We’re just entering the final week of our Global Consulting Project and all sad that we’re nearing the end of what has been a fantastic journey. It’s been great to work on an incredibly interesting project with a rapidly growing tech company in Silicon Valley. Aside from learning a huge amount on the project we’ve also taken the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the famous hub of innovation that we’re working in. This has included more obvious trips to some of the big names such as Facebook and Google. But also meeting a load of extremely smart people working in a range of exciting start-ups across the Bay Area.
Coming from the “Silicon Fen” in Cambridge it’s interesting to be here and compare the two thriving start-up environments. The obvious difference is just the scale of the start-up scene and the knock on effect that has. The great amount of companies in Silicon Valley means there is more support, more money and more talent available to people with an idea. This seems to build a self-perpetuating cycle which means that the ecosystem keeps growing and growing – a direction in which Cambridge is also heading.
In addition it seems to bring with it a slightly different mind-set. Everyone seems to be involved in a start up in some way and there seems to be more willingness to jump in and try new things. This is obviously made easier by having more learning points and a clearly defined support structure for those ready to take the risk of starting a new business.
One venture capitalist we met summarised it like this: “In Europe, for the most part, they’re trying to invest in an ecosystem to support the start-up industry. In Silicon Valley, supporting start-ups is an industry in itself.” However, with this comes some pitfalls. There’s a lot of talk about whether the area is in a bubble or a sustainable boom, and worries about what the implications are if it’s the former.
Whatever happens, it will be interesting to see how both the Silicon Valley and Silicon Fen develop over the near future. And because of the amazing exposure we’ve been given during our short time here, we’ll be a lot better placed to understand the dynamics at play in both.