Because Life is About Stories

Every story has a beginning…

I was living in Bath and occasionally working in out of an office on the Kings Road in London. The unfashionable west end, past Conran’s Bluebird and the World’s End pub. The company I was working for had sub let two floors of a drab 70’s office building from British Telecom. Downstairs was the London sales team, all double breasted suits and Tag Heuer watches. East end boys “largin’ it up”, “dooin’ deals” and quite a lot of coke too as rumour had it.

I hung out upstairs with the web development crowd. We were busy migrating a web site to a new server platform. I was fronting for the Bath end of the team, mainly scruffy content editors and geeky software development. The London lot did business development and focused on being “a bit more corporate”.

One of the developers who was working there was Kiko. Kiko was a Canadian of Japanese descent who’d ended up in London after an IT project in Luxemburg went bad. Kiko looked more like a musician with long hair and a worn denim jacket. He was on an extended busman’s holiday working his way around Europe doing software work to pay for it. We’d hired him to do some scut programming work on a couple of projects.

Kiko was one of the few people I’ve ever met who could tell interesting stories involving computers; the Mexico City millennium web site, winning a Webby Award, writing software for Corel, and a hardware startup in Toronto. Kiko invariably carried a small book pack with him. He’d take it to work but usually you’d find it sitting next to him in various pubs and restaurants. To my knowledge Kiko didn’t really have any other baggage.

Kiko collected stories. Invariably when he was telling them props for these appeared out of the book pack; a ticket for a Dead Kennedys gig, a prototype graphics chip or a stripped own PDA for use in a TV film.

Kiko would say “Life isn’t about collecting money or stuff, it’s about collecting stories”. The more stories you have the richer you are.

So here are mine…