Sunday, August 05, 2007

Poor In Silicon Valley

Life in Silicon Valley is hard to describe. Well, things like the weather aren't. It's beautiful, sunny and mild ALL of the time. But the underlying vibe of this place is difficult to lump into a neat category.

People bring with them a drive and intensity that fuels a competitive machine. This machine rolls all around you. At the playground, fingers scurry on BlackBerrys like ants on a fallen crumb. Hungry. Hungry to make a deal. Hungry to succeed. Hungry to win. Hungry! On the roadways, Porsches, Mercedes and BMWs are commonplace, everyday cars. Houses, oh houses, are expensive. Just expensive. Three bedroom, two bath houses with no backyard go for about $1.2 million in Menlo Park. Anything under a million will be a tear-down or right next to the train tracks.

In this environment, you always feel like you're failing, falling behind. It's as if all of the valedictorians of the world were taken into an arena and allowed to compete to the death. The last person standing, the valedictorian of the valedictorians, is your next-door neighbor.

What got me thinking about all of this is an article in the New York Times today:

In Silicon Valley, Millionaires Who Don't Feel Rich

This article does a great job of describing life here - our neighbor's lives. Believe me, we are not the starving millionaires. We're just the starving, craving some sanity.


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