Silicon Valley and Your Grandparents

The Palo Alto Daily Post reports that the incredible Roth building on Homer Ave. that formerly housed The Palo Alto Medical Foundation (prior to its  incarnation in a building that looks like a minimum security prison), is finally coming to life as The Palo Alto History Museum and it sounds awesome.   A coffee bar,  conversation hubs,  and a wall that allows you to talk, real time, to people across the world. And accessible archives! Finally – a museum that integrates the past, present and future. We here at The Silicon Valley Story really like that idea , look at our tagline.   This concept  is the Silicon Valley Story –  a dynamic, alive, creative, always fascinating, place that builds on the past (which may mean yesterday or 50 years) and constantly invents the future in the present.  Frustrating, expensive…yes, that too.

So 2 thumbs up to museum President Rich Green for not just making history come alive but making history based on the rich flavor of creativity and startupness that is  the DNA of  Palo Alto and Silicon Valley. Love your ideas for the museum – thanks for not making this another musty, dusty visual sleeping pill.

But I have a question for Mr. Green. Did you really say, “This is not your grandmother’s museum.” Because if you did, oh mine heart be still. Not only is this your grandmother’s (did we really pick old AND female as stereotypes?) museum but your grandfather’s too. And maybe even the generation before.  These are exactly the people that built this valley –  today’s grandparents – and even then, one generation before in at least one case I can think of.  Your lovely museum is only a tiny walk away from the HP garage and house on Addison. Surely Dave and Bill would be great grandparents by now and aren’t  many  of the  original Homebrew Computer Club grandparents, or could be?

The point is not to pick on this one unfortunate comment  but to highlight stereotypes of life here. Yes, we have hundreds of startups and 20 somethings who practice their pitches constantly and say, “If Zuck can do this, so can I.” Yes, you probably can if persistence, luck and creativity come together for you as they did for Mark.  You dreamers and  creators, you are awesome in so many ways and you are the bearer of tradition in all your new, new things.  But we must not, especially here, ever forget those who brought you the tech that makes the talking wall, the 3dprinting, the hole in the wall startup a reality.

Let’s make this a positive: This is your grandparents museum…and yours and yours and everyone else who found their way here on the wave of a dream and created together ‘The Silicon Valley Story’.  And don’t forget – these same grandparents also brought you sex, drugs and rock n’ roll.  Let’s give credit where credit is due – and go Calico, go so we can keep the grandparents for a very long time. (Don’t know what Calico is? It’s Google reinventing time of death:  See CALICO)

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