I hadn’t expected to grieve the death of a bank. It sounds so preposterous. Who the fuck feels sad about a bank failing? But I am genuinely sad that the Silicon Valley Bank name doesn’t appear be living on with its new owner First Citizens Bank.
I guess I look forward to banking with First Citizen. They seem like nice enough folks. And maybe a bank is just a bank. But as I look back on the firsts that Silicon Valley Bank gave me I realize I will miss it. I’m sad they are gone.
The first check I saw with more than one comma was from Silicon Valley Bank. My very first company was acquired by a startup that banked with them. Ironically, right before the 2008 crisis was beginning to come onto the scene. I had a small window of fleeting security where I enjoyed a steady paycheck every two weeks with payroll done by Silicon Valley Bank. I remember thinking I was so rich. Even though I was super pissed my cofounder had a better salary than me as Silicon Valley culture dictated at the time that engineers make more.
If you are a fan of history then you will enjoy knowing that yes I did get fired during the infamous RIP good times affair. Thanks Sequoia! They were our main investors. Still I appreciated the opportunities as I was so young I wasn’t very good yet. I’ll forever have loyalty to my CEO for having treated me much better than I thought I deserved.
I also I also really loved the steady paychecks from Silicon Valley Bank. Now I think to myself why didn’t I take any pictures of it? Why don’t I have that moment recorded anywhere but my memory? Why am I now recounting this fifteen years later.
I’ll never get another check from Silicon Valley Bank again. I just didn’t have the expectations in life that I’d be the sort of person with a bank account with more than a million dollars. Let alone that I’d be in control of one and entrusted to do something responsible with it. Which has now happened multiple times at Silicon Valley bank over the years for me. Guess no one wants to have more than $250,000 in a bank right now though huh?
So goodbye Silicon Valley Bank. I’m so sad I’ve got nothing to remember you but. I didn’t take a screen shot of the bank app on the day Stowaway’s first round closed but I should have. I spent a lot of time in their banking application over the years running my cosmetics startups P&L. I remember being so proud to be the sort of person that even needed to deal with the bank. And I trusted Silicon Valley Bank with my employees because I’d seen it treat me well when I was an employee.
It seems so silly to mourn not taking a picture of a check or a screen shot of a mobile banking app but I don’t really know how to mourn a bank that failed. We failed them. They failed us. And it’s dead and I’ll never ever get a chance to do it all over again, and even if they are a villain, I remember when they were the hero in my life.