This was my last full week in the bay area before heading home for Christmas and New Year. I’m looking forward to going home to see friends and family, but I’m looking forward even more to coming back here in January! I’ve made tremendous progress with Teamly since moving here and I expect 2012 is going to be a great year.
A few highlights from this week:
I visited Plug & Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale, which is one of the oldest and largest serviced office spaces for startups in silicon valley. They specialise in helping international startups relocate here, and soften the landing through mentoring, educational events and access to executives-in-residence. Their main building has approximately 1000 people in it, and like all coworking spaces in the valley they’ve been getting busier and busier this year, reflecting the boom.
There’s lots of great events in Silicon Valley, so choosing between them all is hard. Thesedays I only go to those that are educational, rather than just a random networking event. One of the two events I went to this week was a great 2 hour workshop on “Guiding UX principles“. UX is one of those things that’s hard to put your finger on, but this was taught with 10 principles, and some great examples of good and bad UX.
In an example of Silicon Valley serendipity, I was doing some work in a cafe in Palo Alto, when I recognised another founder at the next table in a meeting. It was Ben Mappen, founder of Leanlaunchlab, a web service which helps you through the lean startup process. That includes customer development, the business model canvas, as well as keeping your board, investors and advisors up-to-date with your progress. Ben has a great story of how Steve Blank pitched him the idea! If you’re running a startup I’d encourage you to register for the beta.
Finally, a little plug for Percollate, which is a British startup I’m advising that launched this week. Percollate helps marketers find relevant customers fast on twitter. It shortens the discovery process at the start of social media marketing campaigns, saving hours of tedious legwork. With Percollate you can identify Twitter users with a greater probability of becoming customers, so run a more targeted and cost-effective campaign.
I’m planning to write up a blog on the plane home about my thoughts on my first 2 months in silicon valley, comparing it with London, and separately, a little guide to my favourite spots in Palo Alto, so look out for those!
Happy Holidays :)