A reply to Stop Talking About Moving to the Silicon Valley

A reflection on Adeo’s post about Silicon Valley versus our cities

New note from March 2017: this article was produced back in 2016 after reading the following article from Adeo Ressi. At the time, I was yet a participant at the local Founder Institute acceleration program in my city in Brazil. I also lived in the bay area from 2000–2005. My notes here are personal opinions and I wish to continue this discussion with many peers to know more about such patterns, and when such patterns can be good and when such patterns can be risky.

The following is a summarized list I took from their article, of the traits per country. A sort of conclusion, lifted at the article, has to do with the last point, that Silicon Valley interviewed folks don’t display in top 10 in any of the their rankings.

  • Latin America — Conscientious
  • Singapore — Intelligence
  • India — Agreeableness
  • Australia — Emotional Stability
  • Europe — Openness
  • Athens — Overall Predictive Entrepreneurship Score
  • Silicon Valley — not in the Top 10 globally on any of these rankings

Being a person that lived in the valley, for 5 years, one thing that I have seen is that the many ones there, first, where not from there. Many were imported from other countries. Certainly more material would be needed to see what is going on but since all the data is so far limited I will just naively pick a possibility — that the interviewed set of people from Silicon Valley were just a blend of people from many countries. Another possibility is really that they really don’t display any of these traits, or even that such traits won’t matter much too.

Nevertheless, I am not worried about what the valley is. I am more concerned to understand these other cultures that display too strongly one or other traits.

Looking at Brazil and trying to figure the local consciousness

Here in Brazil, I noticed that many peers and mentors reacts to far-vision ideas with a sort of narrow response. I recall answers such as: this can be done in Facebook, or, if Whatsapp does that then you are dead. While other ideas, very centric to our market, or closer or analogs to existing competition, gets always a bit of traction and endorsement.

It’s like our startup ecosystem is sort of confined in a sort of shadow mindset:

Ah, that is not going to work because of X,Y,Z. Is too easy for _put_great_existing_company_name_here_ to just launch that.

Sadly, we keep seeing these too easy ideas being launched by the valleys of the world, not from places like Brazil.

When I interviewed an ex-CEO of an events communication startup that failed, I end up asking if he felt that his stakeholders were pushy on him, such as pushing him to position his startup as something more tied to a now-market as opposite to a far vision. He immediately answered:

“that is Brazil right?”

Yet this known and difficult-to-explain behavior in Brazil gives me much pain — perhaps a Conscientiousness brazilian mode that influences, even investors and mentors at our ecosystem, to think that new ideas needs to fit in the now-markets.

Or perhaps we are just not open enough. Or perhaps is just that we never seeing crazy and simple ideas becoming reality, from here from our investors, and then we tend to think they are too complex to make.

All this or none of this. Please share your thoughts if you have any. I am more lost now then when I was at the beginning of this article (note added one year later).

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.