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Silicon Valley Tech tourism

#Techtourism: my first visit to Silicon Valley

While I’m half Amercian, I had never been to California. So when I finally had the chance to check out Silicon valley and visit some social media companies and tech hubs, I naturally jumped on this opportunity!

So what was it like? Well, coming from Paris as a humble digital Entrepreneur, it was indeed refreshing to meet tech people literally everywhere: cafes, trains, ferries, sidewalks…. It just seemed like no matter where I was, the people around me were digitally savy, highly educated, and forward thinking…


And one thing was for sure – there were tech Entrepreneurs everywhere and they all had more or less the same message: “if you’re just a small tech company with 10 to 20 people and no one knows you yet, you’re a nobody.”
Wow, that was scarey!  I wanted to jump up and down and shout out to them, “good job!”. If you run a startup in France with all of its hiring complexities and you have a team of 10-20 people, its a serious accomplishment!
And, by the way, I  particularly got a kick out of the “you’re a nobody” part, meaning if your company isn’t called Facebook or Uber, you’re not deemed worthy enough to be on the tech map… 😉

So anyway, what did I learn during my 2 day visit to Silicon Valley?

#Techtourism: Michelle’s 3 takeaways

TT1: Mindset
Go big or go home: obviously the system of measurement in the US and France aren’t the same. We all know about the stereotypcial differences of how everything is bigger in the US. The positive aspect of this is that it affects attitude as well! The people I met  have “big” minds, meaning they’re open and accepting of innovative ideas. This “anything is possible” mindset leads the way for disruption! So maybe “bigger” minds are indeed better when you’re trying to innovate and create a new product, service, business model, etc.
And, by the way, to relax their minds, yes its true, yoga and meditation are everywhere! There is even a Yoga Room at the airport!

Capture d’écran 2016-03-10 à 20.41.27
Namaste San Francisco!


TT2: Measurement
Now that we have lots of social media activity, tools, and applications and are driving tons of traffic in every direction, its essential to measure this activity in order to understand what it all means. Everywhere I went during my 2 days, I met at least 3 Entrepreneurs working on this.

From tools that measure social media engagement and conversation, to tools that track the number of people passing by in front of stores, to tools that measure data security leaks and educate on data security within companies, measurement is obviously on everyone’s mind!

What is interesting here is that what what companies used to think is unmeasurable is now identifiable and measurable! After all, it serves no purpose to be present on social media if you cannot measure and interpret the results!

TT3: Mapping
When LinkedIn says, “digitally mapping the global economy,” they’re not kidding. It seemed like many of the digital business people I met are following this mantra. It’s true that social media activity + measurement + mapping= success!  It’s only logical that if you can measure results, you must map them afterwards. Digital mapping is the key to interpreting social media activity. This helps us to better understand our online business ecosystem, how to interact with its members, and achieve success.

So…. What does this all mean? I’ve come away from my Silicon Valley learning expedition with a refreshed outlook on my business life as a digital Entrepreneur in Paris.
→ The world is big with many amazing people and possibilities. We just have to keep our minds open and think practically.

For more information on how you and your teams can measure digital maturity and activities.