ask anyone on the street, in your office, on the bus, at school, sitting next to you: “what did you think california would be like BEFORE you moved here?” if you don’t live here, then ask the same pool of people: “what do you think california is like to live?”
these were my answers as a teenager in the 70’s growing up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana: “just a bunch of crazy, hippies – they are all in cults!” this statement was based on 2 things, network news and the movie “helter skelter” that chronicled one of the most horrific mass murders in our history, my opinion.
today, answers range from:
“just a bunch of crazy hippies”
“just a bunch of queers”
“hollywood / entitled kids driving fast cars & doing drugs”
living here in san francisco since 1995 with a 2 year stint in New York, this is my home. the scared teenager had no idea he would flourish in a place he vowed NEVER to live. my perception was not only wrong it was made without all the facts of california. here is just a small sample of brands / companies started here, you should recognize a few:
APPLE, AVERY DENNISON, BELKIN, BLACK ANGUS STEAKHOUSE, CHARLES SCHWAB,
CRAIGSLIST, DEL MONTE FOODS, DIRECT TV, EBAY, EXPERIAN,
FACEBOOK, FARMERS INSURANCE, GOOGLE, GHIRADELLI, HP,
HILTON HOTELS, IHOP, INTEL, JACUZZI, J.D.POWER & ASSOC.,
KAISER, KLEINER PERKINS, LA FITNESS, LONGS DRUGS, MATTEL,
MICROSOFT, NETGEAR, NINTENDO, OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM, ORACLE,
PAYPAL, PUBLIC STORAGE, QUALCOMM, QUEST SOFTWARE, ROUNDTABLE PIZZA,
RYLAND HOMES, SANDISK, SUN MICROSYSTEMS, TESLA MOTORS, TWITTER,
UNION BANK, VIEWSONIC, VISA INC., WELLS FARGO, WILLIAMS-SONOMA,
XIRRUS, YAHOO!, YOU TUBE, ZERO SKATEBOARDS
the california lifestyle is about relaxed intensity:
analyzing your business versus your demographics
pivoting to maintain maximum marketshare with upward trajectory,
doing all of this while smiling in shorts and flip flops.
the wealth is staggering here without being obnoxious, meaning you could be sitting next to a billionaire sipping coffee in a cafe and never realize it. you achieve this with little effort, remembering where you started, respecting those around you and giving back when you are able. the measure of an individual is not in how much he or she has in the bank, but in how they have treated people both in the good times and the times of struggle.
every “task” or new procedure that my team members would moan and groan about was about preparation. i was always preparing them for the worst, the bad times so that when they arrived the team is prepared with the tools and education to continue to build and grow. those that understood this, always maintained their growth even during the recession of 2009.
my perception of california changed the moment i stepped off the plane. it continues to grow and evolve as i do and the state does. where the future lies is anyones guess but you can BET, the next trends start here.