Amazing, where lofty ideas kick off or take shape. Today: Buck’s Diner.

For a long time, a payphone graced the corridor to the restrooms of Jamis McNiven’s restaurant. Even long after the spread of mobile communications and cell phones. In 1994, risk investor John Doerr uses this precise payphone to call internet pioneer James H. Clark to discuss a company called Netscape Communications – a brand new enterprise by Clark and Marc Andreessen. Doerr decides to join the company – and the rest is online history. After a few further meetings at Buck’s, Netscape has become the dotcom rally’s first ever bona fide star, soon wages “browser wars” with Microsoft – and loses. And this is just one of the many Silicon Valley sagas witnessed by James McNiven and his establishment. Buck’s is the place where capital meets ideas: The list is long and includes PayPal, Hotmail, and many others. One of the reasons might be its location, just a few minutes from Sand Hill Road with its many venture capitalist offices.

Buck’s Diner
Photo: Intel Free Press. CC BY 2.0, via Flickr
Buck’s Diner
Photo: courtesy Jamis MacNiven
Buck’s Diner
Photo: courtesy Jamis MacNiven

Header image: Intel Free Press, CC  BY 2.0, via Flickr