For a week, thirteen bloggers from around the world went back and forth between San Francisco and Silicon Valley to find what makes these places so special in terms of innovation.
With start-ups burgeoning on a daily basis and new exciting products flooding the market as a consequence, it’s safe to say that the Orange Blogger Bus Tour members had plenty to talk (and write) about, after the numerous meetings they had with companies and start-ups throughout the Bay Area. Today, Wizville founder and occasional blogger Timothée de Laitre shares his thoughts about the Blogger Bus Tour.
How do you feel after this week spent with the Blogger Bus Tour?
I think I’ve started to understand what goes on at Silicon Valley, and what it represents: an incredible concentration of exceptionally talented individuals, passionate people who are global experts in their subject areas, and an unparalleled culture of helping one another. Thanks to the Tour, I’ve been able to speak with key figures in the ecosystem that I would never normally get the opportunity to meet: Loïc Le Meur, Duncan Logan (founder of RocketSpace), Dalton Caldwell (founder of Imeem and App.net), Carlos Diaz (Founder of blueKiwi and Kwarter) and even Guillaume Decugis (founder of Scoop.it) . Shaking hands with people who you only usually see on TechCrunch was an experience that was not only refreshing, but one that also taught me a lot about the conditions for enterprise and innovation in the Valley.
What’s your main find of the week?
It was undoubtedly Game Closure and its CEO, Michael Carter. At only 27 years of age, he turned down a buyout offer worth $100 million from Zynga and seems to have developed a technology company that has the potential to change the face of the mobile gaming industry. A hero and a role model.
What came as a surprise for you during your visit in Silicon Valley?
I didn’t think that people who are so young would be able to raise enough money to launch such risky ideas! Either we are living in slightly crazy times, or the culture of risk-taking across the whole of the Valley ecosystem is outstanding! I thought about this during the party hosted by the founder of Taploid: it was full of young people aged 25-30 who had raised no less than $500,000 for concepts almost entirely based on social media.
Which startup/company was the most appealing to you? Why?
It’s difficult to say because I liked them all, but I would say App.net, due to the extraordinary talents of its founder, Dalton Caldwell, and the impressive success of his ultimate “pivot”. In just five weeks, this Twitter competitor has already generated $1,000,000 in revenue!
We came over to find out where innovation was at today. What’s the verdict?
Silicon Valley is like a magnet for worldwide innovation. Every large American or international Internet company seems to be established there, or would like to be. One can’t deny that high-quality startups can also emerge from other global tech scenes. However, nothing seems able to compete with the Valley’s incredible culture, which is structured around the insatiable desire of its entrepreneurs to use technology to change the lives of people throughout the world. This culture is fuelled by a setup that is very conducive to innovation: a concentration around the San Francisco Bay of real “Venture” Capitalists, the most talented individuals from the tech world, and the greatest thinkers of new technologies…and it seems as though you can meet them all during the thousands of networking evenings held across the Valley!