It was January 2004. I had worked at Google for almost a year.
One of the fun things about Google (especially back then) was these elaborate company parties they had. At the time, Google was a “large” 2,000 or so employees, but that felt big to me. It was the Global Sales Conference, and the place was buzzing with young, smart, ambitious people who were part of an elite club and feeling on top of the world. It was a special place at a special time.
I was roaming around the party randomly with some of the Blogger dudes, talking to some of the few people I knew, and, admittedly looking for cute girls.
At one point, an hour or two into the evening, I was walking out of “Charlie’s”…and she was walking in. We caught each other’s eye. And just stared. It was probably 1-2 seconds, but it felt like minutes. The image of her face was seared into my brain and I kept walking, stunned silent.
When I came to my senses, I casually told my buddies we needed to go back inside. I don’t recall what my excuse was. I wanted to play it cool, so I loitered around the edges of the room—trying to keep her within sight but not being obvious.
Finally…she was talking to someone I knew—David Krane, head of communications. When I saw that opportunity, I made my approach.
Now, going up and just talking to a pretty girl was not something I normally did—especially if I could figure out a way to chicken out. And in this case, I had a great excuse: We were at work. Meaning, I would likely have another chance to talk to her. Or I could at least devise one. Though I’d never seen her before (of this I was sure), and I didn’t know her name, I figured I could track her down in the company directory. (How long could it take to go through 2,000 employees?) That way, I could get my nerve up some other time.
But instead, I told my buddies, “Watch this…” (I may have had a few beers.)
And, well…what I actually did was stand there awkwardly by David until he introduced us. Once he did, he basically floated into the background in my mind. Sara and I stood in that same spot in the middle of the giant room talking until they were, literally, tearing the party down around us.
It took us another three months before we went on our first date. But that’s another story.
This was the day I met Sara…a day that changed everything.