Dear Jerry Yang,
You probably don’t remember me, since it’s been 13 years. Let me refresh your memory.
It was the spring 1995 Internet World conference (ironically, run by my current employer) in the San Jose Convention Center. The middle of the floor was dominated by the likes of CompuServe and AOL and Netcom. Off to the fringes were the small firms, the startups, who had just a high table to stand behind and just enough room for one computer and monitor.
There you were with David Filo and two other guys, all dressed like typical college students. We talked for a few and I knew that you had finally moved off the Stanford address (akebono.stanford.edu/yahoo) to your own domain. Your comment to me, which I’ll never forget, was “Dave and I are taking some time off from getting our masters degrees to see if we can make this work as a company.” You’d just hired the other two guys and joked “Now there’s four of us Yahoos.”
If I’d known then what I know now I might have been tempted to break laws to become the fifth yahoo. I certainly wouldn’t have gone back home to Boston.