My yearly travel to the tech industry’s cradle teaches and helps me more than any other education. This year was no different.
Here are the learnings:
- People are using Pinterest to search.
This was a revelation. Search for party planning ideas and you get much more qualitative results than Google. I was stumped by the real use of Pinterest.
- Sharing economy is booming. Airbnb, SupperShare, Vayable etc.
- There is hope on the streets. The cogs of the American economy seem like moving.
- There are a lot of businesses that are built to scale but do not have a revenue model. And that’s fine. The rationale is value add to the eco-system and consequently an acquisition.
2/The key: Value of a tech company to public or private markets may be completely unrelated to value of same co to a corporate acquirer.
— Marc Andreessen (@pmarca) April 17, 2014
- Hyper-local companies are ruling the roost.
- There is a lot of focus on transaction business involving real movement of goods combined with Internet convenience play.
- San Francisco is as beautiful as ever. The city is managing to retain its charm and stay unpolluted (in large parts of the city). Sadly not many people living there realize this. It takes an outsider’s perspective to appreciate it.
- Ironically there is a lot of hatred among the locals about “tech” but I was honestly surprised since the west coast is largely transient population.
- Palo Alto, Mountain View etc. are no more part of Silicon Valley. SF is the happening city. Cent percent of my meetings were in SF. The last time I was here its was distributed between University Ave, PA, Castro Mountain View and SF.
- A lot of people are homeless. Every year I visit it’s increasing. Maybe I am using the wrong streets. I am surprised there’s no startup to fix this. Maybe this is not a 10x profitable business for funding. But the increasing divide in between the rich and the poor and the nouveau riche will only hurt in long term. History has taught us that. I hope my American friends will learn this for the larger good.
- A lot of socially driven business is just pure BS.
- Quite a few companies are built by people who have no passion for that business. They are in the axis mundi to strike gold. It makes me sad.
- This future is “only” mobile. I thought it is mobile.