It always amazes me how rural and non-tech the feel is at the heart of the technology world.
Palo Alto, Menlo Park, San Jose and all of the places around feel less like a futuristic world and more like a (very) well funded small town, with a strong connectivity with nature.
With crazy real-estate prices and many hand crafted development rules keep the area with a consistently comfortable feel.
From Fortune: John Arrillaga Sr., the 77-year-old co-founding partner of the site’s developer, Peery Arrillaga. Sure, the modern tech industry was created by visionaries like Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce, the semiconductor entrepreneurs who put the “silicon” in the Santa Clara Valley; by the likes of Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, the computer whizzes who burnished the romance of starting a company in a one-car garage; by Steve Jobs, who, well, was Steve Jobs. But Arrillaga–who also happens to be the father-in-law of one of the Valley’s famed venture capitalists, Marc Andreessen–is the guy who built the tech corridor where it all happened.
Intersting fact: Notwithstanding his care for details, he reportedly refuses to put them on paper. In a world obsessed with term sheets and employment agreements, associates say, Arrillaga has never signed a formal contract with any of his construction crews.
My experience is that the buildings feel less like the tech giants they are but simple structures designed to blend with nature and give a rural feel to some of the best minds in tech and venture capital.