Sweet! They may have foosball tables and personal valets back in Mountain View, but can they sit in a lawn chair out in front of the Patsy Cline conference room? Advantage: Reston!