Opening the NASDAQ market on Friday was a hoot.  Here's a link to some pictures from the event.

The weather on the east coast was less than cooperative for those of us in the group who flew in on Thursday evening.  My head didn't hit "the pillow" until 2 AM.  I was lucky compared to a few others who were diverted to Philadelphia, delayed there until it was determined that the plane had been damaged inthe landing attempt in New York and wound up taking a taxi to New York City.  They arrived bleary-eyed just in time for the opening.

Travel aside, the opening itself was neat and exceeded my expectations.  Leading up to ringing the bell, we watched as reporters simultaneously did their televised reports in English and Spanish courtesy of microphones with 2 foot ranges.  We were allowed to continue talking in the studio as they did their work.  I know I'd find that distracting but I suppose you'd get used to it.

NASDAQ did an interview with our CEO, John McAdam and then taped some blurbs for webcasts.  We were all called to the stage as the time approached 9:30.  The drill was to clap, hoot, holler and otherwise display enthusiasm to increase the chances that the segment got picked up by the various financial news shows.  The clapping went on for 2 minutes which seems like forever when you're actually doing it.  This was all displayed on the tower in Times Square.

From there we went out into Times Square for some photos.  NASDAQ played our "b roll" footage on the tower and then put our logo up while various combinations of F5 people and the CEO of NASDAQ had our pictures taken in front of it.  The photographer was quite adept at snapping shots between garbage trucks, buses or other vehicles that would not be seemly in the background as they sped by.

From there we spilt up to go to press and customer meetings for the balance of the day.

There are over 3,300 companies listed on NASDAQ and two hundred and some odd market openings per year.  Given that ratio, it really was something special for F5 and I'm lucky to have been part of it.