8 lessons I have learnt from Silicon Valley entrepreneurs

Silicon Valley entrepreneurs can teach us a few things. I summed it all up in 8 short lessons. I have just come back from a week spent in Silicon Valley, during which I was able to have meetings – as part of a press tour – with various start-ups in the areas of IT infrastructure, software, storage area networks to name but a few of the subjects that were tackled during that trip. Beyond the various interviews and discussions that we had with leading entrepreneurs in the Bay area, I have tried to highlight the eight points which, at this very moment and in my opinion, are making the Silicon Valley stand out from the rest of the world in terms of high-tech innovation. 

8 lessons I have learnt from Silicon Valley entrepreneurs

8 lessons I have learnt from Silicon Valley entrepreneurs
8 lessons I have learnt from Silicon Valley entrepreneurs
  1. above all, Silicon Valley is about a state of mind in sync with entrepreneurship; the whole Valley is resonating with the desire to foster free enterprise and innovate,
  2. secondly, there is the possibility for such entrepreneurs to find easy money and the real ecosystem to launch new ideas and new services,
  3. thirdly, swiftness of action, which enables a new high-tech venture to be set up in something like 3 months or even less,
  4. fourthly, the strength of Silicon Valley is in the software, whatever the application concerned, even in the infrastructure business. We have indeed seen several start-ups work up to 4 years to develop a new operating system and therefore try and get a leg up in competition,
  5. fifthly, a true myth, which enables Silicon Valley to live on, despite the current credit crunch and the crisis that everyone has been through,
  6. the sixth characteristic of the Bay area is private money, often coming from families or entrepreneurs (not VCs) who have succeeded; ethnic funds are also involved significantly (Indian and Chinese mainly),
  7. the seventh reason is a sense of a global perspective, whereby Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are thinking global even before the opportunity arises to launch beyond their local markets,
  8. lastly, the intensive use of offshoring for software developments, with unlikely countries like France being used as cheap alternatives to Bay area developers (a junior PHP developer in the silicon valley is paid $60,000
    to 80,000 a year, a senior developer $120,000 to $150,000 per annum).

In conclusion, there is not one single reason why Silicon Valley is different from what is seen elsewhere, often copied and rarely matched, even in the United States. This region is really a maelstrom of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Note: the photos were taken at the plug and play tech centre in Sunnyvale.

Yann Gourvennec
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