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papersstrewnabout, large expanses white wall, wood desks, of beams(if the company'slucky), and often a skylight or two. The peoplewhowork in the outfits areinvariably youngandwell dressed and usuallywhite. They're funky and hip, not geekyand retiring. Walking downthe street,Hickman and I bump into an iTixs product manager comingin for his first dayof work.He'sdressed a like skaterdude.The tips of his spikyhair arebleached almostwhite.

a and movein fewer than six months."The $12,000 month isn't going to hurt if we're successful," Tim Hickman, an Intersays net millionaire (he wasa marketerat Netscape) whosenewcompany, iTixs, plans to stay in its offices only five months. (For moreon iTixs,seeFirst.) It surebeatsworking out of the garuge. The typical SOMA oflined up on makeshift fice is a big open space, with computers

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Bates first drove out West from Minneapolis-borrowing $65 from his dad for gas-he was shockedat the cost ofliving here.But thenhe got hisfirstjob, asa graphicdesigner, and it paid the princely sum of $25 an hour. "I realized," he says, "that the streetswere indeed paved with gold." Sevenyears later, as a multimedia producerat Excite@Home, Bateshas discovered that the more you get, the more you think you need."When you go througha company this andsee like every motorcycleis a Ducati and see has the rows of BMWs, and everyone the Rolex, you realize people don't think one million, five million, or even ten million dollarsis a lot of money,"he "The scaleis different." says. To Bates,it feelsasif all thosewho got into the Internet industry a few years ago havehad their million dollars.His, however,slipped away as effortlessly as it arrived, when Excite@Home's stocktook a plungethis summer. "Now I'm a several-hundred-thousandaire." he says, bit ruefully. a "To sayI want moremaynot be completelyaccurate," says. it's a strughe But He knowsthat he and his wife could gleto find the right wayto talk aboutit at go back to Minnesota with what all if you don't want to soundgreedy. they've made and live like kings and in "The way I view success the Valley is queens,in a monstroushouse,with a "Being butler.But this is wherethe club is. access opportunity," says. to he "I don't care about the money as able to work at a cutting-edgecompany-just being in the club." Wealth is long as I'm ableto go to an AIM and "I take out $100."he savs. neverwant a naturalbyproductof success. -:s7_ -:

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to worry about Am I going to be able to havelunch?or Can I buy this pair of shoes?" "The crashwasreally good for me," he insists. mademe really appre"It ciate what I'd spent this far, and that this could all disappear." - Jodi Mardesich

108. F ORT U N E

September 1999 27,