Ross Mayfield 12:09am, 9 January 2005
My uncle was a guru on wall street when I asked him where I should invest my paper route money. He said to visit the parking lots of Silicon Valley companies during the weekend. If the parking lot was full, there was a good chance they were close to a breakthrough or release.

Now that's a lot of biking around to base a portfolio strategy.

But with enough mobloggers, a panopticon of performance may be a great leading indicator.

Of course, times have changed not just to make it possible for this kind of financial citizens media. People can work anywhere now, especially at home on the weekend. But lets see what patterns reveal themselves.

And try not to start trouble with parking lot security guards. Maybe buy them a hamburger and get them to say cheese.
bd34r 14 years ago
This is great. Reminds me of the days at when the parking lot would be full even on weekends, at least for the engineering building, while we cranked out feature after feature in an effort to please The Michael...

Just blogged this group here...
early history [deleted] 14 years ago
This reminds me of an article I read in the SF Chronicle a few years back about a company whose business was selling, renting, and buying back used office furniture and cubicles. The owner of that firm claimed to have a better understanding of the boom & bust than anyone else, because he knew exactly which Silicon Valley companies were hiring or firing at any given time.
Dusty Records 14 years ago
Pretty soon parking in the front will get you arrested for insider trading.
jmason 14 years ago
hey, just found this. Wasn't this mentioned in Douglas Coupland's Microserfs? I have a vague recollection of reading this there.

Was your uncle's advice before, or after, Microserfs? Alternatively, is your uncle Doug Coupland? ;)
nonstop wind [deleted] 14 years ago
Well, I think there is more to photos of parking lots than the "story" of Ross's uncle. The parking lot represents temporary storage. Like products on shelves in wal-mart or any other big box store, cars sit for a brief moment in time. The constant flux of in and out, staining of the tarmac and the vast open paved spaces indicate constant movement. There is a perceived need to stay in motion, the parking lot and the shopping mall feed this "need". Images of parking lots show our current history of use and consumerism in our culture.
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