Who: Jan Darwin
Company: Lexica Holdings LLC
Has Held Title For: 2 1/2 years
Previous Title: Administrative assistant at Charles Schwab
Degree: Graduated from San Lorenzo High School in San Lorenzo, California
In a world that prizes creativity, having your head in the clouds can pay off - - but it won't pay the bills. For that, you need someone with her feet on the ground. Enter Reality Facilitator Jan Darwin. While the partners at Lexica, a technology-consulting company in San Francisco, explore the virtual world, Darwin focuses on the real one. Less glamorous? Perhaps. But as her boss tells her, "I couldn't run this company without you."
Describe a typical day in reality.
I water the plants and handle all of the accounting. I defrost the refrigerator and administer benefit plans. I've even researched getting a green card for a consultant from Croatia.
Do you conduct reality checks?
I picture my boss as a helium balloon that will float off unless I pull him down and say, "We've got to take care of this."
Does reality ever bite?
I bought a house last year, and I had big dreams of being handy. I'm not — I just drill big holes in the walls.
A version of this article appeared in the November 1998 issue of Fast Company magazine.