San Francisco — Day 2

After spending the night in Palo Alto, we set out for breakfast at a French bakery in the city center. We personalized our pitch deck to send to a couple of top tier investors we got introduced to over the past few days.

We drove to San Jose to meet with 2 Belgians living and working in the valley. We spent the whole afternoon talking about a number of topics, ranging from working/living in the Bay Area to politics and macroeconomics.

We learned a tremendous amount from their experiences: visa issues, health insurance, the cost of living (worse than I expected), the cost of attracting talent (worse than I expected), and many other things (not all worse than I expected). Moving to the valley is not a walk in the park, but it is manageable if you make sure you and your business are well prepared.

Tom, Jelle, thanks so much for giving up your time to talk to us on a Sunday afternoon!

Together, we set of to Cupertino to visit the ‘old’ and ‘new’ office of the most valuable company in the world, Apple. Whereas the old building on 1 Infinite Loop is not very impressive, the new building which is still under construction will be breathtaking when finished. “The Spaceship” will house more than 12.000 employees and the walls will be composed of the biggest pieces of curved glass in the world. It will run 100% on renewable energy and there will be 1.000 bikes on site to help get employees around campus.

After saying goodbye to our hosts, we set of to Mountain View to visit Googleplex, HQ of Google. It immediately struck me how the Google brand identity is reflected everywhere. The iconic colors are all over the place, on chairs and most notably of the famous campus bikes.

We made our way back to San Francisco and had some seafood in Fisherman’s Wharf.

After hearing and reading so much about it, I am happy to have been in Silicon Valley the last couple of days. Despite the enormous amounts of money being deployed, there isn’t much glamour and glitter nor fancy office buildings or campuses to be found.

We did however see a Tesla or two (hundred) …

Tomorrow, the Lean Startup Week finally kicks off. Very excited to be a part of this!

Cheers,

Dimitri

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