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24 Mar


Valley Trip Summary: Half-time.

March 24, 2008 | By |

I’m about half-way into my trip to the Bay Area, i.e. Silicon Valley, so I figured it’s time for a first summary. First of all, I’ve been neglecting this blog, and to some degree even Twitter. This isn’t just because I’ve been spending my time doing and seeing a lot of stuff and a bunch of cool folks, but also due to a certain lack of infrastructure.

Sounds weird? Well… just when I was packing my bags for this trip, I got notice that my OLPC Laptop had (eventually) arrived. Excited to try it out, I decided to take the risk not to take along my real laptop, and instead to rely on the little green kids laptop. Turns out, that was a bit optimistic. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but it’s not exactly the perfect tool for today’s knowledge worker if you know what I mean. (No, not even when you work mostly web-based. Trust me, I tried.) The main problems I can see after just a few days are the tiny (and very soft) keyboard, browser performance and the pretty regular crashes when trying to open more than two browser windows. Again, this is not what this laptop was intended for, it’s just my experiences. On the plus side, the battery is great, it’s super light and the screen is simply amazing: You can read perfectly in direct sunlight.

What else, besides my personal geek issues? This part of the West Coast is absolutely gorgeous, even more so than I expected. What struck me even more, though, is just how well-connected and highly energetic the web and tech community in the valley is. Within just a few days, I’ve had the chance to meet a whole bunch of cool & interesting folks. Even during this short time, I feel like I’ve learned a fair bit about startup culture and how different it seems to the German secene. It’s almost a cliché, but practically every person I’ve met works in either tech/web, finance/VC or academia. The speed new connections are made here amazes me. On the other hand, once you just get outside and stroll through the streets of San Francisco, time seems to slow down and people seem very laid back. (Is it a sun thing, maybe, and the mild climate has a soothing effect?) I could totally see myself working here for a while.

Anyway, as soon as I have some more time (and a slightly bigger keyboard), I’ll write proper wrap-up. Maybe I’ll be able to post first thoughts on some of the brainstormings we’ve been doing already as well.

I’ll be in the Bay Area until Thursday; if you’re around and would like to meet up, drop me a note!