July 6, 2012
Me, feeling it. (photo by Daniel Postaer)
I’m delighted to receive word this morning that we prevailed in our first new business pitch since I joined gyro, San Francisco. I cannot name the client but like most of our partners they are a technology concern. Or as I like to say, they make cool shit that changes the world.
A win is always good news for everyone involved but for me this is especially satisfying. It validates what I have known from the moment I stepped foot in gyro: that this place is special and that I made a wise and wonderful decision by joining it.
Visiting with my father and brothers in Los Angeles, I tried to explain how blessed and happy I am with my new job. They know what a major deal it was –is- for me to move my entire family across the country, on just possibilities.
But here is validation.
It being Friday let’s savor the aroma for a few 24 hours. Thank you and congratulations, work family. I am so proud. And to my real family I say go ahead and exhale. This is all going to work out fine!
I am three weeks into my new gig. Already, I have stood before several clients and showed them work I helped create. Already, I have been on two airplanes for company business, including the one I’m on now. Neither fact is remarkable; it’s my job.
But there is suddenness to it. One day I’m bopping around Chicago in sweatpants. A week later I’m climbing the Filbert Steps with a bag of overpriced and heavy groceries, the infamous parrots of Telegraph Hill mocking me from above with their caws.
Yesterday I said goodbye (again) to my family, even tougher as I’m not sure when next they’ll be back. It was my girls’ first ever visit to San Francisco. A thrill! And it was our first foray exploring real estate. We are still smarting from the sticker shock. Jesus. A million dollars barely buys you a “shack down by the river.” Oh, and there’s no river.
But, man-o-man, there are certainly views. If I had to shotgun a tagline for San Francisco it would be this: “A view from everywhere!” It’s not an over promise. From my dingy bathroom I look out on the bridge, mountains and waters of the East Bay. I am inspired every time I take a whiz. Or a walk. Just opening the front door!
No question my family’s world has been turned upside down. Save for my wife, Chicago has been our home forever. My children were born in the same hospital I was. Needless to say, there have been tears. And there will be considerably more.
Yet, we are blessed. Starting with me. I have a terrific new job in one of the greatest cities in the world. Upon wiping away the teardrops, my wife and kids are keen for the adventure. Swapping homes will not be easy. But if that is not a high-class problem I don’t know what is. Many, many people would covet my issues, worries and fears. That is why tonight, as every night, when I say my prayers they begin and end with two words: Thank You.
San Francisco is the land of tech. This is where all those companies that advertise in airports live. You know whom I’m talking about. But do you know what they’re talking about? Sometimes it’s hard to tell from their ads. Even their names are an enigma. With all those “Q’s” and “X’s” and “Z’s.” And what funny logos they have, those swishes and swirls and crazy colors!
Many are important, big companies. Billion dollar companies. Fact is the modern world could not exist without them. We recognize a few, especially the ones that make hardware and, of course, that one with the cute Apple.
But the other ones.
Mostly makers of software, they represent the lion’s share of companies in Silicon Valley. No surprise some of them are my clients. Or will be, God willing. Hi guys. What’s up?
Do these creators of the hidden wow intimidate me? A little. I did not take computer science in college. The only code I know is the one I punch in the alarm system at home. But it’s not the technology that worries me. It’s the jargon. Especially when it comes to advertising messages. I do not use the word “solution” in every sentence. Or “optimize.” Or “data.” Must they?
In terms of tired imagery, technology has its pets, in particular the ‘Man and his Server.’ Like every cliché this one might have been cool the first 100 times. Now, it’s practically invisible.
I realize these businesses are not “consumer facing.” (Eek, there’s a phrase.) But that does not mean they have to talk to one another in code. It’s an ad for cool-ass software not a service manual.