Silicon Valley and entrepreneurship have become nearly synonymous these days, and if you live in the Bay Area then you know that one doesn't exist without the other. From the world's largest companies like Google and Facebook, to the tiniest new startups, Silicon Valley is the undeniable destination for enterprising business people, both young and old, to bring their dreams to reality. But don't be fooled by all of its perks because even if the Bay Area seems like Neverland for aspiring entrepreneurs, it doesn't come without its own set of obstacles and challenges, too.
In fact, it's because of the fact that Silicon Valley is teeming with so much tech and business talent that it has turned into a wild west of sorts where companies fight for name recognition and great employees on a regular basis.
In a recent interview, VigLink CEO Olive Roup talks about the benefits and challenges of starting a new company and growing a business in Silicon Valley, shedding some light on what it's like to be a business owner in the tech capital of the world.
For all of that and more, watch the full interview below:
Here are some key takeaways from the video:
- At the start of the interview, Oliver talks about what it takes to start a company in Silicon Valley and touches on the difficulties of finding the right people and bringing promising talent to your team. "It's tough. Really I'd say you want team traction and market," he explained. "So you want to be in a market that you think could be a big market, that others are going to think can be a big market; really the potential for a billion dollar outcome is sort of what interests investors and even employees. They want to imagine a big future."
- Later, Oliver talked about building a company and how important it is for tech startups to be in San Francisco simply because of the talent pool that exists there. "I'd say what's special about Silicon Valley is the existence of talent in the ecosystem. Every bar you go to, every party, you're always going to meet someone who is somehow relevant to you," Roup said. "It really is a hot house that I don't think has been duplicated anywhere else. There's a lot of other interesting places to start companies, but nothing is quite like Silicon Valley."
- At the end of the interview Oliver spoke on the pros and cons of doing business in Silicon Valley, explaining that engineers are asking for incredibly expensive salaries, and for the most part, are getting them. And, if one company isn't willing to pony up the asking price of a quality engineer, than it won't be long before another company does. While talent is certainly expensive in the Bay Area, Oliver didn't say that it's well worth it to spend the money on talented employees. "I definitely made the choice to start here knowing that it would be more expensive but it's a tradeoff," he said. "You pay more for people but you have this great environment and all of this talent but it's a challenge. You've got to get attention and excitement, not just from customers and investors but from employees too. They are being hit all the time by other companies who want them to come work for them so you've got to keep it interesting."
In wrapping up the interview, Roup said that the best way to grow a quality company is simply by utilizing your personal network. He suggested meeting friends of friends and getting to know people that are in your personal network before venturing out to using headhunters and recruiters.
What tips do you have for growing your business in Silicon Valley?