What motivates me to jump on a plane and travel to new places, sometimes places half way across the world? I often times ask myself that, more likely when I’m halfway through a 15 hour flight, fighting for arm rest real estate with the guy sitting next to me. What the hell am I doing?
I suppose like many people, part of what I enjoy about travelling so much is seeing something different. New cultures, new people, new ideas, new ways of doing things. I seek out places that don’t have a Starbucks on the corner and a McDonalds within driving distance. I want something local, and I’m truly curious as to how other people live their lives.
As an online media buyer and technology junkie, i’m constantly on the hunt to see how the online media buying revolution is unfolding in different parts of the world. I study how people from different parts of the world not only consume information, but what tools and services they use to do it.
What I can report back, after travelling thousands of miles to places far away, is the following….Silicon Valley is more amazing than I ever realized.. Yes I take Silicon Valley for granted on a routine basis. I was born here and lived here most of my life. I take tours of Google and Facebook. I live in the shadow of Apple and Twitter. Ah, its all so routine to me. To my bay area friends, you truly have no idea how good you have it.
Half a world away, sitting in coffee shop in Kuwait, I look around and all I see is the footprints of Silicon Valley. Facebook, Apple, Google and Twitter. I could rattle off another dozen Silicon Valley companies who’ve made an impact in far away places. In fact, everywhere I go, the same scene plays out. From Thailand to Australia, the UK to France.
The proliferation of these amazing companies; products that come from a exceedingly small sliver of the world, Silicon Valley, are everywhere. I mean everywhere. In the sands of Kuwait, to the alleys of Bangkok. From pubs in the UK to country roads in France. People on their Iphones, doing a status update on their Facebook page, and tweeting something a moment later. Using Google to search through an IPad. We are so much connected than we even realize. And the glue that is connecting all of us, all over the world, comes from companies within a 60 mile radius in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Perhaps it took me getting out of Silicon Valley, a place that I call home, to truly realize how amazing this place really is. Those of us that live here don’t really think about how the rest of the world uses our “stuff”. I’m left with the feeling that we are more connected as people than ever before, and I submit to you that these amazing companies, companies in my backyard, are helping connect us more than ever before. Silicon Valley is amazing.
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