Product of Our Environments

I cannot stress enough: The Bay Area, is a very special place.

This past week, re-connecting with the tech community in SF and the Silicon, reminded me of Paul Graham’s ‘Cities and Ambition’. Paul Graham wrote that in 2008 and itstill rings true.

In NY, we talk about money. How technology is changing the way we monetize. I’ve subconsciously turned into someone who combines tech with money. How can I best package x in order to meet $y?

In SF, the conversations are technology focused. How far we’ve come, where we are going. What’s the next wave of innovation?

As I am sitting on the airplane, I can’t help but to think about the differences between NY and SF, then humbled by this incredible era we are living in. How fortunate we are, to be a part of a community changing the world, whether I am in NY thinking of monetization strategies or innovation in the Valley.

I’m still high from my week in SF. I want more. My brain won’t shut up and I am looking for someone, anyone, with the Bay Area DNA to talk to about anything and everything. Even a topic silly as socks can turn into an app or service.

Silicon Valley is a very special place.

Some may argue the Bay Area is too techie. People even joke about the over-saturated market and how startups have the same “We’re the ____ of ____.” (i.e. Fashion for Pinterest) elevator pitches.

And I’m not gonna lie, I was one of those people outside of the Valley, rolling my eyes at how everyone is an entrepreneur for the sake of being an entrepreneur. How entrepreneurs are the new struggling actors and Crunchbase is the new IMDB.

Yes, it seems like that on the outside. But if you are immersed in the environment, you just can’t get enough. At least I can’t. Perhaps spending time away, made it easier to appreciate the Silicon Valley ecosystem.

The biggest takeaway from this trip, is how saturation is necessary, as it drives innovation in the way it can and in the only place it can: the Valley.

Look at it this way: It’s the reason Mark Zuckerberg was able to take Facebook’s social sharing to the next level (bet you didn’t know the LIKE button was built by the FriendFeed founders, who before FriendFeed, built Gmail and Google Maps respectively). It’s also the reason Steve Jobs redefined branding, user experience and consumer marketing and all the other products that change the way we think and behave.

Silicon Valley is such a special place and I can’t wait to return.

I am just privileged to be a part of it all and if you don’t feel the same, step outside of the Bay Area Bubble to appreciate your environment even more.

*This was written in 2012. It is now 2014 and I still feel the same exact way.