Friday, June 20, 2003

Ahh, the good ol' days (ref):
One time, a group of us were standing around in the atrium of ArsDigita HQ, and Philip was holding court. (As you may know, Philip is a talented public speaker with an exceptional ability to entertain an audience.) This time, Philip was describing how cool it would be to have a koi pond suspended from the ceiling of the atrium, so you could see the fish swimming from beneath and from all sides. Brian Stein replied, "You know what would be even better? A solid-gold trash can, burning cash 24/7." I don't think we would have laughed so long and hard if Brian had not struck a chord.
To be honest, I don't think I directly experienced those particular good ol' days. Working at Microsoft in 1996-1999 was fine, but it was also in this period that the famous "shrimp vs. weenies" phrase was in common use (possibly originated by Mike Murray in 1993-94, ref). Then joining a startup in 2000, just as the boom was crashing down, getting a minimal amount of VC funding in the nick of time a year later, there's obviously not a lot of money to throw around in those circumstances. I've travelled around the world on computer industry business but stayed in a Hilton or equivalent luxury hotel only once, and flown first-class only once (on Microsoft's tab, due to somebody else's reservation, and I hear he got in trouble for providing our group with first-class reservations). Still, I'm not complaining, it's a fun business and a lucky way to see a few far-flung places even without daily shrimp cocktails.

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