Image by jdlasica via FlickrAndrew Mason first spotted Marissa Mayer at South By Southwest. He did not think much of it. He did not think someone like Marissa Mayer might actually know who he was. Only two years before he had been eating Ramen noodles. He could still feel the taste of Ramen in his mouth.
Then he spotted her again at the Twitter conference in New York City a month later. It's great Google "gets" Twitter, he thought. He did not make much of the sighting.
Then Marissa Mayer showed up in Las Vegas. They sat on the same panel.
A few weeks later Andrew Mason saw that Marissa Mayer was attending the same chicken noodle soup MeetUp as him. This was a much smaller crowd. And Mayer's showing up had created quite a stir. Finally he introduced himself. He was flattered when Mayer said she had heard of his company and quite liked it. By now the Ramen taste had diasppeared. Mason was feeling like he had arrived. If Marissa Mayer knows my name, is it possible Sergey and Larry do too? He thought.
"Tell Sergey and Larry I said hello," he volunteered in an act that felt like overreach.
She said she gladly will.
And then it got bad. Andrew Mason could not show up for a public event where Marissa Mayer was not already there.
At the Web 2.0 Summit Mason freaked out. He had a front row seat. Half way through a talk, very comfortable, he happened to turn his head around. There was Marissa Mayer, sitting right behind him. He freaked out. He gave out a slight scream.
Finally Andrew Mason approached Marissa Mayer and said, "Marissa, what will it take for me to get to see you every day?"
"Sell for six billion," Marissa Mayer replied.
Image by The DEMO Conference via Flickr
"Money can buy you a house, but not happiness, bed but not sleep, jewelry but not beauty, but okay, I will do it," said Andrew Mason.
Then after a slight pause, he asked, "Can I call you boss?"
"That's fine with me," said Marissa Mayer.