OT: Y2K Bugs, Chocolate & Silicon Valley (Humor?)

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Prep item?


Published Thursday, June 24, 1999, in the San Jose Mercury News

There are chocolate-covered ants,
so why not chocolate Y2K bugs?

Mercury News Staff Writer


[Fair Use: For Educational/Research Purposes Only]

WE'VE all heard it. Silicon Valley. Streets lined with gold. A place where no opportunity goes untested. Land of milk and chocolate.

(Yes, milk and chocolate. You'll see.)

And then, of course, there's the Y2K thing -- or bug as some call it. And what does Y2K have to do with anything? Don't you watch TV? It has to do with everything.

Al Abrahams and Rich Yacco know this. They saw their chance and they're grabbing it.

``Rich and I had been looking for a project to do,'' says Abrahams, 56, a former candy store owner, insurance man and local public television fundraiser.

They found a two-ounce chocolate bug -- or bug-shaped chocolate, as they prefer to call it. The edible Year 2K Bug ($4.99). And why not? Their first idea -- the chocolate motherboard -- wasn't moving. Nearly a pound of chocolate in eight pieces, shaped to look like computer guts. (``The RAM chips in that motherboard are truffle filled,'' Abrahams says.) It was complicated, and investors were not enthusiastic.

But Y2K bug. Oh yeah. Already all sorts are making millions on Y2K. There's money in software solutions, canned food, bomb shelters. And candy. At least Abrahams and Yacco, a San Jose-based freelance video producer, think so.

``When we changed the concept to the Y2K bug,'' says Abrahams, of Santa Clara, ``it was like, wow, we had investors in 30 days.'' That's right. Investors. This is Silicon Valley. You don't just have ideas here. You start companies.

``We needed something,'' says Abrahams, CEO of the venture, ``with `squared' in it.''

And so they came up with Silicon Valley Confection Co. or SVC2. No, they didn't build a factory and hire a work force. That's not how it's done here. They contracted with Knudsen's Candy in Hayward to make their bug.

``The biggest thrill of my business life,'' Abrahams says, ``was watching the first bugs coming off the assembly line.''

Yes, people are buying them. They bought the Pet Rock, didn't they? The bugs are selling at the San Jose and San Francisco airports and the Tech Museum of Innovation. A few candy stores have them and institutions seem to be fans. The U.S. Department of Energy put in an order to hand out on Y2K awareness day. Country clubs have ordered them as tournament prizes. Weber State University plans to hand them out to freshman to herald the new millennium (OK, the real new millennium begins 2001. Humor them.)

It's good that people are buying them now. You've got to figure Y2K interest will fade once the last New Year's champagne is popped. But Yacco, 47, remains cautiously pessimistic.

``Some people have said that the Y2K problem won't end until the middle of next year.''

One can only hope.


For more on the bug, see


[Note: Site may not be up yet]

Have an only-in-Silicon-Valley story? Contact Mike Cassidy at mcassidy@sjmercury.com

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), June 24, 1999


Yep... ONLY in Silicon Valley could you find investors for this.



-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), June 24, 1999.

Well, maybe we should think of it as re-arranging chocolate deck chairs on the Titanic...

...BTW, if teotwawki means no more chocolate, does anyone really WANT to go on living...?

-- nestles makes (the@very.best), June 24, 1999.

Hmm, by any chance are they in kahoots with the makers of Beanie Babies and Furbies?

-- (tedjennings@business.net), June 24, 1999.


Remember the NSA banned Furbies in their headquarters around Christmas-time because their ability to record conversations was viewed as a security threat?

Maybe they'll ban the deluxe model Y2K Chocolate Bugs with Embedded C- Chips?

Mummm. Crunchy.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), June 24, 1999.

Their bug looks a whole lot like the critter-that-wanted-to-be-eaten in Hitchhiker's Guide at the Restaurant At The End Of The Universe. That ain't no bug!

Ok, who cares.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), June 24, 1999.

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