Banking Big Tech Fintech Start Ups

California Ave, Palo Alto, E-Trade, Bank of the West

Cue the Time Machine.  Long ago, overheard at Printers Inc Cafe: “Can you believe the guy in my double E class is dropping out to start a company based on his bookmarks. He’s ridiculous.”  That would be Jerry Yang, founder of Yahoo.  I  kept listening and learning.

Printers Inc. Cafe was on California Ave; first a bookstore we all loved and then just the cafe was left. I still miss the bookstore with its original counter cafe and the cat who lived there.

More on California Ave:  I could walk down the block to this start up called E*Trade. WHAT? I could trade myself? No broker?  Color me in.  Then they ‘got big’ and moved to a real campus and then another and another and now, oh my, bought out by Morgan Stanley.  No comment.

And my bank was there too. Bank of the West. To me it was just a bank. It worked for my simple needs and all was good. And then, and then,  IT BECAME CANADIAN. Bought out by Bank of Montreal. I wouldn’t care so much if Justin Trudeau hadn’t shut down the bank accounts of every Canadian that donated over $40.00 to the Trucker. striking against mandates.

Oh bring on the fainting couch. Throw out all the lessons I was taught on liberty. Ferocious act by a leader. There is a new word in my vocabulary now: de-banked. I may get de-banked for this.

Well, Jerry Yang is doing just fine I hear.








General Start Ups

ChatGPT writes a post for TheSiliconValleyStory

Silicon Valley past and future

I asked ChatGPT to write a blog post

Here it is, along with the prompt:

write a blog post for

Title: The Evolution of Silicon Valley: Where Innovation Meets the Future

Introduction: Welcome to, your guide to the ever-evolving landscape of innovation and technology. In this blog post, we embark on a journey through time, exploring the remarkable transformation and enduring spirit of Silicon Valley. From its humble beginnings as an agricultural region to its status as the global epicenter of technological advancement, Silicon Valley’s story is one of perpetual reinvention and pioneering spirit.

  1. The Seeds of Innovation: Silicon Valley’s story begins in the early 20th century when a handful of visionaries recognized the potential of this fertile land. Stanford University, founded in 1885, played a pivotal role in nurturing early innovators. The region’s transformation truly took off after World War II when Hewlett-Packard, the pioneering electronics company, set up shop in a Palo Alto garage. This marked the birth of the culture of innovation that would come to define Silicon Valley.
  2. The Rise of the Tech Titans: The 1970s and 1980s saw the rise of iconic companies like Apple, Intel, and Oracle. Silicon Valley became a hotbed of technological breakthroughs and entrepreneurial zeal. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak revolutionized personal computing, while Larry Ellison and his team brought the power of databases to the masses. These tech titans not only created game-changing products but also shaped a unique ethos of risk-taking, collaboration, and disruptive innovation.
  3. The Dot-Com Boom and Bust: The late 1990s witnessed the exuberance of the dot-com boom, as Silicon Valley became synonymous with internet startups and venture capital funding. Companies like Amazon, Yahoo!, and Google emerged, forever altering the digital landscape. However, this euphoria was short-lived, as the bursting of the dot-com bubble in the early 2000s led to a period of introspection and recalibration. Lessons were learned, and the resilience of Silicon Valley shone through as it rebounded stronger than ever.
  4. The New Era: Artificial Intelligence and Beyond: As we entered the 21st century, a new wave of technological innovation took hold in Silicon Valley. Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and data analytics emerged as the driving forces behind the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Companies like Tesla, SpaceX, and Google’s DeepMind pushed the boundaries of what was deemed possible, ushering in an era of autonomous vehicles, space exploration, and intelligent algorithms.
  5. The Expanding Horizons: Silicon Valley’s influence extends beyond its physical boundaries. The spirit of innovation has transcended geographical limitations, inspiring the creation of tech hubs around the world. From Bangalore to Berlin, from Tel Aviv to Shenzhen, pockets of innovation have blossomed, but the allure and mystique of Silicon Valley remain unrivaled. Its unique ecosystem, comprising top-tier universities, venture capital firms, and a vibrant startup culture, continues to attract dreamers and disruptors from across the globe.
  6. Embracing Diversity and Ethical Responsibility: Silicon Valley has not been without its challenges. Issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion have come to the forefront, prompting a much-needed reflection on the industry’s shortcomings. Additionally, concerns surrounding data privacy, algorithmic biases, and ethical AI have highlighted the need for responsible innovation. Silicon Valley is now on a collective journey towards fostering a more inclusive and accountable tech community.

Conclusion: Silicon Valley’s story is an ongoing saga, shaped by relentless innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, and societal impact. From the garages of Palo Alto to the skyscrapers of San Francisco, the journey of this technological mecca continues to unfold. As we look to the future, it is crucial to remember that the true power of Silicon Valley lies not only in its

3Dprinting Artificial Intelligence Domain Names

3D Printing domain name for sale

We can all use some help sometimes. I am making no comment on how good this post is, or isn’t. I asked for help and I got it. So, TY, ChatGTP!

I asked ChatGPT to write a sales letter to sell the domain name

Here it is:

Dear Sir or Madam,

Are you looking for a premium domain name for your 3D printing business in Silicon Valley? Look no further than siliconvalley3Dprint!

This unique and memorable domain name is the perfect fit for a company that specializes in 3D printing technology in the heart of the tech world. With siliconvalley3Dprint, you can showcase your expertise and establish your brand as a leader in the exciting and rapidly-growing field of 3D printing.

In addition to its catchy and relevant name, siliconvalley3Dprint also has a number of other benefits. It is easy to remember and spell, making it easy for customers to find and visit your website. It is also short and concise, which is ideal for use on social media and other marketing channels. Plus, it is a .com domain, which is the most widely recognized and trusted top-level domain on the internet.

Don’t miss out on this valuable opportunity to secure siliconvalley3Dprint for your 3D printing business. Act now and take the first step towards establishing your online presence and attracting customers in the vibrant and innovative community of Silicon Valley.

All offers considered.  Make an offer on


Bitcoin Cryptocurrency Fintech Start Ups

Once Upon A Time, A Coinbase story of 2013



I had no idea I was an OG. I had no idea what it meant. Here’s how I found out.

I recently went to a reunion of my old bitcoin meetup held at Plug ‘n Play in Sunnyvale.  Wow, look at all the people. We had 10 or 12 in the group when I began.  (have’t been in 2 years). Nothing like the old days of January 2014. That was, as far as I can tell from my records that the first time I attended a meetup (and where the hell was Scott Robinson, fearless leader, who was so kind as to show me how to access my transactions on the blockchain so as to get a refund, an event seared into my memory amongst all the other things he did such as bring the best and brightest of BTC people  to our meetup as speakers? Missed you and TY, Scott)

Someone asked me when I first started in BTC, I told him,   he grabbed me from my solitary stance eating a slice and took me over to a group and intro’ed me as an OG. I looked confused. He explained. TY!

Somewhere in this timeframe I opened an account at Coinbase. I mention this because they are currently manually verifying me, a process which takes 2 days according to the text and email they sent. Why are they verifying? Because I needed 2FA authentication to get back in yesterday and they sent the code and none of my apps for authentication were working. Silent scream. Worked on getting authy back. Problems there too even after re-install. What the hell was going on? I think this has to do with recent transfer of phone – my son got a new iPhone, I got his. (Yea, I’m fine with this.) All went well except for this?? Not sure if this is the reason, still trying to figure it out.

Meanwhile Coinbase is offering me other options to get in. My license and selfie don’t seem sufficient and they changed wait time from 10 minutes to 2 days. This triggered a memory. Way back when Coinbase  was young, in 2013 I had another “verify” problem. I received the following from support:

I completely understand and regret the frustration this is causing. Unfortunately, we do not have a process in place to manually verify accounts at this time. While you are still able to purchase up to 10 BTC, sell up to 50 BTC per day, and take full advantage of our bitcoin wallet services, it may not be possible to verify your identity using our current system.

Please know that we’re actively working to improve this system so that it becomes a much more convenient process in the future. Implementing new identity verification measures requires careful consideration to provide convenience to our legitimate users, and safeguards to protect against malicious users who may be trying to steal others’ identities.

I apologize that I cannot completely resolve this issue at the moment, but please feel free to send me a message anytime if needed!

Well, how things change over time. from “no system to verify” to now.
 Finding the old email was a blast from the past and Coinbase, if it would have helped my selfie pic for ID purposes I would have worn my Coinbase “To the Moon” cap you gave to us at the BTC meetup reunion you helped sponsor. Thx for the swag and hope you soon find out I’m me.
Just a flashback to early days of Coinbase from an OG.
Coinbase, we do go back in time together.  How’s the manual verification process going?
Bitcoin silicon valley


General social media Stanford Start Ups

Silicon Valley, Year 2000, A Trip on the Wayback Machine

Cue the time machine. In 2007 I wrote about Silicon Valley and what it was like in the year 2000.  Strap in, here we go:

The Silicon Valley Story, Year 2000

It was so much fun to be here in the year 2000.  The future was exciting, everyone was giddy with the possibility of tech as miracle.  And it was.  It made money out of nothing;  but then gave it back.  However, SiliconValley is resilient and now, in 2007, we are back with more and more and the new, new thing.  More conservative perhaps, maybe not. This might come to be known as the Social Networking Era.

Everyone blogs now. I was an early adopter and began in 2000. So long ago it was called a weblog, its original name.

This was the introduction to my  blog. On Blogger. Which was not owned by Google. Imagine that.


In his best selling book on Silicon Valley, “The New New Thing”, author Michael Lewis explains that until 1994, Silicon Valley was simply the source of a few high tech companies. In April of that year, Netscape incorporated and a sea change occurred.  Lewis says unprecedented wealth was created. And it has.  This wealth has changed forever the face of this area. as housing, food, cars, are all  at unheard of prices. But the sea change involved more than just the creation of newly minted mega millionaires.  Places we used to call San Jose, Santa Clara. Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Los Altos and Palo Alto are no longer discrete  communities in the eye of the world.  They are Silicon Valley. A place or a state of mind?  The people who live here, work here are at the eye of the storm. Their homes are worth millions and yet they did nothing to increase the value; the “dot-comers” did it. Yet, these same people with the enormous wealth in their homes resent the invasion of the techno culture and all it brings. New restaurants, the demise of others, the SUV’s, the Starbucks, all are lightning rods for the anger and resentment. Yet, the net has come and change won’t flow backwards. The media has been in charge of how the world views the Valleyand its lifestyles, its tech innovations and the people that come here, attracted by the talent, the money, the possibilities. But what about the people themselves. What do they have to say? What’s it like to live here, to be one of the ones creating the new technologies, the new wealth?  And what does it mean to be here and not be part of the techno culture, rather to be someone caught up in a world of change, unbidden, unasked for? 


 All of us have different visions, views and stories of Silicon Valley. This weblog
 has been created to be a place for those views to be heard. Whether you
 remember this as “the valley of heart’s delight” or just arrived to be part of the
 techno-culture, it is only when we hear all the voices, unchained from the media’s
 interpretation, that the Silicon Valley story will unfold as completely as it can.
 It’s your story too, talk to us. 
Domain Names Entertainment Games General Start Ups Virtual Reality VR/AR

A Domain name, Twitter and a UK Games Programmer

philz downtown Palo Alto

Let’s jump across the pond and visit a young game designer in the U.K.  I found him by a series of random events that began on Twitter.

Michel Cyger (@MichaelCyger) Director of Domain Education for and founder of several domain related platforms tweeted the question “Who else is in the “I own my name dot com domain”club?”

I answered that I was a part of this club and also owned my son’s name, JamesRichardBradley dot com  and two grandkids names. And I bought one for a friend.

Somehow this got me to looking up the kid’s domain name in google and finding this JRB, who is not my son but shares his name in a country specific domain name for his website.

My JRB is not a techie (because of or despite all those years in Palo Alto?)  He is a talent manager for writers, actors, directors in soCal – (and he has also not used his domain name, much to my dismay).

I find that my child’s  U.K namesake is indeed into tech and some interesting tech at that. Please click on his site,  James Richard Bradley ,  but if you don’t, here’s some self described data about about him:

“I’m a gaming and technology enthusiast with 10 years of experience in the retail industry, currently retraining in my dream field of work, Games Programming. I have a passion for strong narrative and immersive gameplay, but I currently have a particular interest in exploring the use of AI in level design to create a more immersive experience.”

James of the U.K. happy to meet you.  I’m not into gaming and not a programmer. In fact, here’s my only contribution to gaming, the domain name which happens to be for sale. Bought circa 1998 from godaddy. It can be a dynamic site with some work, a great name has come into its own.

So James, if you find this post, say hi here and let us know if you are still doing programming and if not, what are you up to?  Thanks to Michael Cyger for asking the question of who owns their name as a domain and leading to our finding a James Richard Bradley in the U.K who does indeed have a domain as his name, just like the U.S. JRB.

And to everyone:  visit, a great domain for sale.

Domain Names Games

From Good Morning America to Gotham: Here’s eGameworld

philz downtown Palo Alto

A Moment of Fame in Silicon Valley HIstory

From Good Morning America to Gotham: my domain names always have a story. They were the reason my email address was the headline in The San Jose Mercury News. Or Good Morning America called me or NYU Law interviewed and wrote about me. Or being a story on every local tv station in Silicon Valley.

All because of domain names? Yes. Just words. One publicity rich event was when I took on a multinational organization to win a trademark infringement domain name fight. Not in court, but on the very domain they wanted to sue me over. I published my arguments invoking, along with the law, Tim Berners-Lee. I won. Chilling effects website found the case, published it as well as Internet Freedom Foundation and this lead to NYU Law calling me. Power to the people as Tim and Woz said about computing.

The story that put my email address as headlines on The San Jose Mercury had to do with an ad I put in the paper to trade a domain name for a place to live. The Merc interviewed me and surprised the hell out of me by making this the headlines. When your email is the headline, you get noticed and Good Morning America wants to talk to you. It was fun for a few days but then the news cycle is over and that’s that! One and done.

Much has happened in IRL and virtually since those stories. By the time iRobot came nagging me about a domain I owned that they thought was trademark infringement I just put up a blog post showing them how they were incorrect and that was that.

Ok, now, I’d like a bit of that attention and fame because I am ready to sell some never used and some very unused domain names. for one. It is FOR SALE! Let me shout it to the rooftops. I bought egameworld in 1998. I’ve decided to try getting a tiny site up with a gaming news feed and some affiliate links. I am tired, so decided to hire someone, first time hiring a developer. Started with Craig of course (thank you Craig Newmark for so much). That’s craigslist I’m talking about. Problems already…people who advertised did not respond. hmm..ok, so from Silicon Valley I end up with someone from NY who advertises in L.A. Craigslist. Alright, its a digital, virtual world, fine by me. I had no idea however the name of the company I was responding to was Gotham. Have I found my superhero? Or, OMG, is this the Joker? I’m always looking for cosmic jokes – have I been served one now? EGameWorld has landed in Gotham? I believe in you..Here’s a pitch for you: GOTHAM TECH

Meanwhile I decide to sell a site, never used, bought in 2007 and do the same thing: affiliate links and newsfeed. And then, a few hours after I decide to do this I find out 23andme has gone public with the ticker symbol ME. My domain is DNAisME dot com…I bought it in 2007 and it has been unused since. Any chance 23 will not come after me for trademark infringement? Ok, we’ll see, ’cause the site is coming, and DNAisME is me, since 2007.

Gotham? Really?? I ended up in Gotham? And a domain with the 23nadme ticker symbol? Oh, the places I’ve been, and I’m skipping the years the Japanese took over CowsAreVeg (I’ve got it back.)

Facebook social media Start Ups Startups

Goodbye Zuckerberg and Facebook?

Lost My Facebook Page, Can’t Get It Back, Gone to Aldershot, England

Facebook and I have history but not in any usual sense. Circa 2007, Mark was starting out in Palo Alto at an office on Hamilton Ave. (At the time Fast Company said this about Facebook: “The question remains, if Facebook is a business, how will it monetize the opportunity that Zuckerberg has created? And how soon will the race for cash flow begin? Already there is rampant speculation about potential advertising models and other next-stage transformations of the business mode.”) Seems so quaint now.

I was living on Addison a few blocks away and renting out a room with private bath. My ad on Craigslist got a lot of responses because of its location. In July 2007 the email that eventually got the room began: “I’m starting work at an internet startup in Palo Alto on August 6 and am looking for a place to stay.” He had just graduated college at age 23. The internet “startup” was Facebook and I was located within what they called “the miracle mile”. If an employee lived within a mile of the Facebook office on Hamilton they got an extra $600 per month because they were expected to be available if the servers crashed in the middle of the night.

So enter new renter, new employee at “startup” Facebook. What a great guy the renter was. We got along well, we even somehow knew someone in common though we were generations apart. I decided now might be the time to open an account with this startup. I asked the FB expert to help me – and voila – one Facebook account/customer was born. Fast forward a few months and the new employee decided he needed to travel, told me he was leaving Facebook and my place. I suggested he might want to stay as I heard things were going quite well for the company and he might be missing out on something about to scale.

No, he was insistent, there was some traveling he had to do and now was the time. So, exit Facebook, hello big wide world. And eventually, maybe four months later he was back in Palo Alto and looking for work. Apparently he had a friend who had an engineering degree from Stanford but was marking time with a side hustle at a local cafe. Former Facebook employee asks friend if there is any job at the cafe. Friend says “Don’t do cafe, I’ve got something else going on.” ‘Something else’ would come to be known as Instagram. The barista was Kevin Systrom. The rest is history. My renter became part of the group that Mark bought and is known as Instagram’s first employee.

So, from an early employee of Facebook, who became Instagram early days, I got a Facebook account. I wasn’t sure what Facebook was or did and I already did my own sites so I wasn’t sure I needed this. But over time, although I didn’t post much I would keep up with friends and family.

Until now when I got this email from Facebook: “It looks like someone tried to log into your account on June 1 at 5:24 AM using Edge (Chromium Based) on Windows 10.” Then, “Your Facebook password was changed on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at 5:34 AM (PDT). IP address: Estimated location: ALDERSHOT ENGLAND, GB”

I’ve tried working though system to fix .I webcammed my CDL and it was not accepted. I need help….

I tell you about original setup of account because it was done with help from early FB employee who became Instagram, Josh Reidel.

Dear Facebook, we go way back and I am not a big FB’er, though you may be happy to know I have bought FB ads – but I need to see the fam and friends posts. And there’s a guy from Redwood City wearing a Facebook shirt that I intercepted today to ask for his help, who was nice enough to stop and talk, but he doesn’t work for FB, just wearing his sisters T and well, I really don’t want to stalk any more Facebook t-shirt wearers. But hey, dude from Redwood City, thx, you and friends were cool for listening to my Facebook rant.

If anyone knows how to help, let me know. I’ve tweeted to FBsecurity DM’ed to Facebook and nothing. C’mon someone, anyone at Facebook, find my page. It was created by a Facebooker who got bought by Mark when he became an Instagrammer, in my living room in Palo Alto and now its gone to Aldershot, England. And I don’t know why. Can we have a better ending, Facebook? Mark? Sheryl?

Government & Technology Investing Stanford Start Ups Startups

Dr. Seuss and Silicon Valley

A very long time ago in the era 2000 I was somehow struck by the need for social commentary a la Dr. Seuss.  I understand the current issues but am also one of those who say, “Don’t cancel culture, teach from it.”

So, with love and affection to someone who made words sing,  though  now I know some might sting, here is:


in the year 2000
Every dreamer in the valley liked riches a lot.
“dot com it” “dot com it,” that’s what is hot!
But the Grinch of dreams lurked in the bay
Saying, “Hear them all talk, but I’ll get them one day.”

The Grinch hated dreamers, and liked them to lose.
He thought, “I can make them unhappy, if I so choose”
He read 100 business plans, and said with glee:
“Why, these are as stupid as stupid can be!”

He read with a grin, “Profits will be slim or none,
There is no reality : we buy high and sell low and be done!
It’s not what we do, it’s who we know.
They shall sit on our Board and that’s what we’ll show.”

He went to the West Coast and onto Sand Hill
Where VC’s were at work and janitors were road kill.
He saw them talking on their cell phones and using their Palm.
Those objects so beloved that soothed them and acted as balm.”

He watched with awe as the prices of houses went up and up.
The people who lived there had mega size kitchens yet went out to sup.
They bought SUV‘s and SUV‘s and more SUV‘s
so they could drive and never say , “please!”

And all of the people on Sand Hill were happy, happy guys and gals
‘Cause they  played games with all of their pals
Starting up dot-coms and  doing IPO’s
And now in the valley of jeans and T’s, we’re wearing designer clothes.
And the Grinch was filled with glee.
This people have no idea! They had no idea what was to be!
But the Grinch soon worried and started to fret,
it looked like some of the dot-com’s were wet, wet, wet!

Then he saw that this was really very funny:
What will these people do when there is no more  money.
“We’re not worried,” they said so smug.
“The end  was part of the plan”, they added with a shrug.”

But people were beginnning to ask
“Just what does this company do? What is its task?”
“You named it; oh what ‘s in a name?
I thought and I thought and it sounds like a game.”

The Grinch saw the people needed help and quick:
Their stocks were all dead, the companies so promising; now sick.
All was now  understood:
Alas, the VC’s had done no good.

And the Grinch was now satisfied. He knew the lesson they learned
That profits must  be earned.
And so, dear VC’s the Grinch urges you and you and you!
to come off the hill and meet with those of us who’d like to earn a sou.

Yes, we’d like to earn a sou or a dollar or a yen,
We’ve got ideas and talent and use them again and again.
But we don’t want pre-IPO and we don’t need a Board or a fancy name
Just some help, ’cause life is hard work, that’s the name of the game

But we’ll give you profits! Yes, we’ll try and make money.
Stop laughing, this isn’t *that* funny.
It’s the New, New thing – a company in business to earn –
Look – sit down and have a latte, there’s a lot you need to learn.


Entertainment General Start Ups

A Blonde in Need

sex workers in silicon valley

When you live in Silicon Valley and a virus steals all the things you like to do (well almost all)  and one of them includes not getting highlights, what do you do? A website of course! That’s how Make Me Blonde came to be.

Click here to Make Me Blonde

What have you done that you might not otherwise have done had a virus not invaded all aspects of your life? C’mon spill the beans and comment below.