I moved to Palo Alto in 1999, at the height of the first dot-com boom. I was at Stanford, which felt like the epicenter of it all. Every week I would hear about a hot startup or new technology trend. It was an exciting and frenetic time.
On the weekends, I would go surfing in Santa Cruz, about an hour south of Palo Alto, where the pace was different. One day, I was talking about all of this to a man who had been surfing at Pleasure Point for 40 years.
You have everything you need right here, he told me. Look at it. Good surf, good friends, this sunset. The problem with having a lot of stuff, he said, is that at some point the stuff starts ruling you.