Hey, Steve Blank, I Recognize You! [UPDATED]
As I get older it takes me longer to recognize and place people. That’s what I tell my wife anyway, when she catches me gazing too long at a beautiful woman.
But it’s true, in part due to aging eyesight and a little cognitive decline, I see people I recognize and want to acknowledge them, but lately I’ve begun to hesitate.
Increasingly I test my recognition with a new threshold: Is that a celebrity?
My first reaction can’t always be trusted, “Is that an old friend?” Like the time Tiger Woods pedaled up on his bicycle and stopped just 10′ away; I didn’t recognize him, but he looked so familiar; I wanted to ask him, “Where have we met?”
And then today at Huntington Beach City Hall — as I pedal up and lock my bike I see Steve Blank walking up. “He’s in my Facebook friends,” I tell my wife. I had to hold myself back from trotting over to say hi. Unlike Twitter (976 followers), LinkedIn (700), Google+ (350), my Facebook friends are far fewer, like real friends, or so I thought.
It’s not till I get home that I look Steve up: he teaches at Berkeley, Stanford and Columbia and besides serving on the California Coastal Commission, he’s big on Twitter with over 36,000 followers. I’m not sure we’ve actually met. Next time I see him, I’ll just wave.
Mystery solved: through Facebook I hear from my sister at midnight: her husband, my brother-in-law, worked with Steve in the early 90′s at SuperMac. I was sometimes included in their social gatherings and met Steve on several occasions.