Business Lessons from Silicon Valley

- - Adam Kidan

For decades now, the Silicon Valley area has served as the cradle of innovation for the development of new technologies and business for the United States of America, if not the entire world. Companies such as Google, Airbnb, eBay, Yahoo, and Facebook are some of the most renowned “Silicon Valley” successes. However hundreds, perhaps thousands, of companies that have achieved significant success in their own right, even if they are far less known than some their counterparts. What makes this community incredible, and the reason companies pay top dollar to work in this area is the benefits of idea sharing and of learning from one another, whether in technological advances or business strategy. In a recent article from Rhonda Abrams of the USA Today, the journalist, a long-time Silicon Valley resident, shared some practices that these companies employ. Let’s take a look her observations, and see what small business can learn from these tech startups.

  • The Importance of Innovation 
    • The term innovation may be a bit hackneyed, but the meaning behind it is as important as ever. That’s not to say your business has to be on the cutting edge of technology to succeed, but, instead, be open to new technological offerings that could help take your business to the next level.
  • Failure isn’t the end
    • People in Silicon Valley often embrace failure. It truly provides invaluable experience that give you insight into how to run a successful business.
  • Network and adhere to the Golden Rule
    • The importance of networking is important across industries, especially in regards to small business. The more people you know, the more people you can reach out to if you are in need of finding a great new employee, or even securing a deal. Additionally, treat everyone you meet with the utmost respect. Although they may be lower than you on the totem pole at the time, that person could very well be your boss, competitor, or potential partner in the future.
  • Make Employees Happy
    • One practice Silicon Valley tech companies are famous for is treating their employees spectacularly. No one is saying you have to provide free food and transportation or plentiful stock options to every single employee. However, you should embrace this ideal. Namely, that the success of your organization depends on the performance of your employees, and you should try to keep them happy as best as you reasonably can.
  • Sharing with Neighbors
    • silicon-valley-sign-lgThere is a reason why tech startups flock to the Northern California area, and it’s not because of the proximity to San Francisco’s delicious food. The attitude of sharing ideas is relatively novel to those outside the tech industry. But sharing some, obviously not all, of your advances can help you in the long run. Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and PayPal, actually went as far to releasing the intellectual property he used to develop his electric automobiles. The more information and connections you share with each other, the fast you will be able to make advances as a whole.
  • Work hard, but have fun:
    • This goes hand-in-hand with treating your employees well. But, make sure that you are enjoying the ride into establishing a successful business. The offices of tech startups are chock full of ping pong tables, massage tables, and things to make the working environment more friendly. Do whatever works for you own organization to embody this ideal.

Adam Kidan