Dis, c’est comment la Silicon Valley ?

arobase Pourquoi être à la Silicon Valley pour innover ? Nombreux sont ceux (dont nous d’ailleurs!) qui nous sommes posés la question sans vraiment avoir de « bonne » réponse (à part avoir une vue imprenable sur le Golden Gate, et encore…). Alors, une fois n’est pas coutune, Stan&Dam laisse la parole à Seth, de Meebo, qui nous raconte son aventure.

Si vous me cherchez, je suis sur Opodo :p

Source : Meebo

From time to time, someone will call or write about turning one of their ideas into a startup. It’s always really fun to chat with folks like this… you get to hear some pretty nifty ideas, see what folks think are emerging areas, and just get to know someone new. One question that always comes up in these conversations is “do I need to be in Silicon Valley?”

Tough question, but my answer’s very consistent: “Nope, but it sure does help.”

Before I moved out to California, people used to tell me that Silicon Valley had an entire eco-system built around startups.

I just didn’t get it.

What, in a tangible way, does that mean to me as someone who is trying to start a business? Having experienced meebo for the last year and a half… I finally get it.

First, the people. Silicon Valley is brimming with people who have deep expertise in technology and startups. Some may become members of your startup, others may advise you so that you don’t make the same mistakes they did when they first started out. These same people are likely to have worked in startups before, and thus they understand the unique constraints and culture of a startup.

Second, the innovation machines. Stanford University, The University of California at Berkeley and local companies are full of new technology and ideas. They also happen to attract and aggregate the people I mentioned above, who then team up to work on turning those technologies or ideas into a business.

Third, the service provider industry. In the Valley you have an entire industry built around helping startups with their essential needs. Lawyers in Silicon Valley will often defer your first set of legal payments until you’ve raised a Series A venture round of financing. Real estate agents who, typically, would have no interest in helping people find a 3,000 square foot office (the commission is just too low to justify the time) help you in the hope that one day your tiny startup will become a big startup that needs 100,000 square feet of space. Oh, and even the landlords are in on the game… they’ll enter into a lease with a company that has no operating history with only 1 month’s security deposit… try getting that done in New York!

How about getting those finances done? Every receipt has to be logged in Quicken and your forecast presented to your Board. Hence, firms like Horn Murdock Cole help you get your finances, book-keeping, and human resources documentation straight. Need help hiring? Dozens of recruiters who specialize in recruiting technical and managerial talent for startups are just a phone call away. The support network is simply amazing.

Fourth, funding your business. Once you’ve gone about building an initial team and have launched a product that folks are hopefully finding useful, you might need additional funds to help scale the business. That’s where one of the numerous VCs, most of them in the hills just west of Stanford’s campus on Sand Hill Road, can help.

A lot of this stuff is available elsewhere. If you’re connected into the startup fabric of most any city, from Boston to New York to Seattle, you’re likely to find much of the same. But if you’re a first time entrepreneur and need some guidance and a support structure along the way, it’s tough to imagine a more supportive place for building a company than Silicon Valley.