If Silicon Valley's Secret Sauce is People…

  • September 20, 2012
  • Scott

… then what is your company’s secret sauce? Zambonini writes:

I’ve lived in three different countries and travelled around the world, and a recurring theme in the web communities of large cities is a desire to replicate the successes and benefits of the SV tech scene. But these tend to focus on the wrong things, like shared office space or high-speed internet infrastructure. While these are certainly useful elements to have, they’re not the source of SV’s success – in fact, anyone who lives in SV will tell you that the internet infrastructure is surprisingly primitive.

It’s the feedback loop of people that makes SV what it is, from the constant influx of young global talent, through the huge experienced mentoring network, to the established investors and thought leaders. It’s a catch-22 born of previous successes.

I’ve observed much the same in Austin.  Although certainly there are people focused on shared office space, the thinking behind it has a lot more to do with cross-pollination and connecting people than it does with office space.  Think about what people would say about Dog Patch labs space in San Francisco before they moved, for example.

And Austin has similarities to Silicon Valley of many years ago.  The tech community is small enough that it is highly connected.  And people help each other out – funding each others’ companies, working in each others’ startups.  The thing that makes Silicon Valley unique is how all of this operates at scale, relative to anywhere else I’ve seen.  Austin doesn’t really need it to operate at that scale, Austin just needs the connectivity to keep happening and building on itself, and for a few more successes to roll in.

When you look at your company and your processes, I hope you see that the secret sauce is still people.  That’s how we see it at BP3.  Don’t lose sight of the people that make things work, while you’re focused on the process.

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