Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The world is going to look completely different and, I'm not sure I like it.

As I get older I find myself being completely taken by surprise by my reaction to things. Often feeling like - wow, where did that come from. Which is what happened last night.

I was over at Paul Kedrosky's blog where he was asking people which tech companies were not going to survive the down turn in the economy. As I read, I agreed with all the choices people had offered. These companies has been struggling for years. In a normal downturn, they might have squeaked by. This is Silicon Valley after all. We are used to boom and bust cycles. But, this is no normal downturn.

It wasn't until a few hours later that something bubbled up in me.

Me - (talking to Mr S.) Baby, do you think Sun Microsystems will really go out of business?

Him - Yes.

Me - Is it because you think all companies can go out of business?

Him - Well.. yeah.

Me - I think I will actually be really sad if they do.

At this point he doesn't realize how much this is affecting me. Sure all those dinosaur retail companies can go out of business, but not Sun. I'd been watching their slow demise for years and it hadn't affected me. Maybe I always thought they'd find a way to make it. They were the (dot) in .com for christ sakes. I'd worked for them when they were on top of the world. And later when they weren't so much the kings they used to be.

Sun made me who I am today. I walked in a receptionist, and walked out a sysadmin. There have been many pivotal points in my life, but Sun has to be in the top ten. That company changed my whole life path. I'd never once thought about a job in computers before working there. But, it was there I contemplated what I was going to do with the rest of my life, and decided computers were the only thing that I wasn't going to get bored with.

You see, in the Valley you get used to the cannibalistic nature of the industry. Usually it happens slowly. Right now, struggling companies do not have the luxury of time. There are probably a dozen or more companies chipping away at Suns niche. I worked for some of the companies Sun killed through innovation, and now it may succumb to exactly the same fate they enacted on dozens of others.

Me - (talking to Mr S.) Baby, do you remember those posters they used to have of all the big companies in The Valley? They used to be everywhere. Damn, I really wish I would have kept one of those.

Him - yeah, we even had them in (the state he was living). I used to look at those posters and think "Sunnyvale. It sounds like such a nice place to live".

At that moment I found myself scouring Ebay to find one. Those posters used to be littered everywhere, and now I found myself never wanting one more.


  1. You telling us that all this bailout thing comes from Henry Paulson having stated his business career as a receptionist at AIG?

  2. Everyone has to start somewhere! :)

    It's better to be thought a fraud from the start. That way if it turns out you actually know something - you can enjoy the surprise in peoples faces. Than thought of as knowing everything, and letting the world down.