For almost two years, I got the opportunity to live in California and learn from Silicon Valley. I could qualify this journey as a life-changing experience between the Tech Valley and the Californian lifestyle.
I am sure you hear or read about all the buzz coming from silicon valley, either the tech industry or the unicorns startups. But for me, as an information system engineer and an entrepreneur passionate about innovation and social impact, living in silicon valley precisely and in California generally was an immersion in history. I came with many questions and expectations, and I left with experiences and lessons that I am delighted to share.
The Internet has changed the way that we communicate with each other. Many examples of disruptive innovations have happened over time, and they have been a big part of our lives. It is possible to disrupt an existing business model and make a new one more efficient and better than the old one. This disruption can be done by moving from traditional strategies to disruptive strategies.
‘It’s not because it works and we are used to doing it this way that we should keep’. Innovation is part of the DNA of many companies and people. It’s part of the culture not only at work but could be perceived in many people’s daily lives and behaviors.
You fail, you learn
Failure is a part of life. It happens to everyone at some point in their career and it can be avoidable. Another take to learn from silicon valley is how this experience helped you better understand your failure and learn from it.
Make customers needs first
The customer-centric approach is the way in silicon valley. It focuses on what customers really need and not just what they want. “Culture” refers to the attitudes, values, beliefs, norms, etc., that guide a company’s actions and decisions concerning its customers. Customer-centricity can be defined as the ability of companies to understand their clients’ needs and then act accordingly based on those needs.
Trust and Be Transparent:
One of the main things I loved in the bay area was building relationships and connections based on trust and transparency. It’s not only about professional connections but connections and interactions in all life aspects: shopping, rent,… It may sound obvious, weird, or normal to you but my different trips around the world made me learn that trust culture is different.
People are very productive, but not only at work. In the age of digital productivity, it is essential to be productive at work and not just working and even beyond. Another word you may hear in silicon valley is “workaholic”, and many people are. Meanwhile, one lesson to learn from Silicon Valley is that people don’t waste time and live their lives fully. A busy daily schedule never prevents people from enjoying after-work quality time (surf, hike, bike… )
Human creativity is a great thing, but it is not always possible to find the right person to bring your idea to life. This is why you need a team of people from different horizons. A team of diverse people, not only in various specialties, can help with creation and delivery. They will help you identify what needs to be done and how best to do it using their expertise, culture, and backgrounds.
California is the more diverse state in the USA. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn from other cultures to enjoy different food and music. It’s also a perfect opportunity to learn and open doors to new perceptions, orientations, and beliefs.
While I was living in the Bay area, I heard a lot of people talking about the Silicon Valley secret sauce. If there is any Silicon Valley sauce to learn from, I would say it’s a good mix of innovation, diversity, productivity, trust, customer-focused, and ambition.