Silicon Valley Week - Founder, Funder and the Future

My final week had been filled with company visits including (in no particular order) Google, Apple, Netflix, Cisco, Illumina (Genome engineering), Better Ventures (impact investors), Coherent (laser technology), Jabil (product designers and manufacturers of just about everything you own!), LinkedIn, RSM, Dynamic Action and Indosole (social enterprise and maker of sustainable footwear).

Back Home


A family emergency ripped me untimely from the womb of San Fransisco. Emergency now dealt with ( patient recovering well), I’m left feeling distinctly strange. My cohort are still in the US for another week, and I’m home alone trying to understand what happened over the last 2 months and more importantly, what happens next.

My final week had been filled with company visits including (in no particular order) Google, Apple, Netflix, Cisco, Illumina (Genome engineering), Better Ventures (impact investors), Coherent (laser technology), Jabil (product designers and manufacturers of just about everything you own!), LinkedIn, RSM, Dynamic Action and Indosole (social enterprise and maker of sustainable footwear). A slightly incongrous mix, but gave us valuable insights into everything from organisational culture, using big data, supply chains for global organisations, to the challenges of being a start-up — from the different perspectives of founder, funder and the future. Useful stuff. Having been immersed in the can-do attitude of the entrepreneurial US for 7 weeks, (not to mention the fabulous weather, food, etc etc) the challenge now is how to apply all of this to the real world of an austerity-ridden arts sector.

Soon the group reconvene in Peebles to jointly examine what we experienced and how to make sense of it at home. There are of course many shared issues with the US — poverty, inequality and homelessness on an enormous scale (particulary in San Fransisco) which was in stark contrast to the wealth and opportunity at the other end of the spectrum. The growing distance between technological advancements and the impact on healthcare, and the lack of access to even basic healthcare for so many. The gaps continue to widen. And then areas where the UK feels much more progressive; particularly relating to gender parity in the work place and basic parental rights (although far from perfect our rights are revolutionary by comparison).

So I’ve decided to let it all settle. Not to rush into anything. Just wait.

 

Jo McLean, CEO of The Touring Network