Week V highlights and Alcatraz

Sorry for my late post! Have been trying to write about my week V experiences for the last few days, but didn’t really get to do it till today. Like any other weeks, last week was eventful and fun. Several highlights of the week:

1. Palo Alto

We went to the True Palo Alto office for the first time on Thursday. The minute I got off the train, I was amazed by how pretty and warm Palo Alto is. As I walked down Lytton Avenue, and I noticed that probably more than 50% of the offices on that street were venture capital firms. I have lived in Chicago for 3 years, where the business culture is very different from the SF bay area. Having lived in SF for 5 weeks, I already felt like I’m breathing the air of the venture and startup world. I can often hear ppl talking about VCs and startups in cafes and restaurants here. My roommate is the owner of a biofuel startup, and he has practiced presentations to me a couple of times, which was pretty interesting.

2. Scale and Experience

Danny Shader was one of our speakers on Thursday. He has started up several companies, and has experienced the dotcom bubble, when everything in the internet space was going crazy. The dotcom bubble was probably the first time when many young people made huge amount of fortune in a short period of time. The trend has inevitably remained in the Silicon Valley even until today.

One of Danny’s comments regarding this trend was that scale will again matter, and so does experience. We know that being young is a valuable asset, and it allows us to learn and do certain things that we can’t do when we are old. However, I agree that experience is extremely important for running a mature and successful organization. My work at Syncplicity really makes me feel that running a business, even a single aspect of it, is a marathon, which requires a lot of time and effort. I am working on business development for Syncplicity, doing market research and marketing for their product. It’s sometimes frustrating to see how much learning and experimenting we still have to do before we can be fully sure of positioning and customers. But it takes time to learn and get a know a market/product.

3. IB vs. startup

There was a discussion on career choices during the speakers series on Thursday. Some of us were asking about working at investment banks vs. startups. Having spent the last summer at an investment bank, I would say that working with a startup is a lot more enjoyable than working in banking. I remember spending hours aligning graphs and tables, having Sat 11pm night conference calls, listening to my VP yelling on the phone, all of which are part of a typical analyst’s life. However, IB really honed my technical skills, and expanded my network. This summer, I got to choose what skills I want to improve, what kind of projects I want to work on, and my internship has been extremely rewarding and fun.

4. Alcatraz

I went on a trip to Alcatraz on Sunday. It was a sunny and nice day, and I got a nice view of the city from the island. The video tour took me to different parts of the prison, and it was interesting to listen to different stories that happened at Alcatraz.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>