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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Lunch with John

John and I met for lunch today. We've been friends since 1975. It was John who rescued me from being a regional manager for Dairy Belle and then strategized with me on how I could get into Silicon Valley.

We both have been through "it". John and I have never worked at the same company (we tried once or twice but no banana). Between us we have seen just about everything the Valley has to throw at you, both good and bad. The strange thing is that despite our best intentions were both still here. We both did well on IPO's and both reached millionaire status. neither of us were lucky enough to be at a Google or Netscape. We worked at blue collar technology companies where you had to deliver real product before you could go public. This is nether good or bad. It's just the breaks.

Had Transmeta gone public as planned in 1999 we would have fit the Netscape model, probably zoomed up to 100 dollars a share and I would have had a private jet. But because Transmeta was really Transmeta.COM, we were lucky to get out at all in late 2000. Of course by then we were real. It's just that the valley was beginning to tank (think dot com bust).

I am one of the lucky ones though. I made my million (and then some), left Transmeta in the late summer of 2002, took 6 months off and then slid back into consulting in early 2003. I came back to all of those folks who hadn't benefited by the dot com explosion of the late 1990's. If I had GTHM* many of them didn't. I could come and go as I pleased. They couldn't. But at first it made no difference. I was as penned up as the rest of them. Money was nice but my mind couldn't keep up. years back, before my so called career, money wasn't a limiting factor. My mind was already free. 27 years on the chain gang had changed that. It was then that it occurred to me.

I had been brainwashed and they had paid me well, to do it.

That was 2003. Now it is 2008 and I am just beginning to realize what the other freedom is. I use to have it with no cash and now that had cash, I had lost the other vital part of the equation. It's like Oppenheimer. He works for years building the bomb and the realizes what a terrible weapon it is once he sees it explode for the first time at Alamogordo in New Mexico.

What did he think he was building. The world's biggest water balloon?

Yanks bomb Nagasaki! Thousand drown!

What did I think I was going to find at the end of my quest for monetary independence?

The same primitive, boss pleasing brain that had gotten me through the prior 27 years.

What a surprise.

I have come to find that the real work began after Transmeta.

*Go To Hell Money

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