Tag Archives: Menlo Park

Living in Palo Alto before the Internet?!

Living in Palo Alto before the Internet?!

Inspired by a Quora question, naturally (embedded below):

What was it like to live in Palo Alto before 1990?

Despite its cozy, symbiotic relationship with Stanford University‘s computer science and engineering pioneers that stretched back decades, Palo Alto was much less monolithically tech-focused before the commercial Internet explosion of the 1990s. It formed the northern terminus of Silicon Valley back then (no, really; San Francisco was almost an afterthought to the tech community).

Peace, love, and 8-bit CPUs
While it was never quite as far out there as Berkeley, Palo Alto had a strong utopian flower-child streak. I knew kids named Oak and Sparrow.
Tonier than its South Bay neighbors such as Mountain View and Sunnyvale, it was pleasantly upper-middle-class, yet not “wealthy” on the whole (that would be Atherton or Los Altos Hills), housing a disproportionate number of educated professionals of all kinds — including many Stanford faculty, of course. (Professors and their families really lived in those beautiful homes of Professorville.)


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Evaluating the Risks in Facebook’s IPO: Would You Invest?

Facebook is forthcoming about the challenges of mobile: No revenue currently generated from mobile advertising; unclear how much mobile use could be monetized; failure to solve this puzzle combined with a dramatic shift toward mobile usage could be a serious problem; and they don’t control the iOS and Android platforms. Frankly, if there were one thing that persuaded me not to invest in FB at current valuations, this would be it. Continue Reading

Silicon Valley After the Dot-Com Crash: An Insider Perspective

Silicon Valley After the Dot-Com Crash: An Insider Perspective

After the last ops and engineering staff were laid off, I remember wandering through the cavernous, deserted NOC, strewn with assorted equipment that was left to be carted off to auction, looking up at the huge projection screens that forlornly flickered “No Signal.” It felt downright post-apocalyptic, with huge diesel generators out back standing ready to provide backup power to a NOC and data center that no longer needed it. Continue Reading

25 Years of Social Computing: Game Highlights at Halftime

My goal in publishing Mashtag is to serve as both primary sportscaster and color commentator. As a business lawyer and executive in social media and the broader technology industry, I hope to bring the factual background and analytical tools of the profession to bear to explore some of the most interesting current issues in business, law and public policy. Continue Reading

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