扎克伯格同样也以散步而闻名——主要是对他有意招致麾下的人选。他会带这些人走过Facebook总部附近的一条小径，从那里极目远眺，欣赏硅谷优美的风景。他会指着苹果公司、惠普公司（Hewlett-Packard）等几家科技巨头的总部说，Facebook将来要比那些公司更强大。最近有人向《纽约时报》（The New York Times）透露：“整个过程如梦似幻，我觉得自己像是在约会。”
因此，是不是可以说， “走路会议” 【这个词出自电视剧《白宫西翼》（ The West Wing），用来描述那些在白宫走廊里让人透不过气的会议】对硅谷具有特别的意义？
在一定程度上，看起来的确如此。当然，纽约是个行色匆匆的城市。即使在这里，步行也是危险的运动。我们只想尽快地从甲地到乙地，尽可能地减少麻烦。这座城市过于繁华喧闹，不太可能进行重要的谈话。此外，隐私也是个问题：高管在街头交谈的场景会被拍下来，几分钟内就能传到网上。金融危机最严重的时候，各位商业人士和政府官员经常分头去开会，避免被人看到一路同行，安德鲁•罗斯•索尔金的著作《大而不倒》（Too Big To Fail）里就多次提到这种情形。无论是否在金融危机期间，避免同时露面是企业高管需要遵守的社交礼节。出于这种考虑，华盛顿也不适合举行街头会议。
Just over a year ago, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg were reportedly spotted taking a walk together in Palo Alto. The topic was Ping, Apple's (AAPL) "music social networking" service and recommendation engine for iTunes. Jobs was interested in having it incorporated into Facebook, so he invited Zuckerberg to dinner at his house and then they took a stroll.
The deal never happened, but it seems highly possible that if it weren't for Jobs' illness and death, the pair might have eventually struck some kind of big pact (each company had something the other wanted) and the fact that both of them liked walking and talking so much would only have increased the odds of a deal.
Jobs was famous for taking meetings on foot, especially when he was meeting people for the first time. Walter Isaacson, in his biography, Steve Jobs, relates how Jobs approached him to write the book:
We talked a bit about the Aspen Institute, which I had recently joined, and I invited him to speak at our summer campus in Colorado. He'd be happy to come, he said, but not to be onstage. He wanted, instead, to take a walk so we could talk.
That seemed a bit odd. I didn't yet know that taking a long walk was his preferred way to have a serious conversation.
Zuckerberg has become equally famous for his walks -- in his case with people he wants to hire. He takes them on a trail near Facebook headquarters, and eventually to a spot that looks out over a gorgeous view of the Valley. There, he points out the headquarters of various tech giants -- Apple, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) -- and says that Facebook will be bigger than all of them. "The entire experience was totally surreal," one person told The New York Times recently. "I really felt like I was on a date."
Jack Dorsey, CEO of the mobile-payments startup Square recently told Fortune: "My favorite thing to do to relax is walking. If I'm with a friend we have our best conversations while walking. If there's an ocean view it's great."
So is the pedaconference (a term made famous by the TV show The West Wing, which often depicted breathless meetings taking place along the halls of the White House) particular to Silicon Valley?
To a degree, it would seem so. New York of course is a walking town. But there, walking is a blood sport. The idea is to get from point A to point B as quickly and as free of hassle as possible. And the city is just too cacophonous for meaningful conversation. Plus, privacy is a factor: any high-end street meetings are going to be spotted and posted online within minutes. During the height of the financial crisis, various players in business and government often walked separately to meetings to avoid being seen together, as depicted countless times in Andrew Ross Sorkin's book Too Big To Fail. Avoiding being seen together is de rigueur among top execs, crisis or not. Such considerations similarly make Washington an unlikely venue for street meetings.
And if you ask someone to take a walk in Los Angeles, they'll think you're a weirdo. It just isn't done, except on camera.
In Silicon Valley, though, there are all kinds of places to take (relatively) private walks, such as the quiet, leafy streets of Palo Alto or the hiking trails behind Facebook's headquarters. And tech companies are filled with people whose extracurricular activity includes lots of hiking, running or biking.