What Do You See?

Posted: October 29, 2011 in Business Tips


“There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality, and then there are those who turn one into the other.” – Douglas Everett

In 1926, because of Germany’s success with giant airships, the U.S. Navy announced that it was looking for a West Coast place to base one of it’s two giant airships.

San Francisco Mayor James T. Rolph made a public appeal for property large enough for a Naval base.

At this same time there was a large parcel of land between Mountain View and Sunnyvale.  It was called the Ynigo Ranch.  When most saw it all they saw was farmland.  It was 1700 acres of broccoli, cauliflower, and hay fields.

But one person saw something that no one else saw.  Her name was Laura Thane Whipple and she was a real estate agent – one of the few female agents of her day.

When she was asked what she saw she said, “I see an air base.”  She was so convinced of what she saw that she went to work recruiting the help of the San Jose Chamber of Commerce and Bay Area newspapers.  It wasn’t long before all of the Peninsula communities were taking part in a regional campaign which would not be equaled again until 1937 when the cities came together to build the Golden Gate bridge.

Because of Laura Thane Whipple’s vision and efforts, the city of Sunnyvale acquired 1,000 acres of the farmland, which was paid for with nearly $480,000 raised by the citizens of Santa Clara County.  They then “sold” the parcel for $1 to the US government as a home base for the Navy airship USS Macon.

It became known as Moffett Field.

Here’s what Wikipedia says about Moffett Field… “At its peak in the 1990s, NAS Moffett Field was the U.S. Navy’s principal Pacific Fleet base for the P-3C operations. In addition to headquarters staffs for Commander, U.S. Patrol Wings Pacific Fleet (COMATWINGSPAC); Commader, Patrol Wing TEN (COMPATWING 10); and Commander, Reserve Patrol Wing Pacific / Patrol Wing FOUR (COMRESPATWINGPAC/COMPATWING 4), the air station also hosted Patrol Squadron THIRTY-ONE (VP-31)…the west coast P-3C Fleet Replacement Squadron, six additional active duty P-3C squadrons and a Naval Air Reserve P-3C squadron in addition to NASA and California Air National Guard aviation activities.”

All of this came about because of one woman who dreamed of an air base and convinced others to see it too – and make it happen.

One of the ways to succeed in business (or life) is to see what is not there and make it happen.  It takes imagination and it takes time to think and dream.

If you are going non-stop and never taking a break, when will this happen?  How about never?  🙂

Take time to get alone, before the busyness of the holiday seasons come upon us.  Take time to look around at the possibilities that exist where you are at (physically and at this stage of your life).

Dream of what could be.  And then tell the world what you see, until they see it too.  Until it becomes reality.



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