This is what I love about Silicon Valley. It has the resources, people and culture to give you the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals, get involved in engaging conversations and even bounce ideas off each other.
The high-tech industry back in Sydney is nothing compared to what is available in Silicon Valley. There has been a recent shift in greater awareness and acceptance of the value that can be gained by investing in high-tech ecosystems but it’s still a slow process and is a decade behind what Silicon Valley has to offer today. It isn’t happening fast enough and let’s face it, there is no place in the world like Silicon Valley. Bradford Cross discussed historical perspective and challenges of the widespread efforts to reproduce Silicon Valley in cities across the world. In a nutshell it’s too hard to compete with culture and century of history in Silicon Valley. Bradford’s article is worth a read to understand the history and value Silicon Valley has brought to the world and which it will continue into this century.
Where to connect with like-minded people
So you are in Silicon Valley and want to connect with like-minded people. Here is a breakdown list of where you can start. At first attend as many of these as possible until such time when you have tuned to those that add value to your needs.
The no.1 best place to start is meetup.com. Meetup.com (also called Meetup) is an online social networking portal that facilitates offline group meetings in various localities around the world. The site has the tools to allow facilitators and people interested in meeting up to make this connection seamless and pain-free.
Meetup.com believes that people can change their personal world, or the whole world, by organizing themselves into groups that are powerful enough to make a difference. Thus you will see a huge pool of meetups in the bay area (Silicon Valley). Everything from:
- Stanford Bases: Stanford University’s entrepreneurship group with one of the largest student entrepreneurship groups in the world dedicated to cultivating the next generation of entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and beyond.
- Hacker Dojo: Located around the corner from my place (in Mountain View) is a place for hackers to hang out and code. Also the home of Android weekly developer meetings and monthly presentations from cloud companies.
- Googleplex: Hosting Silicon Valley Google Technology Users offers members who develop applications using Google technology to connect and present their projects.
- Jewish High Tech Community: Helps improve the quality of life in the Silicon Valley for Jewish people working in and around technology by educating them about important trends and issues in technology.
- Yahoo’s LAMP meetup every month to share Yahoo’s experience and provide an environment to learn from each other.
- Facebook also recently started hosting events.
- Not to mention a host of others at Facebook Fund, Nokia, Adobe et al. Visit meetup.com and find a group which interests you.
- Yahoo’s Upcoming has a number of events too – http://upcoming.yahoo.com/
- The Silicon Valley NewTech Meetup Group [SVNewTech] – always fills up in minutes once the reservations open with over 200 people attending.
- The Silicon Valley iOS Developers’ Meetup (Above with Jared Hill) – another one which fills up with over 100 people attending.
And yes, most of these places provide budding explorers with pizza & drink to keep the bellies full.
If you see me at one of these meetings please say hi! I love meeting and connecting with like-minded individuals. I like to look at people I don’t know yet as friends I haven’t met yet. Say g’day to this Aussie 🙂
Links mentioned in this post:
The Next Silicon Valley
Jewish High Tech Community