A living wall. Train tracks built into the floor. Exotic conference rooms. I could only be in one place — Airbnb’s San Francisco headquarters. For those of you who don’t know, Airbnb is the brainchild of Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia who rented out their apartment living room as a way of offsetting rent and providing accommodations to those who refused to pay “conference-pricing” at hotels. Like all things it started off simply, but soon took on a life of its own. From renting beachside villas, to city penthouses, and even a treehouse, Airbnb is the way forward when it comes to the ultimate in travel accommodations.
This was the first stop of an indefinite number around what is quickly becoming the “center of the universe.” Technology has always been a driving factor in our society, but it seems that now more than ever, it is a driving factor in everything that we do. Whether it is finance, medicine, transportation, travel, or even dating, there is something for seemingly every aspect of our life and this is only the beginning. Silicon Valley has long been the hub of all things tech, but it is arguably more alive and vibrant than ever with countless start up companies that are all looking to make the day to day more convenient, exciting, and accessible.
As a Californian that is trying to make it to the pinnacle of motorsports, my journey is certainly along the road less traveled. There have been many ups and downs and setbacks, but the commitment to the end result has never wavered. When I was presented with the idea of doing a tech tour around Silicon Valley, it was without hesitation that I decided to take it on because the similarities between my career and a startup company were countless.
Creativity, risk, determination, and a small dose of insanity are all things that immediately come to mind when comparing trying to get on the F1 grid and getting an app onto your homescreen. And ethos are only the beginning. The sheer number of brilliant people that are involved in both ventures is staggering with a seemingly different masters degree walking past you in the hall every time you grab a cup of coffee. Like most things in life, there is always more to the story than what meets the eye — motorsports and tech is no exception.
Throughout the year, I will be looking to meet and explore these companies that have also chosen to take the road less traveled. To experience them first hand and give you a behind the scenes look into what makes them the powerhouses that they are. They are all different, but also share one common passion, and that is to change the way we experience the world.