Eric Norlin says the big ship is a turning.
I agree. I'm noticing the light bulbs coming back on in Silicon Valley. It might have something to do with being springtime. There's rejuvenation in the air. Oh, sorry, that's everyone's alergies acting up.
At every lunch and dinner now, someone is pitching me on their ideas. It's an exciting time to be in the valley. Everyone has such low expectations for technology now. That's a good thing. It lets the entrepreneurs get back in their garages and create the next magical services and applications.
Speaking of services, in Silicon Valley on Saratoga Ave., there are a couple of businesses that have lasted decades in a decrepid strip mall. Why? Cause they are good.
One is J.C.'s BBQ. You'll never hear about this place from the media. It's too much of a dive. But, they make the best ribs I've had in the valley and I've been coming here on and off for 15 years.
They are one mile south of FWY 280 on Saratoga Ave.
Isn't it the hole in the wall kinds of places that have the best stuff?
Michael Terry: "Are you kidding me? Last I checked websites were a great deal of hard labor--when the pulley lines weren't tangled, the sluice gates were backed up, and if the fumes from the coke oven didn't overpower you right off, they'd definitely get you in the end. What a pleasing little toy my gleaming new Radio is."
Hey, Michael, wait til you discover you can take Radio apart -- programatically -- and build really cool stuff with it!
What a great weekend.
First, Molly Holzschlag invited me and Patrick to a dinner on Friday night. Little did I know that also to attend were several friends of hers, including Evan Williams of Pyra, Lisa Rein of O'Reilly, Cory Doctorow, and a few other fine folks that I didn't get the names of. While Patrick ran around entertaining everyone, the conversation seemed to drift in and out of how awful a state the industry is in, and how there is a lot of positive things coming out of that awfulness.
Despite several of the dinner's participants being laid off, there was a general spirit of optimism. We've cried in our beer, now it's time to get back to work.
A good example of this is Jeffrey Veen's new venture: Adaptive Path. Veen and friends saw the end of the Web conference business (well, the near end, at least) and started their own training company. From what I hear they have kept expenses extremely low, have an excellent product (er, training series) and are profitable out of the gate.
Hmmm, profits? Isn't that something that companies used to have? Ahh, yes. Well, there's two ways to get there:
1) Reduce expenses below your revenue level.
2) Increase your revenues.
I've found that it's very difficult to increase your revenues without increasing your expenses. Hey, those Google ads cost money! And wait until some smartass marketing kid (like me) wants to go to Comdex or Pop!Tech. God forbid. That'll throw your expenses into outer space. Heheh.
I've learned a whole lot about Excel, and I ain't talking about all those funny Enron macros either. Business really is that simple. Either you make profits or you die.
OK, back to the weekend. On Saturday I took Patrick to see "Ice Age." Cool movie. I always wanted to say that. Get it? Oh, sorry, it's late and I'm running on a lack of sleep.
After all, we spent Sunday at the Tech Museum here in San Jose. It was my third visit, and this time I got to actually spend some quality time on the exhibits. We built a roller coaster, experienced about 15 different earthquakes on the earthquake simulator, built a boat, rode an electric scooter and a recumbant bicycle, drove a submarine, solved a murder, and more. Whew. I'm bushed.
By the way: did Halle Berry make anyone else cry last night? I'm such a wuss.