It is the Sunday night pre-reception before DAC; it is fairly crowded and most of the bigwigs of DAC are there, and umm so am I. As I walk around in my trademark WHITE JACKET, fraternizing with old friends and meeting new people, I run into Aart, that’s Aart de Geus, CEO of Synopsys. (I guess I now say, CO-CEO).
He is his usual charming self. I asked him about his thoughts on the column I wrote about our chance 30-minute talk at the last DAC. He says, “Who the heck are you”? Well not exactly. After a few reminder nudges he said, “ah yes I do. “I thought your article about me was fair and balanced”. I said like FOX NEWS and he noticeably chuckled. After some light banter about the column, to my amazement, he followed with, “would you like to do it again”? I choked slightly in shock and answered, of course. This was 8 at night, the Miami Heat (my team) were on TV in the playoffs playing at that moment, and I knew the next many hours would be spent preparing for this privileged opportunity. He asked me to meet him at the Synopsys booth and from there we walked the few blocks to the Marriott, chatting like I would with a new friend, so easy and nonchalant.
The walk was so casual, discussing little tidbits about our personal life. I think I learned more about the man during our walk than I did in the actual interview. For a guy running a BILLION DOLLAR PLUS company, he is about as casual and down to earth as you and I. The only difference (well at least speaking for myself): he has an IQ of about 500 points more than I have and a vision of reality hardly imaginable by most.