Events of the Valley

Oh what I wouldn’t give to live in San Francisco again. Clean air, some of the world’s greatest food and a chance to be in the midst of some of the greatest innovators in the world. (Let’s ignore for a second those pesky earthquakes.)

Maybe the best part of living in the Bay Area is the quality of the events. If you follow the tech industry like Duke students follow basketball, then there’s no better place to see industry luminaries and hear their predictions for the future.

Sure most of the tech business and its various financiers are descending on Las Vegas and the Consumer Electronics Show—but it’s an event like everything else in that city: loud, raucous and flashy. It’s hardly a place to discuss ideas.

I was reminded again how much I miss the Bay Area this morning when I tripped over an email invite to the Global Technology Symposium at Stanford this March. For the uninitiated, this is consistently one of the best events out there, attracting the likes of T. Boone Pickens, Bill Draper and Reid Dennis to name a few.

Best of all, it’s intimate and laid back in a way that many other events would do well to imitate. It’s like sitting down to breakfast at Buck’s or catching a draft at the Dutch Goose with the founders of the entire VC business.

Besides great events, the people who live in the Bay Area have, what Fitzgerald would have called “a heightened sensitivity to the promises of life.” Whether it’s the ambient sense of optimism or the fact that Twitters regularly break news faster than the mainstream media—there’s something different going on there and I miss it.