Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Spanish journalist strolls through Silicon Valley

Spanish journalist Ana Ormaechea spent a few weeks at a seminar at Stanford University and was dazzled by the entrepreneurial culture of Silicon Valley.

For her, the magic in the air came from the unique blend of talented people, bold investors, big ideas and a tremendous sense of urgency.

She described her experiences recently to participants in the Laboratory of Digital Media Entrepreneurs of the New Journalism Foundation. 

Ormaechea, editor of the online magazine Muy Interesante, said the successful new media initiatives in Silicon Valley:

  • Identify and solve a problem
  • Identify a target market
  • Are technically feasible
  • And are financially sustainable

She shared the words of Tina Seelig, who heads the innovation program at Stanford, about the importance of speed to market: conceive the product or service and quickly develop a prototype. The concept does not have to be perfect. It can be refined by the reactions of users and customers.

Jobs and Zuckerberg

Apple Computer and Facebook were nurtured in the cradle of Silicon Valley, as well as innovators such as Netflix, Google and Twitter. All of them benefited from having a huge pool of technical and entrepreneurial talent to draw upon as well as swimming in the culture where investors accept nine failures for every success.

One of the surprising elements of the culture is the spirit of collaboration, Ormaechea said. People will drop what they are doing to help another entrepreneur solve a problem. 

The elevator pitch

Part of living and working in Silicon Valley is being prepared at any moment to describe the project you are working on in a few choice words. In the restaurants, cafes and conference halls, you could at any moment bump into someone who might be looking to invest. Your pitch has to address the talent of your team, the problem you are solving and the technical and financial feasibility of your project. You never know

Coda: since returning to Spain, Ormaechea has launched the Madrid chapter of  Hacks & Hackers (journalists and programmers). She is coordinating the launch of her magazine's edition for the iPad.

No comments:

Post a Comment