Monday, July 7, 2008

Mis-nostalgia for dot coms

For all the talk about the Northern/Southern California corporate rivalries (Hollywood versus Silicon Valley), Northern California has its rivalry between Silicon Valley and San Francisco (the centers of which are separated by a one hour automobile drive). January 3-ish 2000, Los Angeles Times Magazine had a bunch of articles on the past and future of Silicon Valley. One article had the following quote from a San Francisco lawyer, which is one sentiment about the Northern California rivalry:
"I can't stand it", cries a lawyer in San Francisco at the mere mention of "the Peninsula", as people in the Bay Area call the valley to the south. "The tech bubble nearly caused the disintegration of our law firm. We had to relocate out of Menlo Park when our lease came up for renewal because E-Trade offered the landlord three times what we were paying. We'd been in that office, never missing a payment, for 14 years, and the landlord met with us for five minutes and then said, 'I don't know why I'm even talking to you.'" "I lost three really promising associates to dot-coms in those years.", he says. "I'd try to talk them into staying and, to a person, they sat across the desk laughing at me. It was all, 'You just don't get it!' And I didn't get it. There were all these 20-year-olds all over the place, going on about 'eyeballs' and 'mindshare' and riding their stupid scooters back and forth to their offices, and I was simultaneously wanting to puke and jealous as hell. It was a complete lack of common sense, and I'm telling you, you talk to those people for more than five minutes, and it's obvious that they haven't changed a bit."

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