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It's been about month since I've returned from Silicon Valley, so I've had plenty of time to think about what happened there. This time I went out of curiosity, hoping to get the idea of how things work in the global center of technology. The next time I will be there for real business, approaching the situation more systematically. San Francisco and Silicon Valley are a great place to visit for profiles such as myself, so there surely will be a next time, when a wiser version of me will be able to do some serious shit. And I'll be wiser also because I've learned my lessons this time.

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written 19:01 CET on chronolog
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You know when car manufacturers try to market their products with meaningful slogans? "Today. Tomorrow. Toyota.", "Seat. Auto emoción.", "Ford. Build for the road ahead.", "Citroën. Créative technologie.", "Volvo. For life.", "Audi. Keeping ahead through technology.", "Škoda. Simply clever.", "Porsche. There is no substitute.", "Mercedes. The best or nothing.", "Hyundai. New thinking. New possibilities.", "Cadillac. Creating a higher standard." and similar? I'm sure you do.

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written 14:57 CET on chronolog
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I don't know if you've had the chance to read What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis. You should, it's a very powerful book, even though it's been written a few years ago. Things have changed a bit since then, when Google was on top of it's game, but that doesn't mean the ideas presented in the book aren't more actual than ever. One of the chapters that made the biggest impact on me was the one about platforms and distributed systems. Google managed to conquer the world of Web 1.0 by being decentralized, allowing others to embed YouTube videos, Google Maps and Ads anywhere on the Web. This orientation provided the fuel for Google's further development and growth. Today, this way of thinking is not a competitive advantage anymore, it's becoming a necessity. As you will see, current online market leaders of various industries are not those who provide the service, they're the ones who provide the platform.

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written 17:26 CET on chronolog
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Visiting Silicon Valley enabled me too peek into the future a bit. Finding out about new technology trends, meeting disruptive new software startups and seeing fascinating new business models that are proven to work. There are even more futuristic products / services than the ones mentioned in this post, but these are the ones that made the biggest impression on me. And they all share similar competitive advantages: using smartphones and other mobile devices, canceling middlemen and supporting cashless commerce.

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written 18:28 CET on chronolog
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Those that have read my previous post about visiting the technology giants of Silicon Valley, might have gotten the idea that organizations around here aren't that welcoming to strangers. Well, that might not be entirely true. One of my stops in San Francisco also included a visit to the Internet Archive, a foundation that is trying to preserve all the information our civilization possesses. And they were more than welcoming. Besides giving Andraz and me a full tour of their headquarters, they've also invited us to one of their staff meetings, where the Archive's members and volunteers present their activities and results from their specific fields.

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written 19:28 CET on chronolog
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Visiting the global technology bluechips was one of the things I was looking forward to the most on my trip to the Valley. Seeing how things work, the giant campuses they have, the amazing work conditions they offer. But like some other things, this plan didn't turn out as expected. I have to admit I was a bit naive, but a man can have his dreams, right? These corporations have their business to run, so why should they accept visitors like me? The fact is, they do accept them, but you have to have a contact on the inside. No contact, no glory. I was actually lucky enough to have some, and the next time I'll decide on journey like this, I'll make sure I address the situation more strategically.

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written 6:15 CET on chronolog
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In my life, I've traveled to two American cities on different occasions: New York and San Francisco. When I got there, a funny thing happened - it was nothing like I expected. Actually, it was a total buzzkill! I was filled with great expectations, but the cities displayed themselves in the plainest way possible. I can't believe how ridiculously common everything looked! When you travel to exotic places like Asia or Africa, you're in for a bit of a culture shock, and that's already fascinating enough. But cities in the United States, well, they're not that different from European cities, we're part of the same civilization anyways. Just cities like any other.

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written 6:08 CET on chronolog
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