Cake
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    • I used to own four bookstores in Silicon Valley, Computer Literacy, one was the biggest computer bookstore in the world with 20,000 titles, academic books no one had.

      Each year a college student from Michigan would fly out to our store in San Jose and spend a couple days shopping for books. He'd rent a U-Haul that he parked in the parking lot and would drive it back to Michigan with his haul of books.

      His father Carl was a professor of computer science at the University of Michigan and a pioneer in computer science and artificial intelligence. His mother was a computer science instructor.

      His name was Larry and eventually he moved to our area to attend Stanford and major in computer science. He and a friend there developed some search engine tech that they tried to sell for a million dollar$ to established search engine companies like Excite and Yahoo — big, hot companies. They didn't bite and a friend of mine who worked at Excite told me why: search was not supposed to be great because it wasn't profitable; it was supposed to keep you on their portal where they could display good ads.

      Discouraged, Larry and his friend Sergey tried to start their own search engine company but Yahoo and Excite were right, the business model was tough. A few people, like Jeff Bezos invested in it on the premise that you should invest in what you use. Eventually, Larry and Sergey caved on their founding principles and started to run text-based ads on their search engine and since then they have managed to eke out a living.

      Their new campus near our houzz sure is beautiful.

    • You certainly got to know a lot of very interesting people ( I got the reference).

      I was in Palo Alto in the early 1960s, and just watched a lot of political demonstrations and marches against the bomb. 🥺

      I recognize that Amazon ascent has not been without its adverse effects on many smaller businesses, including retail book vendors, and small towns. I can remember similar statements about Wal-Mart too back in the day.

      I need to wander through my local bookstore this spring if it still exists. I haven't been downtown for amost a year.

      Are we really going to see another version of the roaring 20's before this is all over again?