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My california trip July 2011 part I

You want to be the best in your field?To be the best and make a thriving company you have to be where it happens!

A good example is Heineken, the Dutch brewer that started 1864 in Amsterdam and is ranked as the third largest brewery in the world, with an annual beer production of 139.2 million hectolitres. The success of Heineken beer can be granted to Alfred “Freddy” Heineken, a brewer and salesman. Just after the World War II he went to live in New York for two years. There he was taught the ropes of American advertising and marketing. In its green bottle, with “export” on the label, and priced to match its suggestion of exclusivity, it caught on in the United States and elsewhere as a beer for special occasions. People were amused by, and perhaps even believed, its claim to be the beer that “refreshes the parts that other beers cannot reach”. Mr Heineken said he wasn't really selling beer. “I was selling warmth, gaiety.” Mr Heineken went to the city where good marketing is vital in order to make a successful company.

Where to establish yourself

If you want to be the best fashion designer, where do you go? Answer: Paris or Milano. If you want to be the best banker where do you go? Answer: London or New York. If you want to become an actress or actor, where do you go? Answer Hollywood. If you want to start a successful and thriving start-up company, where would you go? Answer: Silicon Valley. Go where there are other people just like you. Why? Because you will find the following:

- A culture of collaboration: There is an informal air of collaboration in Silicon Valley. It's network-building friendships. It's informal mentorships. And it's everywhere.

- Aligned incentives: it's not unusual to work late on a Saturday night understanding you are part of a greater mission. Seeing others around you who have cashed out when their start-ups were acquired -- and then do it again and again -- is both a motivator and a reminder that the entrepreneurial spirit is about the hunt.

- Critical mass of talent: From engineers to marketers, to investors, to venture capitalists, to legal eagles, the proximity and concentration of this talent creates something special.

- Respect of intellectual property: This makes people feel more at ease with sharing and discussing their breakthroughs, which is absolutely essential for using the network to refine ideas.

- A capacity to celebrate failure: The saying in the Valley is "fail fast" so that we can move on to the next thing. The feared alternative are "zombies" -- companies that should be dead, but continue to linger, keeping their founders and engineers hostage to their mere existence. Silicon Valley is filled with entrepreneurs who got lucky on their first try. But many only succeeded on their second or third attempt.

- Worldwide attention: Who reads a tech blog from any European country? Sweden, Norway, Germany, Spain, Poland, etc? Not many. Who do all the European tech bloggers follow and get their next story from? Yes, that’s right the Silicon Valley Tech blogs like TechCrunch! So if you are in the Valley you have a better chance hyping your start up to get into a Valley tech blog and then it will get into all the European tech blogs, translated into 15 different languages!