As some people know, there is a Google tradition where anybody who is really famous who visits the Googleplex in Mountain View needs to have a photo taken with me so that he/she can go on “Meng’s Wall of Fame” near the lobby of Building 43. The New York Times even did a front page story on it. (See full story)
In November 2007, when I asked Barack Obama for this photo op, that New York Times story was still fairly recent. When I approached Mr Obama, he put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Ahh, you are the guy on the New York Times”.
I gasped. That was the moment I knew I was famous. How do you know you are famous? When Barack Obama knows you from the New York Times, that’s how!
(Truth be told, I don’t think Mr Obama actually recognized me from the NYT. Most likely, he was told that I was going to approach him, since I had to clear security beforehand, and he just took the trouble to remember. He is a really great guy in person, charming, warm, sincere and modest, yet very Presidential).