There are still some things only humans can do
I remember visiting Yahoo! back in 1995, just before everything exploded here in Silicon Valley – I, along with a number of cable TV execs (we had come down from Toronto to meet with reps from @Home, Netscape and Yahoo! to get the lay of the land prior to launching our own cable internet service in Canada – think Xfinity. In the end we never met with Netscape, this being about a week before they went IPO and they ended up not having enough time for us) in our tight business suits and ties walked into the back of that industrial unit in Mountain View. I distinctly remember a few things from that meeting – how stodgy I felt in my suit and tie while everyone else was in ripped jeans and t-shirt (yep, even Jerry Yang, who we met with that day), when we walked in the first thing we saw was not a formal business reception desk, but someone in the lobby sitting at a workstation with a huge screen, surfing the internet. She was looking over links to add to Yahoo!, which at the time wasn’t even a search engine, but just a hand curated directory. She had a big dog lying across her lap and she was surfing away as we walked in. Someone met us in the lobby and escorted the 6 of us in stodgy suits and ties into a small conference room to the right. They told us to go to the kitchen if we wanted anything to drink and to help ourselves from the fridge there – I remember opening it and it was full of Jolt Cola and Twinkies (Jolt used to be the go-to drink for developers pulling all nighters – guess you could consider it the first energy drink – pre-Red Bull and Rock Star). Anyways, I had no idea where this was all going to go, but to us Canadian execs, used to corporate IT, it was a really different work environment from the one we were used to. (In retrospect, I should have probably asked Jerry for a job right then, but who knew, right?) We discussed creating the first non-US version of Yahoo!, Yahoo! Canada. Talks went well.