Yesterday I had a two hour lunch with a young entrepreneur. While I am use to working with men and women young enough to be my children (like Simon and David the founders of www.heavy.com), this was the first time I can remember meeting with a CEO who was young enough to be my grandson. He was born in 1984 the year that the MAC was born, (but not the year that George Orwell envisioned in his book 1984, we had to wait for George Bush and the Patriot Acts to start to see some of that stuff). I had to remind myself that when I was about the same age as this person I ran a dept. at a University. At that time, I was always the youngest person in the room. Now I am mostly the oldest person in the room. Well actually I am often both the oldest and youngest person in the room.
During the conversation, I was asked how I ended up at Intel which took me back to how I got started with computer in 1966 including how I actually learned to build gates and flip flops one at a time using single transistors, resistors and capacitors (those where the days). In the forty years that I have been working with computers a lot has change to put it mildly. And as we know, the changes in hardware follow Moore’s law which implies an order of magnitude improvement every five years (that is 100 times in ten years). Too bad software does not improve at that rate but then again we have not found the transistor equivalent of software yet. Driving home from the meeting, I had to laugh as I imagined my lunch companion having a similar lunch forty yeas in the future. I even have a shot at being there and hopefully still being both the oldest and youngest in the room and maybe even understanding what is being said (thanks Posit Science).