Silicon Valley Graveyards

There are few churches and no graveyards in Silicon Valley. The Valley is made up almost exclusively of commercial buildings and houses.

This was a shock to a New England boy like myself when I moved there. Everywhere in New England we are surrounded by history. In my current town in Massachusetts, buy viagra there is a church that was built in the 1600s. I went for a walk with my daughter yesterday that cut through an enormous graveyard.

The disconnect from the past in Silicon Valley is profound. In my hometown in New Hampshire we have a statue of a Minute Man, proudly holding a musket. In Santa Cruz, they have a statue of a surfer.

But once, on an extended bike ride in Silicon Valley, I came across a big, partially abandoned office park. The buildings were beautiful, the lawn nicely kept and there was almost no one there. The experience felt eerie. It was too still. The sign at the entrance read “Silicon Graphics.” And I thought, “This is the Valley’s version of a graveyard.”

And then I thought, “This is what Apple is going to look like.” This was the late summer of 1998.

How unbelievably wrong I was on this. Today, in 2011, it makes me laugh out loud. And how incredible that *one man* could turn this moribund company into one of the largest companies on earth. And he based it on the noble premise of “Build great things that people want to use.”

And now he is gone too soon at the age of 56. I read on Wikipedia that Jobs had a fortune exceeding $8 billion. All that wealth could not buy him any more time on earth.

Silicon Valley has many great things about it. I’ve never seen such a collection of brilliant minds in one place. But one thing it lacks is the necessity of reflection. The Valley is always looking forward to the next great thing. But I hope the Valley takes Steve Jobs’ tragic passing as a chance to reflect.