Silicon Valley Diary by Andrew Fogg
Greetings from sunny San Francisco!
My name is Andy and, as co-founder of London based startup import.io, I have come to the land of the tech startup to seek my fortune.
Well, sort of. For the next nine weeks I will be living and working in the Silicon Valley, trying to work out how we can grow and expand as a company into the American tech market.
import•io house in Silicon Valley
Over the coming weeks, I will attempt to share with you my insights and musings about what it is like to try and break into the American scene, what the tech industry out here is really like, and seriously, why are there so many hills?
We are staying in a lovely traditional San Francisco house in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, an area generally known for its decidedly bohemian atmosphere…not to worry, I haven’t started growing my hair out and wearing hemp…yet.
Lost In Space
Much like we do in the UK, our office is in a shared space called Heavy Bit, in the SoMa district of San Fran, which has an exclusive focus on companies that are building technology products for developers. A data geek’s paradise in other words.
It was founded by James Lindenbaum (former CEO of Heroku) to build a community for the growing number of tech companies in the area, much the same as TechHub does for Silicon Roundabout, but with a focus on products for developers.
Although, I will admit, they do it with much more style.
The outside of Heavy Bit
In Good Company
The SoMa district which stands for “South of Market” because it is…you guessed it…south of Market St, is the new up-and-coming cluster of technology companies in the Bay area.
And, hopefully soon, import.io…seems like we are in pretty good company.
The inside of Heavy Bit
Despite what The Social Network implies about American tech entrepreneurs being snobby and exclusionary, I have found everyone to be extremely friendly and helpful.
Everyone I’ve met with has been incredibly generous about sharing their experiences – both good and bad – providing me with a great perspective on the differences between the US and UK/European startup scene.
I’ve also encountered a surprisingly large number of Europeans working out here, which I suppose is what gives rise to the idea that anyone with any entrepreneurial talent moves to the US.
Totally untrue, by the way, but you can see where they get the idea.
As you sit reading this in London while the rain falls for days on end, I will leave you with this one comforting thought: the weather here is a lie.
I’ll admit I’ve been to the Valley before and I should have been better prepared, but when you think about going to CA in the summer you think of lying on a hot beach in shorts and a hawaiian shirt working on your tan, right?
Wrong! The weather in the Bay is amazingly schizophrenic.
You can leave your house in the morning to fog and damp with a sweater and a jacket and then 30 min and a few miles later in Palo Alto you will be pouring with sweat.
And while it is sunny, more often than not, average temperatures in San Francisco fluctuate between 12 and 21 at least 3 or 4 times a day!
Looks like I may not be getting that tan after all…..
by Andrew Fogg, CDO