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Silicon Valley - it's not a place, it's a mindset

Written by, Russell Dalgleish - Exolta Capital Partners

I write this note while sitting in my favorite café in the mission district of San Francisco. I’m in California this week as part of the 2016 WeAreTheFuture Accelerator Program, www.sanfranciscosummit.com led by Bruce Walker

The program involves bringing together some of Scotland’s leading entrepreneurs with influencers and thought leaders from across Silicon Valley, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

But why make this annual pilgrimage to the technology, innovation and funding epicenter of the technology world?

We’ll for me the story starts two decades earlier when as a young Sales Manager for a Glenrothes based Hard Drive company I regularly worked from our offices on Technology Boulevard in San Jose. Over a period of three years I visited with companies across the West Coast and was provided with a unique insight into what it takes to drive a business from concept to global domination, most unforgettably brought real for me when one company IPO’d in 1997 and all 80 staff where provided with red Ferraris for the day to drive to work. It was an intoxicating time and transformed me from a Salesman selling tech into a businessman assisting clients create value for their customers.

The lasting lessons for me from my time in California are that the key strengths for any business leader are

  • Determination - hold a fixed belief that success can be achieved
  • Failure is simply a stepping stone on the journey
  • The purpose of a meeting is to listen and understand, not sell
  • Passion and emotional intelligence should never be undervalued as an asset
  • Your network equates to your worth
  • and that if you speak fast, with a Scottish accent, no one will understand you - over the years I have certainly slowed down!

This year’s trip has proved that the companies in “the valley” have changed, the faces are more youthful and the technologies are very different, however the key principles of success remain unaltered. By returning each year I find my energies replenished and my belief’s reconfirmed.

 

If you would like to join Bruce and the team on future programs – watch out for announcements regarding China for later this year – then please drop him an email direct to bruce@wearethefuture.org.uk.

ps. yes at the Discolandia cafe they do sell Pies and Vinyl - heaven

The lasting lessons for me from my time in California are that the key strengths for any business leader are

  • Determination - hold a fixed belief that success can be achieved
  • Failure is simply a stepping stone on the journey
  • The purpose of a meeting is to listen and understand, not sell
  • Passion and emotional intelligence should never be undervalued as an asset
  • Your network equates to your worth
  • and that if you speak fast, with a Scottish accent, no one will understand you - over the years I have certainly slowed down!

This year’s trip has proved that the companies in “the valley” have changed, the faces are more youthful and the technologies are very different, however the key principles of success remain unaltered. By returning each year I find my energies replenished and my belief’s reconfirmed.

If you would like to join Bruce and the team on future programs – watch out for announcements regarding China for later this year – then please drop him an email direct to bruce@wearethefuture.org.uk.

ps. yes at the Discolandia cafe they do sell Pies and Vinyl - heaven

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