Blogging from Silicon Valley: Day four
Silicon Valley: Entrepreneurship Hollywood
Thursday, May 10, 2012
By Rodrigo Delgado and Thanh Nguyen
This journey has exposed us to shocking differences between the Silicon Valley way of life and the Ottawa entrepreneurship culture. A culture of openness, of sharing, of avant-garde innovations, of celebrating each other's successes, while showcasing an amazing ability and instinct of making it big... 0.5% of the time. We felt like we were in the Nirvana of pure risk-taking, money falling from heavenly angels, and fast-paced and exciting business adventures. With relentless preparation and eagerness for this trip, we came to learn about the Holy Grail of entrepreneurship.
To succeed in the Valley, it is very important to not only be good technically but also to develop extraordinary social skills. Network, network, network! All the time and every time. You never know who you will meet and how they could be there for you one day when most needed. When talking to strangers at a bar, a cafe, or even at a bus stop, you could be talking to a next successful company founder in the Valley. People here are candid about their ideas, they will tell you as it is, and expose their endeavours before launching them. This allows them to get valuable feedback, validation from peers, and even better ideas, such as a continuous free market survey.
Failing-fast, a stepping stone concept embraced by so many start-ups, has provided entrepreneurs with a framework for the acceptance of ideas, the authentic self, and the sharpening of survival networking. These abilities are further validated and exemplified by centennial and transformational businesses, such as IBM, Microsoft, Cisco, LinkedIn, and many more clearly achieving unimaginable success. Working hard and playing harder is a common theme but at what costs to you? Sacrifices, efforts, and hardwork are prices that you will have to pay to compete with the best. This is truly a battle of the smartest.
Some of us took the liberty to attend unplanned activities, like career fairs, going to the beach, shopping, and attending industry trade-shows. Each of these activities have provided invaluable lessons and insights into the entrepreneurial world. From bargaining for better deals, gathering market intelligence, and seeing the ocean and its limitless opportunities, we were humbled and encouraged to succeed in our own journey.
Above all, we have learned to improve our relationship building and leadership skills. From classmates we learned to know and appreciate each other and our talents, while becoming a stronger EMBA 2011-2013 cohort. Our next Everest will be to replicate this Silicon Valley ecosystem in Ottawa, with a passion to contribute back to our families and communities. Through lasting friendships and memories, this Silicon Valley trip will forever be remembered in our hearts.
This article is the fourth in a series this week on the University of Ottawa's Telfer School of Management Executive MBA class trip to the Silicon Valley. The trip is part of the EMBA curriculum on "Innovation and Entrepreneurship," which includes a consulting project and holding meetings with Valley firms on behalf of client organizations, as well as special events and discussions at key Valley innovation centres, such as the San Jose BioCenter, US Market Access Centre, IBM Almaden Research Center, Cisco, Google, Oracle and Stanford University.
Anthony P. Sheehan, Ejibola Adetokunbo-Taiwo, Martin Lacelle, Rodrigo Delgado and Thanh Nguyen are EMBA participants and they will be writing daily updates to share their experiences and lessons learned in the Silicon Valley.
- We are actively seeking new International Career mentors for the 2014-2015 academic year
- The Telfer School’s Executive MBA program represented at Startup Canada Day on the Hill
- George Langill named the Chair of the City of Ottawa’s Innovation Advisory Board
- Collaboration with German Fraunhofer Institute Enables Joint Exploration of Innovation Systems in Canada, Germany
- CGA-AGRC Concludes Year With Very Successful Public Lecture
December 9, 2013
Thesis Defence of Asha Gajaria, M.Sc. in Health Systems Candiate
December 11, 2013
Health Systems Research Seminar with Ivy Lynn Bourgeault
December 13, 2013
Management Research Seminar with Benson Honig
December 13, 2013
Thesis Defence of Javier Fiallos, M.Sc. in Health Systems Candidate
January 9, 2014
Telfer Executive MBA Information Session