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No Failure in Silicon Valley?

Updated: Nov 13, 2020


Failure is perceived wrongly. Most people in most places think of it as an unrecoverable defeat, which can put your family’s name at risk, but what most people aren´t aware of is that dreamers come to Silicon Valley to achieve their crazy dreams that otherwise would only end up as regrets.


The Golden Gate Bridge with San Francisco's skyline in the background.
© Copyright 2020 Roger Lopez Benet

This happens in a time in history when immigration is being questioned, although we are not aware of how Silicon Valley would look like with just locals. It would not be half as developed as it is. Immigrants account for more than half of Silicon Valley’s population, which forms the innovation hub of the world. It is thanks to them that this area in the world is known as risk-taker and therefore innovative.


Why is “the Bay” so unique?


The Bay Area is a very unique place. Some people say it looks like Europe, because of California’s weather similarity to the Mediterranean coast and because of its liberal approach to politics. At the same time, it is also very different from the rest of the country thanks to the fact that over 57% of its tech-related population is formed by immigrants (Melville & Kaiser & Brown, 2017). This explains the uniqueness and economic development of this region, which most certainly would not be as developed if foreigners didn’t take part in this.

over 57% of its tech-related population is formed by immigrants

As mind-blowing as it sounds, “the Bay Area” has a GDP of $535 billion, which represents a 14% of the country’s GDP and if we compare it to other countries, it would be the 9nth reachest country (Chambre Franco-Américaine de Commerce et d’Industrie, San Francisco, n.d.). This shows how important is the combination of dreamers coming from all over the world, seeking an environment that supports their craziness in order to achieve their dreams.

“the Bay Area” has a GDP … which represents a 14% of the country’s GDP

Failure is negatively seen in most parts of the world since it tends to be associated with catastrophes and unrecoverable defeats. Let me tell you something: “this is wrong”.


What did the founder and former CEO of “The North Face” tell us?


The founder and former CEO of “The North Face”, Hap Klopp, participated in one of Wifimilk.com streamed events hosted at HULT, in which he mentioned that most immigrants came to America to seek for opportunities and therefore take risks, which also explains why this bay is so diverse in terms of thinking, cultures but most importantly it creates the risk-taker culture (Klopp, 2019). It must be noted that once immigrants get to the Bay Area, they have the freedom to achieve their dreams and the entrepreneurial environment really helps them to do so.

most immigrants came to America to seek for opportunities and therefore take risks

Immigrants come from parts of the world such as Europe or Asia, where family is the center of everyone’s mind. Therefore, any action that can put your family’s reputation at risk, that can be considered an unrecoverable defeat, which creates fear of potential failure and therefore limits the number of entrepreneurs.

Foreign entrepreneurs come to the US to fight their failure fears so they can dream big without any judgment from their families, friends, and society as a whole.

Hap Klopp also mentioned in our event that he has had experience with VCs who have told many entrepreneurs they would only invest in them if they had failure experience since it teaches people how to make decisions under pressure not based on theory but real experience (Klopp, 2019). Therefore, everyone who seeks to become an entrepreneur must continuously DO, even if the odds don´t seem to be in your favor since this is the only way you can take on projects and learn as you do to potentially ending up achieving your dreams.

VCs … have told many entrepreneurs they would only invest in them if they had failure experience

To conclude, even though failure is seen as a bad thing, you should not care about what others may think or say since at the end of the day you are the visioner, the one who truly believes in your dreams and therefore the only one who can make them a reality.


 

References:

Klopp, H. (2019, November). Event: “How To Startup In Silicon Valley”. Event: “How To Startup In Silicon Valley”. San Francisco. Retrieved from https://www.wifimilk.com/

Melville, J., Kaiser, J., & Brown, E. (2017). Silicon Valley Competitiveness and Innovation Project — 2017 Report. Retrieved from https://www.svcip.com/files/SVCIP_2017.pdf#page=4

CHAMBRE FRANCO-AMÉRICAINE DE COMMERCE ET D’INDUSTRIE, SAN FRANCISCO. (n.d.). Key facts. Retrieved June 11, 2020, from https://www.faccsf.com/info/key-facts.html

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