California: Boom and Burn

Let’s go back to 1849, the time of the gold rush. Prospectors from all over the United States flocked to California upon news that gold deposits had been discovered. Big ones.


Fast forward to 1950. The post-war baby boom is in full swing, and people are looking for jobs and the American dream. Again, California booms with population growth. California becomes the new ideal: driving along the coastal highway, or perhaps even a brand new shiny interstate highway – with speed limits in the 50mph range – in your beautiful new Ford, Mercury, Pontiac, or Buick convertible.


Fast forward to the late 1990’s. Internet entrepreneurs start gathering in critical mass in the Bay area. The internet is taking off like crazy and start-up fever is taking hold of the population, creating a new breed of billionaires: internet entrepreneurs. The explosion of the web creates instant and huge demand for programmers, marketeers, and support and operations specialists. An entirely new industry is booming (something we hadn’t seen for almost a century), and California was at the center of that boom.


A decade later, it seems like the perennial story for California continues to be that it’s burning down. In fact, with each burning summer I wonder if there is any part of California that has yet to be burned at least once?

Throw in the earthquakes, landslides, and possible pacific tsunami, and what kind of place is California, really?

Just as my sister-in-law once stated: you pay for every ray of sunshine you get here.

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