Famous Encounters

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Now that – thank God – the Fed decision is out of the way, I thought we’d try a fun little project: let’s share stories about when we met (or bumped into) someone famous. I’m not talking about paid-for gigs (e.g. “I saw Paul Simon at the Paul Simon concert!” – – which, umm, I did, and it isn’t worth reporting) This is about chance encounters. Slopers are a diverse bunch, and I bet there are some interesting tales floating around out there. Here, I’ll begin, and I hope you’ll understand that, for obvious reasons, they tend to be tech-oriented:

Joe Montana – As some of you may recall, I wrote my first post on March 29 2005 from the Ritz in Cancun, Mexico. I had sold Prophet just two months earlier, and I had taken my wife and children on vacation. I remember Joe Montana took the elevator with us and counseled us to enjoy our kids since “they grow up fast.” As much of a cliche as that is, it certainly is true. I have no interest in sports, but I instantly recognized him, and we all pretended that he was just a regular guy. (Oh, and it’s true what they say – – celebrities are shorter in person!)

George Stephanopoulos – this is random, but I was walking in the New York Hilton lobby many years ago, and I saw a guy walking away, easily a hundred feet from me, but in my mind I instantly thought “that’s George Stephanopoulos”. This is peculiar since (a) he was far away (b) he’s not very famous (c) his back was turned to me. All the same…….I was right!

Mark Zuckerberg – he lives five blocks from my house, but I’ve never seen him walking around the neighborhood. Instead, a few years back, when Facebook was headquartered in downtown Palo Alto, I saw him on a couple of occasions. In both instances, he was talking to someone else (his “walking talks” are well-documented).

Marissa Mayer – Halloween. Every year. But there was another time, a few years ago, that I happened to see her at a Tech Crunch meeting. I confess I deliberately walked behind her on the staircase. I’m a pig.

Tonya Harding – This was probably fifteen or twenty years ago, but my wife and I were driving up to Oregon to ski, and we stopped by some kind of outdoor clothing outlet. I was thumbing through a bin, and I glanced up, and my eyes met those of Tonya Harding. Talking about a shock! I’m sure I did a bad job concealing my surprise, but I’m sure she had gotten used to it by then. I’m pleased to report both my knees are in perfect operating condition.

Chad Hurley – Again, not that hugely famous, but Chad is one of the co-founders of YouTube. After he made his fortune, I saw him at an auction of one of my kids’ preschools. Indeed, I’m often surprised how many big shots sent their kids to the same schools as I do. Small world. Speaking of which………

Laurene Powell – A school event, naturally. I must say, the photos don’t do her justice; she’s so striking, there’s a glow around here. Even if she weren’t famous, you’d notice her.

Steve Jobs – which was so meaningful to me, I made an entire video about it.

I am sure there must be others besides the above octet, but this is all I can think of. So what’s your story? Leave it in the comments section……….and be sure to upvote the comments that are interesting, so it’s easy for us to tell who has the coolest stories to share.

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