I landed in San Francisco International Airport on Saturday. Today is already Friday. A full week of living in Silicon Valley, not as a visitor, but as a local. It feels amazing!
Sunny weather and palm trees! Tall pines and redwoods, majestic in the strong ocean breeze. There is a coastline on every side. A hill, a park, a grove, or a reservoir, every few miles, everywhere I look, I see beauty. Driving on 280, on the one side, I struggle to keep my eyes on the road as the Pulgas hills loom wave after wave on the West side. Somehow, I am able not to veer into the wrong lane as I observe Palo Alto Cows nibbling on green hills on the opposite side as sunshine streams into the Valley. (click Read More)
This is February and the East Coast prepares for another huge snow storm. Snow? I no longer remember what the word signifies. Everything here is already in bloom. Orange trees, lemons, grapefruits, and limes, race to deliver their fruit. Flowers and exotic plants blossom. And so do the people!
The Californian entrepreneurial spirit is ever-present. Everyone I meet is full of passionate energy. They come from all walks of life, but mostly from the ever-expanding IT world. Whether they work for large corporations, government agencies, or small fledging start-ups, Valley dwellers are filled to the brim with confidence and new ideas. It's a whirlwind of energy.
This isn't the "every man for himself" energy that thrives on conflict and competition, where jealousy and anger are the source, where people's goals are more to outdo their neighbor or to stop all others from achieving their dreams. This energy is about making a positive impact. Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs yearn to change the world for the better. They have a vision and they are not afraid to share their ideas, to collaborate, and work side by side towards something great.
Ideas and projects progress at the speed of sound. Long gone are the days of waterfall program management where each project stage has its carefully designated place. Today is all about Agile and Scrum methodologies with development in the state of perpetual motion. New startups rise up every second, as if green buds nurtured by an inspiring climate. A yesterday's startup can be already a world-wide success today, and tomorrow's startup promises to alter the way we think and act.
What will tomorrow look like? Spend a few days in the company of yesterday's startups such as Google, Facebook, or Ebay, or in the company of historic powerhouses, like IBM, Apple, or Microsoft. Better yet, join a farm incubator program or a startup training seminar and see what tomorrow's companies will bring to this world.
This is the Valley of tech innovation,but it is also the Valley of numerous microclimates, oceans and mountains, palm trees and evergreens, homegrown oranges, and a cheerful energetic populace.
California, I love you!
by Val Dobrushkin