A Sad Week for Tesla Motors and Silicon Valley

Palo Alto lost three friends to last week's plane crash

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Palo Alto is the birthplace of startups that have gone on to greatness, like Google, and startups on the verge of greatness, such as Tesla Motors, makers of the all-electric roadster.

But it's also a tight-knit island within the already-insular world of Silicon Valley where the normal six degrees of separation is more like one. So when a small plane flew into some electrical lines and crashed last week, all at once the city lost power, some key engineering talent at Tesla Motors, and three dear friends.