Of Dreams & New Projects

While in these days of quiet desperation
As I wander through the world in which I live
I search everywhere for some new inspiration
— Billy Joel, Everybody has a Dream

It's been a great week. I recently found out that two of the people I’ve been trying to set up are finally going out on a date on Friday night. This, I’ll have you know, is even better than finding a company venture capital. And, not only that, but over last weekend two of the people I set up for lunch went out and had a great time — and I have a feeling they might do it again. I guess spring has sprung. Young love is in the air….

How does one quantify and qualify love — it’s illusive as the Higgs Boson. Over at www.craigslist.org you can find the Missed Connection part of the site that has people pining for people they don’t even know — or in some cases, they know oh-too well. The purpose of this part of its site is post a note for someone that you missed because of whatever reason. Usually it’s pretty interesting reading. And there’s quite a bit of interaction there from people who’ve met on the craigslist personals who are having sad, angry, pining exchanges. I recommend it — it’s nearly as good as Passions (NBC) at noon! Tune in and you’ll swear some of those messages are written specifically for you (www.craigslist.org/sfo/mis/).

Anyhow, there was a listing somewhere that said craigslist ads have increased since all the layoffs. The ads on its “casual connections” corner that go somewhat like “I have from 11:30 to 11:55 to have sex in the parking lot at work, anybody want to join me?” have increased substantially. I think a bad economy makes people want to have more sex — at least history shows that porn sales always go way up in a recession. But, with the amount of angst going on at the site, it seems the only person having sex these days might be Larry Ellison. It is good to know that people haven’t given up on love, or lust or sex — or the pursuit thereof in these times. And, yes, even in times of recession — technology is still being developed and big dreams (on the human and technological level)still exist….

Yesterday I met with one of my portfolio startups to go over strategies and it’s good to see that these guys are concentrating on steady growth and a solid design platform instead of rushing into things. Although, I have to admit, I am one for moving full-steam ahead. Sometimes you just have to rest on your laurels and chart a course. This is something new for me — by nature, my name (in the dictionary) means to attack. So, among many things, this company is teaching me the virtues of patience. This company (which shall go unnamed until the NDA says I can open my mouth) jazzes me and I wanted to get them in their development stage on tape, so that when they become huge (and they will), I’ll be able to say, “hey, here they are back then and this is what they were thinking.” I think everyone should get a camera and start taping — we are making history and too many people are depending on the popular press to document all the great (and tragic) stuff going on right now.

So, yesterday, I took my new digividcam out — its been in the box since December — and began filming the people I run into. The topic? I’m searching for the soul of SiValley. I know we must have one, it must be here somewhere. What I’ve found in the last few years is that battles have been won and lost, but somehow entrepreneurs get back up and keep going. Technologies are born and still, it’s just not enough. People are born, grow, if they’re lucky they fall in love and then they die (not necessarily in that short order). Somewhere, if we’re lucky, they’ve invented something marvelous and it outlives them and becomes ingrained in some bit of technology for the next generation to learn from and build upon. And progress continues. All that came before becomes sediment — surely in that riverbank, in which technology continues to flow, some soul must exist.

Einstein, toward the end of his life, seemed to be worried about death — about what the end might mean. He came up with the theory that we continue — our atoms of energy keep moving and exist without us. It’s somewhat of a comforting thought. Okay, so maybe it’s not quite so much the soul of SiValley I’m looking for, perhaps it’s just our energy’s residue. It’s the stuff that I see people from foreign places trying to capture and take back home with them. To replicate our successes elsewhere. To locate the essence and capture it. Well, that’s the project, we’ll see how it goes.

After my meeting with the startup, I went over to Nicole Kidd’s wonderful home to have cosmos. Nicole is a driven technology writer who has carved a place for herself as an analyst of the space. She and her wonderful man Joey are fabulous together — I haven’t seen a couple (both who are so involved in tech) so in love and so happy. I made sure to get them on film.

Today I had lemonade with Craig of craigslist. Craig has been around for a while and has seen the cycles. A little recession doesn’t wear a man like him down. He has been the anchor in all of the dot-com aftermath for an entire city. No matter what you need; job, empathy, place to party, a place to live, love, consoling flesh www.craigslist.org/sfo/sex/ — whatever — you go there. There you will find others of your ilk. The site has helped a lot of people get through the worst of this nosedive. He had some great things to say about the future and what he feels the future is going to look like (you’ll have to wait for the movie). But, what you can do NOW is go to www.craigslist.org, check out what's going, on and then visitwww.webbyawards.com/peoplesvoice/ and vote for craigslist for the best community site on the Web. Go check it out, what have you got to lose? Like Mick says, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try real hard, you might just find, you get what you need.”

And then I went over to the Pacifica Tribune — camera rolling — to visit with Elaine Larsen, managing editor — we’ve known each other for nearly two decades and at one time even shared a newsroom. Elaine's life improved greatly with the mainstream use of the Internet and its ability to allow her to do on-the-spot research. I remember a time when we actually had to physically go somewhere to look up a fact at city hall!

What I’ve learned in the last few days is that everyone wants to talk about what’s going on right now and what’s going to happen. Everyone is trying to make sense of the times. And like Einstein, they’re making the best of it. So, I’ll continue to capture the history being made on tape — the wins, the losses, the dreams, all of it — and if you see someone with a mini digividcam skulking around the Valley, she’s probably me. And sometime soon, I’ll hook up the firewire and upload some of this stuff.