Understanding the “secret sauce” of Silicon Valley

Escrito el 20 Mayo 2008 por Ricardo Pérez Garrido en Educación / Education

Our first day was oriented to understand what is the “secret sauce” of silicon valley, what makes it a special place on earth where everybody in the technology world is eager to go and create “the next big thing”. On this day (last monday) we had a number of conferences: personal perspectives during the morning, success stories in the afternoon.

During the morning trying to understand it form the personal perspective of two visions of the valley: Marco Marinucci, entrepreneur and now in Google, and Philipp Stauffer, with a long career at Accenture and now working as a sort of bridge between startups and big 500 companies that Accenture collaborates with. The perspective is somewhat clear: part of the secret is the money and the legal/financial system, part of it is the special culture of risk and failure. Where in most other places you will be considered a failure after you tried, here it this failure can become positive, help you in your next endeavor. Cultural shock coming from Spain, where failure is… let’s say not a good thing for your career even as an entrepreneur.

During the afternoon we had Jaleh Rezaei-Homami, from VMWare and Babur Odzen, CEO of Berggi and Naverggi. You all know Vmware. Great success story and they are just becoming bigger and better. One thing that was interesting about their approach was that they considered their main competitor… Microsoft. Which to me is a sign that there is still a number of issues to be said in the OS arena before Microsoft loses its leadership.
Berggi is a different story. They are still small, they create applications for mobile phones, and their story is about comming to the valley for the contacts, the money and the image. Very interesting approach by Babur, who has development teams all around the world working to be the fastest… management innovation to compete in a market where differentiation is difficult and speed is everything. I am sure they will be very successful.

Great start for our adventure. One of the first conclusions that will stay with us all the week was openness. The approach to sharing information and ideas is totally open, creating and environment of collaboration and positive feedback that is very interesting and different to a mora traditional “closed” approach.


Pablo L. Renaud 24 Mayo 2008 - 00:25

One thing that really amazed me was the fact that the four speakers, when asked about this Valley’s “secret sauce”, all offered a very clear and direct answer, with these very same words: the special people, the culture towards risk and failure, and the money and all other means present in the Valley.

So, two options: it’s all a big lie they all ellaborate or, most probably, that’s “the Secret” and it really works that way there.

Efrain Funes 29 Mayo 2008 - 21:13

All the speakers mentioned the good things of the valley. The sharing culture within the entrepreneurs, all the financial and legal structure inside the valley and the most important part they mentioned the culture toward risk and failure. To anybody who herds this comments would say…. “WOW.. the Silicon Valley is really the place where i want to stay to make tons of money” as Ricardo stressed out in the name of the article, this place has a secret sauce. But i want to raise a point. All the good things have a negative part and it’ll be good to know that part as well……

Pablo L. Renaud 3 Junio 2008 - 14:36

For those of you who can read Spanish, please find more info on this “secret sauce” aspect here:


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