Today was day two of the Orange Blogger Bus Tour to the Bay Area. We divided into three teams and went out into Silicon Valley and San Francisco visiting a collection of local start-ups and established companies.
My team visited Causes and Mekanism. Our discussions with our hosts at both companies revealed a lot about the nature of doing business in the Bay Area. It struck me how collaborative the tech businesses here can be. Unless they are in direct and bitter competition with one another people and companies will help one another out. They’ll share stuff, help solve problems and generally support those in their networks. This is the sort of behaviour that you just don’t see in other American sectors, such as finance and law, where rivalry is bitter and cooperation in very short supply.
This behaviour is part of the matrix that holds the Bay Area together and helps it to consistently produce extremely successful companies such as Facebook and Google. Along with the ready flow of investor cash and a concentrated pool of talent, this collaboration helps drive the incredible spirit of innovation found here. There’s a vibe in the Bay Area that is overwhelmingly positive, a can-do culture that get’s results.
The Bay Area could teach businesses districts and communities elsewhere a lot. If I were the CEO of a business based outside the area I’d regularly send my management team here on a #Blogbus tour to find the Bay Area’s soul. Studying the way things get done in these parts would offer very real value to companies worldwide. I’m convinced that a week spent here could radically improve the way you do business.