Renting a car with Nat

So, I'm on the Rental Car bus at San Jose's airport. Who sits next to me but Nathan Torkington of O'Reilly. He recognized me instantly and said "congratulations." What a weird world, but shows why Silicon Valley is just a different kind of place than anywhere else in the world in terms of geek density. This is not an uncommon experience for me.

We chatted a bit about changes coming up in both of our lives (he's working on new stuff other than conferences, but wouldn't tell me what's up).

He told me something he learned in life is to always have a big story to tell. That sounds a lot like Lenn Pryor who said the same thing. Explain the big picture of what's happening and all the small pieces fall into place, he told me. 

25 thoughts on “Renting a car with Nat

  1. Well try running an outsourcing company in the IT hub of the Philippines as an American. You can do 1/1000 of what you’ve done in the US (I’ve been working for Web companies for 8 years) and get the same recognitions and “hey look it’s….”.

  2. Well try running an outsourcing company in the IT hub of the Philippines as an American. You can do 1/1000 of what you’ve done in the US (I’ve been working for Web companies for 8 years) and get the same recognitions and “hey look it’s….”.

  3. Well try running an outsourcing company in the IT hub of the Philippines as an American. You can do 1/1000 of what you’ve done in the US (I’ve been working for Web companies for 8 years) and get the same recognitions and “hey look it’s….”.

  4. Indeed this is a small valley. One thing that I noticed:

    I have switched 5 companies in 5 years, and in every new company, I find a couple of people already from my previous company and then again more join while I am there :-)

  5. Indeed this is a small valley. One thing that I noticed:

    I have switched 5 companies in 5 years, and in every new company, I find a couple of people already from my previous company and then again more join while I am there :-)

  6. Indeed this is a small valley. One thing that I noticed:

    I have switched 5 companies in 5 years, and in every new company, I find a couple of people already from my previous company and then again more join while I am there :-)

  7. Argh. I tried to post this yesterday from my Windows Mobile phone, but it didn’t go through.

    I was on the San Jose airport car rental shuttle, reading feeds on my phone, when I read your post. I actually looked around to see if you were on the same bus as I was! I must have just missed you. (I was in town presenting at Intel’s Product Technical Training).

    I wrote my original comment while I was still on the shuttle. How’s THAT for a small world?! ;-)

  8. Argh. I tried to post this yesterday from my Windows Mobile phone, but it didn’t go through.

    I was on the San Jose airport car rental shuttle, reading feeds on my phone, when I read your post. I actually looked around to see if you were on the same bus as I was! I must have just missed you. (I was in town presenting at Intel’s Product Technical Training).

    I wrote my original comment while I was still on the shuttle. How’s THAT for a small world?! ;-)

  9. Argh. I tried to post this yesterday from my Windows Mobile phone, but it didn’t go through.

    I was on the San Jose airport car rental shuttle, reading feeds on my phone, when I read your post. I actually looked around to see if you were on the same bus as I was! I must have just missed you. (I was in town presenting at Intel’s Product Technical Training).

    I wrote my original comment while I was still on the shuttle. How’s THAT for a small world?! ;-)

  10. You get the same sort of thing over here in Scotland too. The population of the whole country is less than that of London, so us geeks are always running into one another.

  11. You get the same sort of thing over here in Scotland too. The population of the whole country is less than that of London, so us geeks are always running into one another.

  12. You get the same sort of thing over here in Scotland too. The population of the whole country is less than that of London, so us geeks are always running into one another.

  13. Robert, do you notice that the fact this entry had “car rental” in it’s title, it only draws 3 commets (at time of posting, of course ;))…?

    My suggestion (take it in the spirit it’s written): In order to reduce the flash-crowd effect you are suffering from, at present (obligatory PhilSu boldness, there, sorry ;)), you seriously need to post more stuff like this up – but remove any reference to accidentally meeting up with one of Tim’s employee’s, in the process. These people have a very short attention spell.

    Just spend a few days bloging about the things normal bloggers blog about – hey, you know: “My car broke down, and the mechanic says it’ll cost loadsa bucks to fix, because he has to drop the whole block to replace it”, or “I’m kinda worried about my oldest kids school grades: he’s doing OK, in computer science, but his art grades really suck. Maybe I should stop him playing his Xbox so much?”, or “Have you noticed how late the blossom is, coming out, where you live? Is this global warming, or something?”… That sort of thing :).

    They’ll soon get bored and drift away, and then you can go back to being the normal person that I’m pretty sure you realise you actually need to be.

    I’ll keep reading you (although I couldn’t give a Monkey’s about your clutch, I’d be sympathising with you, if you really were worried about your kid, and I’d agree with you about the global warming stuff).

    Honestly: try it. These people have very little tolerance for mediocrity. They think they’re changing the world by posting the “same old same old”, everywhere that gets mildly interesting (rather than finding a software project that they could be quietly working on, and contributing to, instead, of course!).

    So that’s the strategy I’d recommend for maintaining the relevance of this blogging phenomenon you believe in, so much: when the flash crowd arrives, feed them a little bit of mediocrity, until they all p*ss off; then get back to what you do best ;).

    There’s such a thing as being too relevant, you know?

  14. Robert, do you notice that the fact this entry had “car rental” in it’s title, it only draws 3 commets (at time of posting, of course ;))…?

    My suggestion (take it in the spirit it’s written): In order to reduce the flash-crowd effect you are suffering from, at present (obligatory PhilSu boldness, there, sorry ;)), you seriously need to post more stuff like this up – but remove any reference to accidentally meeting up with one of Tim’s employee’s, in the process. These people have a very short attention spell.

    Just spend a few days bloging about the things normal bloggers blog about – hey, you know: “My car broke down, and the mechanic says it’ll cost loadsa bucks to fix, because he has to drop the whole block to replace it”, or “I’m kinda worried about my oldest kids school grades: he’s doing OK, in computer science, but his art grades really suck. Maybe I should stop him playing his Xbox so much?”, or “Have you noticed how late the blossom is, coming out, where you live? Is this global warming, or something?”… That sort of thing :).

    They’ll soon get bored and drift away, and then you can go back to being the normal person that I’m pretty sure you realise you actually need to be.

    I’ll keep reading you (although I couldn’t give a Monkey’s about your clutch, I’d be sympathising with you, if you really were worried about your kid, and I’d agree with you about the global warming stuff).

    Honestly: try it. These people have very little tolerance for mediocrity. They think they’re changing the world by posting the “same old same old”, everywhere that gets mildly interesting (rather than finding a software project that they could be quietly working on, and contributing to, instead, of course!).

    So that’s the strategy I’d recommend for maintaining the relevance of this blogging phenomenon you believe in, so much: when the flash crowd arrives, feed them a little bit of mediocrity, until they all p*ss off; then get back to what you do best ;).

    There’s such a thing as being too relevant, you know?

  15. Robert, do you notice that the fact this entry had “car rental” in it’s title, it only draws 3 commets (at time of posting, of course ;))…?

    My suggestion (take it in the spirit it’s written): In order to reduce the flash-crowd effect you are suffering from, at present (obligatory PhilSu boldness, there, sorry ;)), you seriously need to post more stuff like this up – but remove any reference to accidentally meeting up with one of Tim’s employee’s, in the process. These people have a very short attention spell.

    Just spend a few days bloging about the things normal bloggers blog about – hey, you know: “My car broke down, and the mechanic says it’ll cost loadsa bucks to fix, because he has to drop the whole block to replace it”, or “I’m kinda worried about my oldest kids school grades: he’s doing OK, in computer science, but his art grades really suck. Maybe I should stop him playing his Xbox so much?”, or “Have you noticed how late the blossom is, coming out, where you live? Is this global warming, or something?”… That sort of thing :).

    They’ll soon get bored and drift away, and then you can go back to being the normal person that I’m pretty sure you realise you actually need to be.

    I’ll keep reading you (although I couldn’t give a Monkey’s about your clutch, I’d be sympathising with you, if you really were worried about your kid, and I’d agree with you about the global warming stuff).

    Honestly: try it. These people have very little tolerance for mediocrity. They think they’re changing the world by posting the “same old same old”, everywhere that gets mildly interesting (rather than finding a software project that they could be quietly working on, and contributing to, instead, of course!).

    So that’s the strategy I’d recommend for maintaining the relevance of this blogging phenomenon you believe in, so much: when the flash crowd arrives, feed them a little bit of mediocrity, until they all p*ss off; then get back to what you do best ;).

    There’s such a thing as being too relevant, you know?

  16. OK, but with megabuck median home prices you’re not going to get any new blood. Simple calculation of expected salary = median home price/4 leaves Silly Valley needing to pay $250k salaries. I don’t see anyone offering that so expect a major labor shortage if you’re going to stay there. I’m certainly not going back.

  17. OK, but with megabuck median home prices you’re not going to get any new blood. Simple calculation of expected salary = median home price/4 leaves Silly Valley needing to pay $250k salaries. I don’t see anyone offering that so expect a major labor shortage if you’re going to stay there. I’m certainly not going back.

  18. OK, but with megabuck median home prices you’re not going to get any new blood. Simple calculation of expected salary = median home price/4 leaves Silly Valley needing to pay $250k salaries. I don’t see anyone offering that so expect a major labor shortage if you’re going to stay there. I’m certainly not going back.

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