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  • Karla Trippe

Remembering the Valley of the '90s


On Monday we celebrated Memorial Day, which in the US is typically our day to honor the dead, particularly those who served in war such as my father (WWII, Korea). Thus, I’m in the mood to remember days gone by.


In my soon-to-be-published book, “Scenes from the Valley,” I take the reader back in time to the Silicon Valley of the ’90s. What a different place from today. So many standards were being set in word processing, spreadsheet, and database markets. I built ad campaigns to fight for the king of project management and C++.


What I remember most clearly is how the tech startups and titans took care of their employees. Is there anyone out there that remembers the HP Way? I loved working with and for HP people. They were so professional and even kind. A bit different from the bruisers of Borland. We were proud of the companies we represented and many offered plans and programs to keep us happy. I remember health care plans where everything was covered. I can still see the faces of people who would come into my hospital room dumbfounded at the amount of coverage I had. I expect I had several unnecessary procedures because doctors went gaga over my plan.

Did you buy stock through the employee stock purchase plan? We did. We still have Oracle stock from those days. My point is that companies fought to get and retain the best employees. Putting some of those practices in place today might change how millennials perceive their employers.

I would love to hear from others about how the Facebook of today stacks up against the HP of yesteryear. What does the Silicon Valley of 2022 get right and what does it need to jettison? I know several top-notch executives who are now on diversity teams but is that the only change?

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