A letter from startup heaven
As Eirik touched upon in last week’s letter, Silicon Valley is full of sayings, and as rookies to the ecosystem we have been advised to take them to heart:
“Silicon Valley is not a location; it is a mindset”.
This is probably one of the most cited quotes you’ll hear about Silicon Valley. However, regardless of its intended interpretation, I have found the realisation that Silicon Valley actually IS a location to be really inspiring. When you are a little startup from Norway, the dream of Silicon Valley seems like something that’s far away; basically something you’ll only read about in TechCrunch.
View from the Norwegian Consulate in San Francisco, where we had a great workshop with Obama's entrepreneurship ambassador Julie Hanna
Therefore, to experience that companies like Google and Facebook are run by actual employees that aren’t too different from you and I have been a fascinating experience for me. Today we visited the Google Headquarters in Mountain View. There’s no doubt they know how to create a productive and creative work environment, as there were all sorts of entertainment and welfare solutions. They even have a rule that says that wherever you are on campus there can never be more than 100 meters to the closest food source!
Tise's Palo Alto delegation in front of the Google HQ
This week has been all about meeting people and getting input on the concept of what we are trying to do with Tise. Networking is essential here in Silicon Valley, and about half of our meetings have been booked through quite random occurrences. So if you ever come over here you should always be on your toes and ready to pitch; there’s no joke that your Uber driver might actually be your next investor!
We have met with all kinds of people; from the super skilled, but down to earth earlier Facebook designer, Google researchers, and the extrinsic-professor kind of entrepreneur. We spent one night at Mixpanel up in San Francisco. Like us they are a startup, just a bit further down the road (In their last round of funding from Andreessen Horowitz they raised $56 M on a $900 M valuation). Following the lean startup methodology, analytics are vital to us, and being able to discuss our most present issues with the actual engineers and support personnel in person was just awesome.
Office hours at Mixpanel
The stay in Silicon Valley has been extremely rewarding so far. People we talk to love what we’re doing with Tise, and we receive so much valuable feedback and tips for what we should do to really create a kick-ass service. Our to-do list is getting longer for each day, further boosting our motivation and goals.
CEO and founder workshop in San Francisco
We still have three weeks left here in the US, and while we apologize that it is hard to do as much product development as we normally would want, we would love to hear from you and get YOUR input on how Tise should be. So if you haven’t done it already, please check out Tise at App Store (https://tiseit.com/ios) or Google Play (https://tiseit.com/android). Any feedback you might have we’d love for you to forward to firstname.lastname@example.org. That also goes for anything you might want us to discuss in this blog.
Until next time,