Thursday, March 20, 2008

Four Years in the Valley

Today marks the four year anniversary of my move to Mountain View. Thinking back to my life in Chicago, I recall looking at the Google map for the bay area trying to figure out how I would get around. I planned to move here without a car and go as long as I could. Four years later I still don't have a car and it has been a wonderful experience organizing my life around traveling by bicycle.

It turned out that getting around was not such a problem at all. The weather here permits cycling year round minus the occasional rain storm here or there. The bike, plus the Caltrain have proven to be a complete transportation solution for me and I couldn't be happier.

Another important takeaway from these past four years has been my education about my career. I've worked for two startup companies for roughly two years each and done a fair amount of consulting for others as well. Companies in the valley are generally started with venture funding which makes for a very interesting work dynamic. I knew virtually nothing about this world back in Chicago and this four year period has introduced me to all the nuances of valuation, rounds of funding, stock options, and even buyout.

It certainly is a different world here. Things happen on a different schedule and for different reasons. No matter what direction the economy is heading, people here continue to innovate. That is one major attraction to me about the area and my lifestyle here.

Of course I've been blogging almost exclusively about skiing lately, my wintertime bay area passion. It has been great being so close to Lake Tahoe and all the resort skiing available there. Once the snow melts and the lifts stop turning it will be back to the bike for me. I have plenty of long leisure rides to tackle plus some training rides and climbs I plan to accomplish.

The outdoor lifestyle is yet another reason why I've been so happy with my lifestyle here. Here's to another four years in the valley.

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