In the years after Excite went public (way back in 1996) each of my co-founders responded to their sudden newfound wealth in different ways. Naturally, as single young males, several of us decided to buy fancy cars. I bought a Porsche, a couple other guys bought Ferraris, while my buddy Martin (a true iconoclast) instead decided to buy a beat up old van, and had it refurbished and painted like the Mystery Machine from Scooby-Doo. Martin ultimately decided to go carless (he lives in San Francisco and loves Muni) and he passed the Mystery Machine on to some former colleagues of ours at Excite.
After the launch of Google Maps Street View last week, I spent a bunch of time poking looking at places I used to live in San Francisco. Incredibly cool. But even better, my buddy Graham (one of the co-founders who didn’t go buy a crazy car) sent me a link the other day to a Google Maps Street View on Portage Avenue in Palo Alto. I couldn’t believe my eyes, but there was the Mystery Machine parked on the street, captured in (I hope) perpetuity! What are the odds?