Saturday, November 27, 2004

It's a Wonderful Life

I watched the end of It's a Wonderful Life on TV tonight, under a moon just-past-full, with blustery winds. It's a beautiful night, and seems portentous somehow. I had to go outside to keep a few things from blowing away and I looked up at the moon, and thought a bit...

We are an incredibly fortunate lot, all of us. Anyone able to read this blog post is amazingly lucky. You have a computer, internet access, and the luxury of "reading blogs" while much of the world is not so well off. It's a wonderful life after all, not a bit like Potterville.

I am the CEO of a startup company in Silicon Valley, an amazing opportunity and responsibility at the same time. I won't say "I don't know how I got here" because I do know how I got here, and it was a lot of hard work and risk and not a few mistakes along the way. It's funny to watch a schmaltzy old black-and-white movie and get sentimental, but the truth of many things doesn't age, or change. I was strangely inspired by watching Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed...

When I was at Apple, during part of the bubble burst time, I remember Steve Jobs saying that it was a time that many companies would be regrouping, saving, being conservative and careful, and it was a perfect time for Apple to "step on the gas" and accelerate, hire more people, innovate more, and come out the back side of the downturn at full speed, hitting on all cylinders. You need only look at Apple's stock price today to see the wisdom in that, and the phenomenal success that Apple has shown in the past 5 years.

As we head into the holiday season, often considered a miniature downturn in our industry, I am highly motivated to do the same, to invest some idea capital and hard work and come out in the new year with some bold new product direction, renewed momentum, and start an incredible year for Five Across. We were in Atlanta last week and had a few true brainstorms and I had a breakthrough or two on the laptop on the Delta flight headed home.

Can't wait to polish up some of these great new ideas and unleash them in the new year. It's a wonderful life!

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