Cutting the Cord


My stepdaughter has found living in my house in the mountains with a toddler and commuting into the Valley to work is just too much.  So they are leaving the house in Dec.  And I've decided to sell the house.

Houses in the mountains don't always sell very quickly.  I've started dealing with a very good realtor (she sold me the house), and even with softer prices I believe I'll make a bit of a profit.

But it really feels like cutting the cord.

I love Silicon Valley, the concept.  I loved the excitement of starting companies, the focus, the hard work, and the achievement.  I was able to make some reasonable money, although I'm far from rich, and my retirement fund makes me worry about living too long.  I learned a ton.

But the Silicon Valley I love is in eclipse now.  So many people out of work, including my son.  Not much new going on.  Lots of programming jobs going overseas.  Companies like Sun staggering, like a fighter who has taken so many punches he doesn't realize he's hurt.  It seems quite sad.  And the nagging feeling that Silicon Valley has embraced the youth culture--that what I have to offer (experience and good advice, as well as technical acumen) just isn't as valued there as it is in my current company.

And I do enjoy New England.  Over and over, I'm struck by how nice the people are.  Maybe I was influenced by my first wife, maybe the 50's and 60's were just colder times than the present, and maybe the community I move into is just especially nice, but we have made so many good friends here...  Many more than we did in "friendly" California.  It would be hard to leave.

And yet, cutting the cord is hard.  Diana's parents.  My kids.

We'll be able to use the money, put it to work on our house here and in my retirement account.  Maybe do some traveling.  Focus our energies locally.  All good things.

I feel relieved in thinking that you can take me out of the valley, but you can't take the Valley out of me.  Those 15 years changed me.  I'm going to be involved in start-up companies again in my life, although probably not as a founder.  And I'm having more fun than I've had in years on my job.

But it's still cutting a cord.

Thank you for reading.

Copyright © 2001-2003 Pete Stevens. All rights reserved.