Rode 4,000 miles
But three pounds was all I lost
1. Listen to Tom Traubert’s Blues. Then you’ll get it.
2. Thirty-five years later, still going.
3. A complete coincidence, but I’ve just switched to tea.
4. On December 14th, I’m in Las Vegas, waiting for a shuttle from the airport. As I read the outpouring of grief on Twitter over the shootings in Newton, I found myself getting choked up and wondering why it is so difficult to have a rational discussion about gun control in this country. As I looked up, this parking shuttle drove by….
A bit belated….
1. In my college economics and the environment class we discussed possible approaches to the “tragedy of the commons”. Three decades later, one of them finally begins to get traction.
2. Perhaps, the most intriguing lede I’ve ever read.
3. High tech org charts.
4. A photograph from 204 million miles away.
5. And, one from a bit closer. Taken on November 6, 2012. 6:45 EST.
Earlier this week, Adobe celebrated its 30th year in business. In its storied history, it has grown from a small private company focused on developing and promulgating a common way to exchange documents – a major problem during the advent of the PC era – into a wellspring of innovative technologies that enable people to create digitally and to receive more tailored and personally relevant digital marketing.
When I interviewed for my new role, I had the opportunity to meet with the two founders, John Warnock and Chuck Geschke. At the end of our conversation, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to ask them a distinctly non-interview type question: “Do you ever take a look in the mirror in the morning, consider Adobe’s size, the jobs you have created and the technological impact you have had on the world, and wonder – how did this happen?”
The immediate response from both: “Every single day.”
While Chuck and John are legendary in the tech industry for many reasons, including their warmth and humility, another way to understand their response is as an acknowledgment that there are many external factors that are determinative of a company’s success. For inchoate technology businesses, one of the most important is whether they are located in Silicon Valley. With all deference to Seattle, Bangalore, Tel Aviv and even Des Moines there is something truly unique about this thirty mile stretch of the world. Countless MBA students, journalists and consultants have tried to analyze why this area has spawned so many successful global companies. Some say it’s the result of ready access to capital flowing from Sand Hill Road. Others attribute it to the proximity of educational institutions like Stanford, UC Berkley and the University of Santa Clara. For others, it’s the cultural and intellectual diversity.
Most likely it is all of these. Longtime residents (I’m one of them) tend to take it all for granted as the innovation surrounds us.
Take a day I had a few weeks ago, as a case in point:
Driving home from the event at the end of that day, I felt profoundly inspired (and wishing I had gone to engineering school rather than getting a law degree). Looking out at the lights from the office buildings around me, I decided that what’s truly unique about Silicon Valley isn’t days like this, but rather that every day is like this.