20 years of Silicon Valley
I arrived in San Jose 20 years ago. I was offered a job as temp/contractor customer support rep for TiVo. I had no guarantee it would work. I was betting on myself. The Dot.Com boom was happening. I could tell from Portland that San Jose might be the right place to be. I packed up my apartment into a U-Haul trailer and took a leap.
It turned out to be the right choice. I was able to create a career arch here. That is something I was unable to do before I got to San Jose. I know I was lucky to have found my way to TiVo. It was a great at a great time to get started in Silicon Valley. I made a lot of great contacts and friends there. People who have helped me throughout my career.
I survived a couple of layoffs, got laid off, went through a startup implosion, went though an IPO. I think I've had 14 direct bosses and a bunch more dotted line bosses in that time. I have a ton of stories from those times. I could write pages and pages about moving to San Jose. All I can say is I never knew before I got here San Jose would be such a big part of my life.
In our 20s Jeremy Bushnell and I would talk about the conflict of place is both a fake and a real thing. Even in a world where the whole country has the same restaurants and TV commercials, places still have elements that make them unique. Moving to a new place, but you are always you. Moving does not get you away from yourself.
Looking back I feel that San Jose is a place that liked me. It was a place that I could grow and change in positive ways. In 2005 my sister asked me when was I going to move back to Philadelphia. I told her I was not done doing whatever I came to do in San Jose. Before I was doing growing in San Jose, I ended up putting down roots here. It turned out San Jose and I fit pretty well together.