An old list

I’ve seen a new list go around about “things you don’t understand about silicon valley”. link

I remember a similar list that went around in 2000, right in the middle of the first boom. I updated it with the ‘new reality’ of 2001.

You now know you work in Silicon Valley when…

  • Old – You make $100,000 a year, yet still can’t find a place to live.
  • New – Unemployment Insurance is only $800/month, which only will pay your car payment so you consider staying a few nights in a homeless shelter to get away from sleeping in your bmw.
  • Old – Your commute time is 45 minutes and you live 8 miles away from work.
  • New – Your commute would be now only 15 minutes, if you still had that job. Now you trek over 45 miles and your commute is 1 1/2 hours.
  • Old – You stop asking how much things cost but, ask “How long will it take?”
  • New – You start asking, “how long will it take to earn the money to buy that?”, when you look at a $55 walkman.
  • You know vast differences between Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese,
    Cantonese, and Korean food.
  • You haven’t had sushi in months, your Vietnamese is now just Pho because its under $5 for a bowl, and your Cantonese is limited to “2 items for $3.99 with coupon” specials at the nearest mall .
  • Your home computer contains mostly hardware/software that is not on the consumer market yet.
  • Your home computer’s ‘pro’ hardware made it to the consumer market 2 years ago, was in the bargain bin last year and now you get snickers from the geeks at Office Depot when you mention what you have.
  • You go to “The City” on weekends but don’t live there because you like your car.
  • You try to avoid the city, because it’s getting pretty quiet and you can’t afford the caltrain fare.
  • You think that “I’m going to Fry’s” is an acceptable excuse to leave the office for a while, and your boss does too.
  • You haven’t been to Fry’s in so long, you can’t remember what theme the Palo Alto store is.
  • You lost your alarm clock. You’ll get to work when you get there.
  • You have 3 alarm clocks set, so that you can get early to the job fair and avoid the 3 hour long line.
  • You go to an industrial-heavy-metal bar and see two guys get into a fight over what flavor of Unix is better.
  • You see this at bus stops now.
  • You own more than 10 articles of clothing that have hardware/software companies printed on them. Bonus for embroidered stuff.
  • You rue the day you went to the trade show and didn’t take every shirt that was given.
  • Even though Microsoft employs quite a few programmers in the Bay Area, they only work on Powerpoint, and the company is still the embodiment of Satan.
  • Still holds true
  • …Even if their stock IS worth more than yours.
  • The idea that stock is worth Anything, causes you and your peers to fall down laughing.
  • You see a billboard that says “FPGA2ASIC” and aren’t fazed.
  • You wistfully remember the billboard on 101, and now just look at the GM, radio station and McDonald’s billboards that are like those in every other city.
  • When you need the updated Diamond Monster 3D drivers, you just walk across the street.
  • Given the stability of your computer as mentioned above, you haven’t
    thought about drivers in 18 months.
  • You have more bandwidth in your apartment or condo than most major
  • The $500 you used to pay for bandwidth was canceled because your ISP went out of business, you went for DSL but before they delivered the new ISP went out of business, now you pay $9.95 for dialup like everyone else in the country.
  • None of the people you work with are bible thumpers.
  • The hard times converted you 8 months ago.
  • When you stand in line at Starbucks you wonder why the employees don’t have headhunters.
  • You apply for a job at the same Starbucks yet get turned down because you’re one of the 200 applicants who’s only skill is aeron chair configuration.
  • Your workplace vending machines dispense “100% natural twig-bars” right next to Jolt cola and Instant Espresso mix.
  • Your happiest day in the last 7 months was when you found the vending machines took Canadian quarters.
  • Your new car is older than your new job.
  • Your new car is older than you.

You used to joke to newbies to Silicon Valley about living in East Palo Alto, but now you’re giving it serious thought.

You are comforted that at least you we weren’t hit as hard as all the other
Silicon Valley wannabe’s (Silicon Alley etc.)

Dim Sum Effect

Given a situation where there is food available for shared consumption and where the food consists of groups of single items (Dim Sum or Hot Wings). The Dim Sum Effect is when the food is depleted to the point that every group of food has one item remaining. At this point, the rate of items eaten stops and with great reluctance the remaining individual items are eaten only after the person taking the item asks nearly everyone in the group whether they want the final item. If there are multiple types of item in a group, the food will deplete to the point that one of each type remains (wings vs drumsticks).

This is proof that altruism is a basic human behaviour.

Work Pet Peeve


From:                  Subject:
CEO             Re: Re: re: Re: re:RE:FW: Sales call
SalesDude1 Sales call 10%
SalesDude1 Sales call 50%
VPofSales       re:RE:re:FW call 75%
SalesDude2 Sales call 50%
VPofSales       RE:re:FW call 75%
VPofSales       Re: re: Re: re:RE:FW: Sales call

Oh hey, there’s an email from the CEO, lets read that one….

<—begin email—->

Subject: Re: Re: re: Re: re:RE:FW: Sales call

Hey, I never heard back on wether this is done or not

>VP of sales wrote:

>Congrats on the big sale! Woo HOo!

>>From:Sales Dude #2

>>Hey, awesome news!

>>>From:Sales Woman
>>>Sounds awesome!

>>>>VP of Eng wrote:
>>>>This will really help our bottom line!
>>>>We'll get right on this!
>>>>>Director of Sales wrote:
>>>>>Hey, glad to hear everything went well at the call!
>>>>>You guys really rock!

>>>>>>CEO wrote:
>>>>>>This is really exciting!!!!
>>>>>>>Sales Dude #1 wrote:
>>>>>>> really loved the demo! They're going to sign!

Starting Out


A blog. In the past years I’ve had thoughts and projects that I’ve shared on Reddit and other sites. I’ve spent time composing rebuttals, articles, pictures and assembled electronic projects and webapps only to have them lost to history or scattered across the internets. Here I’ll try to accumulate them into one spot.