I’ve been on this innovation excursion to Silicon Valley for a nearly week now. As we are heading towards to end of this amazing week, there are few things that need picking up and putting on a silver platter. There are definitely things that I need to take home with me and things we, as a nation, really ought to learn from the hustle and buzz of the Bay area.
1. The Spirit
There is nothing like the attitude in the Silicon Valley. Everything is possible here. It’s just a matter of doing it and doing it now. Not tomorrow or the day after.
If you are a start up entrepreneur, you can pay for your haircut, or a taxi drive or dental work with giving some equity to your start up. Everyone wants to be part of the next big thing.
People work hard here. Days are really long and when they leave work, they continue with their own projects. They are not complaining. Everyone seems to want to develop, be better. Be part of the next big thing. No one is throwing the responsibility to someone else’s corner.
If you walk around Palo Alto, it’s pretty sweet here. It’s a small scale town, palm trees, sun is shining. Everyone has white teeth. Life just feels great here. The atmosphere oozes entrepreneurial spirit. It sucks you in. You just want to be part of it. Never leave.
2. Pay it forward
You know, people are very friendly here. Based on few days, I cannot yet say if its genuine, but it surely feels so. There is this unwritten rule here: if you ever make a million, you are obliged to pay it forward. That’s why everyone is so friendly, helpful and really make sure you feel comfortable asking, if you need anything.
3. You can get access to just about anyone here. Just do it.
Learn fast to take advantage of the culture, be proactive, believe in yourself. Connect with people. What you give is what you get. We connected with amazing people such as Guy Bar-Nahum (hey, he invented the iPod..), Richard Titus from Prompt.ly (co-founder of Razorfish, Emmy nominated ex movie producer, former head of digital at BBC and Daily Mail, investor..), Jeff Burton from Berkeley incubator SkyDeck (co-founder of Electronic Arts for example), Dennis J. Tsu, executive director at SRI International, Jani Penttinen from Transfluent, Ari Backholm from SEVEN, the true Silicon Valley masters Michel Wendell and Eero Teerikorpi to name the few. And really, only the few.
Little reading I came across (for the Finns)