At Facebook, San Jose (CA)
The experience was just amazing, it felt like being in the "mecca" of entrepreneurship and capitalism, well in some aspects, it still is.
We had the opportunity to witness interesting and content-rich panels with all sorts of Venture Capitalists (VCs) of the Bay area that were willing to tell Entrepreneurs lessons on how the industry works and how to raise money effectively.
Another big block of the tour were of course the company visits ... we visited companies that today are icons for all of us, such as Google, Facebook, eBAY, PayPal and Eletronic Arts. Of course we saw what we all expected to see ... "thousands of crazy, diverse-looking employees living in wide campuses within a very unique, free, wild organizational cultures". However even if that was cool, won´t deny, I must say that was not what amazed me the most. What was unique of the experience was reflecting on how small these organizations started (just as any other entrepreneur) and how someone believed in them, invested in them, how the chose the right people to manage and envision the business and ... eureka! how they turned to be what they are now. It was a powerful lesson on THINKING BIG, on TAKING RISKS. Failure is not one of the options, but if it happens, it´s well embraced and powerful reason to stand up again.
At Electronic Arts
Well, since I´m a quotes person, I leave you with some of the most interesting quotes or expressions or terms I heard in the tour from VCs, Entrepreneurs and employees from some SV-based Companies:
- "In Silicon Valley one new company is born every hour"
- "We work on technology because we want to change the world" - COO Facebook
- "Silicon Valley - Wild West approach to risk"
- "Queen Isabel of Spain - one of the first Venture Capitalists of history" - Bill Draper making the analogy since as we all know the Queen financed Columbus, one of the greatest Entrepreneurs ever
- "Demographics Vs Psicographics"
- "It´s not the strongest of species that survive, not the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change"
- "You´re the heart of our existence" - Venture Capitalist Bill Draper refering to Entrepreneurs
- "Being a VC is all about making money without working. The job is about identifiying great business ideas and put in the right management"
- "Self-actualization", "Identity refreshment"
- "VCs serve Entrepreneurs, it´s a service"
- "I do not do HR, I advice the leaders of the organization to do HR, I empower the business leaders to do their job" - VP HR PayPal
- "People want to work for winners, people want to for something that is going somewhere" - VP HR PayPal
- "The culture of you organization tomorrow is who you are recruiting today" - VP HR PayPal
- "If you are scared with the crisis right now, maybe you should not be an entrepreneur"
- "There are 3 kinds of people: people that start companies, that grow companies and tha run companies - not all entrepreneurs are ready to make this transition"
- "5 words an Entrepreneurs does not want to hear from an employee: - IT IS NOT MY JOB - be ready to look for people that are willing to go beyong its resumee"
- "You do not need to be in high-tech to make a lot of money"
- "Finding one´s calling by looking at one´s purpose and it´s impact - not at the tasks we do"
- "The ultimate time to differentiate ourselves (as companies) in the the times of recesion/crisis"
- "VC money is not a commodity, it comes with a partner that makes it special"
- "Fun is a very important element when building a culture"
- "Sucess is failing repeatedly with ENTHUSIASM"
- "It´s all about IQ that generates IP" - IQ= Intelligent people who generated Intellectual Property!
- "The (Silicon) Valley isn´t anymore the only thought leader ... we need to re-create the valley in other places"
- "A great business leader deeply understands the motivations of his/her employees, investors and of course, customers"