As President Obama's motorcade made its way through the San Francisco Peninsula yesterday, the first fundraising stop was at the Atherton home of Douglas and Lisa Goldman, who are very well known and respected philanthropists. I was a bit curious. With very minimal effort, I learned that M. Goldman is actually Dr. Goldman, a retired physician, apparently a big Obama backer, and most interestingly an heir to the Levi Strauss fortune.
With my 4th grade daughter deep into the California Gold Rush unit at school, I found it fascinating that the President was NOT visiting a miner's house, but was visiting the home of their tailor! If there are two fortunes and legacies that I associate with the Gold rush, they are Stanford and Levi's, railroads and blue jeans. I quickly went to see if I could find the legacy of the people who actually mined the gold, but the only trail I could find are the 49ers, the football mascot, not the people still living in mansions. I am sure they exist, but they are not easy to find.
This made me think of today's "Cloud Rush", and where the winners will be 5, 10 and even 30 years from now. Not who will be the next Mark Z and Facebook, who have certainly hit a vein of rich gold, but who is the next Larry Ellison and Oracle. For 35 yrs (yes check that number out!) Oracle has been providing the technological equivalent of railroads and blue jeans to 3+ waves of technology disruption, minicomputer, client server, Web and maybe cloud.
I LOVE infrastructure solutions because while not sexy like gold, they work everyday like blue jeans and railroads, and are often some of the most overlooked opportunities by the strike it rich miners. In today's "Cloud rush", there is a LOT of money to be made by enabling the mining of Cloud gold, scaling, managing, securing, enabling, optimizing, that's where I want to work!!!! So let the 20 somethings pull on their new jeans, fire up their Amazon
instances and pan for gold. May many of them strike it rich Give me a great infrastructure idea that I can sell to all of them any day
and I'll put my money there.
When my daughter writes about the 54th president visiting the home of someone 30 years from now, which legacy will that harken back to?