The world’s #1 innovation hotspot is without a doubt Silicon Valley. It’s said to be THE PLACE to be if you want to found a startup, especially in the fields of tech. Many of the biggest tech companies currently were founded in Silicon Valley. Here Steve Jobs assembled the first MacBook, Larry Page and Sergey Brin launched Google, and Bill Hewlett and David Packard founded HP – and probably all of them from a garage.
But what makes Silicon Valley so special?
Here are five central characteristics of the famed Valley and how can you integrate them in your own projects and teams.
1) The Work Culture & Mindset
Work is everything in Silicon Valley and a 50-70 hour workweek is not uncommon. It sounds crazy perhaps, but few really mind. They came to Silicon Valley, fueled by a strong sense of purpose and a clear vision. Working towards reaching their vision gives them enough energy and excitement that they feel little need for a work-life balance. In addition, they’re surrounded by people as passionate and purpose-driven as they, and that energizes them even further.
It’s sure to be an inspiring and exciting environment to be in – to see dreams being pursued and visions realized all around you. But there is a risk of workaholism attached to that kind of culture – that doesn’t have to be bad, but you do have to want it or be able to set clear boundaries for yourself in order to be able to thrive.
2) The Professional Network
With top-notch entrepreneurs from all over the world, big investors, and talented freshmen from the surrounding universities all gathered in Silicon Valley, the network, the money, and the brainpower available there is incredible. And you meet these people in the streets, at a café, or at the beach. There are restaurants famous for being the place for getting capital funding for your startup and every day holds numerous networking opportunities with incredibly interesting people as those living in Silicon Valley are eager to connect and expand their own network.
3) The (lack of) Bureaucracy
Depending on where you live, founding a company can be easy-peasy, near impossible, or somewhere in between. Silicon Valley definitely belongs to the former group. With an allergy towards bureaucracy ingrained in the whole Valley and low barriers for founding a company, there are few logistical hurdles to launch a startup. However, it is extremely expensive to live in the Valley and have your company located there. Silicon Valley is said to be the most expensive U.S. housing region. So you will need to be financially prepared if you want to move.
4) The Reputation
Due to its reputation of being the worldwide best startup hub, Silicon Valley works as a magnet for skilled entrepreneurs and experienced talents from all over the world. A great percentage of the population in the Valley is foreigners who have been attracted to Silicon Valley due to the opportunities that seem readily available there. Diversity is an essential factor of innovation and success, both in terms of expertise and in terms of background. The more different people think the better ideas tend to emerge, so the large foreign population is a definite asset (also for entering markets overseas later).
5) The Surrounding Top-Universities
Surrounding Silicon Valley are some of the best universities worldwide such as Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley, San Jose State University, and Singularity University, just to name a few. The universities attract young, talented people who tend either to found a startup themselves or to be hired by a startup or company that needs their talent. The knowledge and research gathered there is mindblowing.
So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and move to the Valley!
Or don’t. Going to Silicon Valley is cool and will definitely blow your mind, but it is not necessary in order to found a startup nor a guarantee for success. Instead of relocating first thing, think about how you can bring in the Silicon Valley spirit to your projects and your team.
Bring Silicon Valley Spirit to You
Probably the greatest takeaway of those core qualities is how important talented people and a diverse network is. Silicon Valley thrives because of the strong community of entrepreneurs, talents, and experts living there. That’s also why Moonshot Pirates focuses so much on creating a community of talented young minds and experienced mentors – we hope to create a similarly supportive network.
- Go to events concerned with the topics and skills you need for your project.
- Connect with our global community of pirates and mentors on our platform.
- Team up with people who are driven by purpose are fueled by fun and who #thinkbig, #daretolearn, and #takeaction.
- #doepicshit to gain a good reputation that attracts the people you need and want to work with.
Silicon Valley is a mindset, not a location.Reid Hoffman, Co-founder of LinkedIn