The Entrepreneur Versus the Government

A great story about Jim Clark, who founded Silicon Graphics:

(p. 46)  Just a few years back, before the Internet boom, Clark’s house in Atherton had been surrounded by empty fields.  Now he was surrounded by new houses, many of them bigger than his own.  One morning he looked up from his kitchen table and saw the neighbors looking (p. 47) back.  He requested, and was denied, a permit to build a fence tall enough to screen them from his view.  The city of Atherton, California, had strict rules about fences, and the fence Clark wanted to build was declared too high.  So Clark built a hill, and put the fence on top of the hill.  It did not occur to him that there was anything unusual about this.

(page numbers above are from the Norton hardback edition; the full quote is on p. 31 of the paperback edition) 


The reference to the hardback edition, is: 

Lewis, Michael.  The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story.  New York:  W. W. Norton & Company, 2000.


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