This video caught my eye over at Hacker News. It’s a clip from an interview with Steve Blank, one of Silicon Valley’s premier entrepreneurs.
According to the clip, the reason Silicon Valley produces such a high volume of innovative companies is not the people, nor the universities, nor the weather. It is the attitude to failure. Silicon Valley entrepreneurs view failure as experience. It is not the financial death sentence that it is in other parts of the world. A little while ago, Bob Ell sent me another one of Steve Blank’s article about taking a tour of Silicon Valley, so that I could gain inspiration for my next big idea. Not a bad idea for a road trip, but I do have a little problem with the last line of the post which is “NEVER LEAVE”.
I look at these love letters to California, and I think to myself, what is a Fraser Valley company? What do we do in the Lower Mainland of BC that defines our business culture? Do we have that attitude to failure? Or do we have beliefs here that hold us back, like the way we pay our workers, or the way we look at the responsibility of the government? Silicon Valley is a great place to do business, but I hardly believe that there’s some sort of magic totem there spewing forth Venture Capitalists and Computer Science PhDs. There must be some way to import that culture here. We could improve it, leave out aspects that don’t work, maybe add some of our own ideas and export them. Basically, I want to know what we are capable of right here in British Columbia. I want to know what this place is going to look like when we’re done with it.