Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg greeted Prime Minister John Key on a tour of the headquarters in Silicon Valley yesterday.
He did not exactly emerge from an office because supposedly no individuals have offices. They have meeting rooms and cafes with free food and lounging furniture and posters imploring staff to "work hard and break things" all in the interests of creativity.
The 2500 mainly young employees are scattered in large open-plan spaces working at 32in screens in almost complete silence.
Mr Key was also shown around the headquarters of the larger Google firm by its Kiwi engineering director, Craig Nevill-Manning, formerly of Blenheim, now based in New York. Google has about 28,000 employees and has been going a lot longer.
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Mr Key said he saw cutting-edge technology at both companies and talked to Mr Zuckerberg about what was going on in New Zealand. "One of the reasons we are rolling out ultra-fast broadband is for applications that haven't even been built yet," he later told reporters, who were not present at the meeting.
Mr Key said that some of the things he saw in the development lab were exciting for a country like New Zealand.
"Fundamentally the tyranny of distance has always been the issue for New Zealand. The greater connectivity you get with the rest of the world, the stronger it is for New Zealand companies to operate."
Between the two visits, he hosted a lunch for 16 potential or current investors in NZ that NZ Trade and Enterprise are working with.
Three were billionaires in their own right and the others represented investment funds worth billions. The ones who had invested in NZ were very happy "and you're going to see more".