Do you know that feeling, when you are so excited that you can’t stand still? That was me when I was holding my passport in one hand and the flight ticket in the other to The Silicon Valley. But why, you ask?
Coming from a small family in Ahmedabad, creating my own business was only a dream. Since childhood, I wanted to be an entrepreneur, and build a company from scratch. Thus, as I graduated, I started building my connections, created a website, and started a small business with the budget at hand. Then one day I got a call. An investor was interested in my business!
One by one all my dreams were finally coming true. I worked hard and stuck to my passion, and slowly but steadily moved my business to Bangalore, the Silicon Valley of India.
Although I was working smoothly, one thought kept coming back to me. SILICON VALLEY CALIFORNIA. I just needed one opportunity, and I’d be on the plane.
Surely, that day came. A tech meetup called by one of my sole investors was just an excuse to travel to the city of my dreams. SILICON VALLEY, here I come.
Silicon Valley, located in California, is the hub of innovation, high technology and social media giants like Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat etc. Four major cities, San Jose, Palo Alto, Mountain View and San Francisco, come together to create this magnificent centre of scientific brilliance.
As I landed, I observed that maybe I left Bangalore behind, but I didn’t leave the traffic anywhere. Hundreds of cars stood in the jam, waiting to reach their destination.
Around the valley, everybody looked like entrepreneurs. With sunglasses on, a t-shirt and shorts, everybody had a purpose and a bigger dream in their eyes. The dialogues from my favourite tv show, Silicon Valley were finally making sense!
As the Golden Gate bridge grew nearer, I realized that I am living the dream.
As Paul Graham would say, "Live in the future, then build what's missing."
I was on my mission to create a better tomorrow.
Paul Graham, the founder of Y Combinator, is both my inspiration and my hero. I read every single one of his essays and saw his videos, to understand what it takes to build a successful startup. I said a silent Thank You to him and headed out of the car. The office was here.
I entered, to realize the fast-paced life of this city. Everybody was fully focussed at their work at all times. Laptops, phones, gadgets and gizmos, all around the office made me understand why this valley is what it is.
In the sea of plain t-shirts and shorts, a little hint of colour seemed necessary. I looked down. My funky Silicon Valley Edition Socks were the showstopper. Feeling very happy I entered the room.
I joined my colleague in the conference room. The energy was quick to catch on. Bright, young and enthusiastic minds had all come together to share ideas. Each one of them was super inspiring and had big dreams.
In the break, as I was getting up to go out for fresh air, the guy sitting next to me stopped me.
“Wow! I love this look. I mean the socks are a beautiful pop of colour. Where did you get these from?”, he asked. “SockSoho. It’s an amazing startup company which has made exclusive sock collections, that too for StartUp founders.”, I replied. Pointing towards my feet I said, “These are the Silicon Valley ones, and I’ll show you the other quirky and fun pairs.”
I opened my bag to show him the Steve Jobs Socks and the Cryptocurrency socks. His face was changing from wonder to excitement.
“Your socks are getting a lot of attention here. Even I want these”, he said.He wasn’t lying. The whole conference room had noticed my fun addition to my otherwise plain and boring attire. They did not know the surprise that was waiting for them at the end of the meeting.
The exciting moment was when I pulled a pack with 25 of these fun and quirky Silicon Valley socks which I bought as a gift for my Investor board. They were thrilled! In fact, one of them threw his ordinary pattern socks and wore these fun Silicon Valley socks right away!
Throughout the day I kept receiving compliments, on my funky socks. We even met some guys who were pretty chill, and while we shared a drink, they noticed my funky socks and that became a conversation starter. Surely, the colourful socks had won everyone’s heart.
As I boarded the plane back to India, I couldn’t help but keep thinking about these four things I loved about Silicon Valley.
1. THE TECH MINDSETThe workload is really heavy. I mean, every good thing comes with a price, right? Almost everyone works the whole week and even after that, they have to pull overnight shifts to pay their bills.
It is a fast-paced lifestyle filled with new ideas, a lot of great co-workers and hustling.
2. PEOPLE HERE DARE TO DREAM BIGThey work day and night, to provide global products to the world, eg. Uber, Airbnb; creating a technological giant from scratch and working hard to give the best service.
Everyone here, including me, had a solid support of real good investors backing us up every moment so that we can realize our BIG dreams. What can get better?
3. THE BEAUTY OF DIVERSITYWho knows, when they’ll need the shy Australian guy to solve a bug in the system, or the confident African guy, to work out a deal with an investor. Just like it’s said, Rome wasn’t built in a day, Silicon Valley would not be able to function if they didn’t have the diversity and ethnicity it offers.
Unity in Diversity, all the way, am I right?
4. COFFEE MEETINGS IN CASUAL CLOTHING ARE FOR REAL!
When my favourite characters in Silicon Valley, the TV show, used to sit for coffee meetings in their casual clothing I thought it was not true.
But guess what! It is the coolest thing about here. It’s in these casual surroundings that they solve bugs in a real-time system, make high-level decisions for big companies and experience the Valley Life.
I reached India and decided to take these qualities of Silicon Valley and use it as much as possible, in my company. With a heart full of dreams, (and the inspiration from my favourite quirky set of socks), I plan to make it big in the future.
It's like Gilfoyle, my fav character said, “It’s not magic. It’s Talent and Sweat.”
I have been wearing these socks almost every day since it inspires me to dream big and get a feel of my favourite place. Hence, the moment I reached home from the airport, I ordered a pair of these fun and colourful Silicon Valley socks for my entire team so that they can also take a vibe of what Silicon Valley is.
THEY LOVED IT! Smartness is all about carrying yourself in the best way possible. And the socks, even if it is a small add-on to my daily outfit, adds to that confidence.
Many such dreamers like me have said the same, including Kritesh Bhavnani, a budding entrepreneur, who wants to reach Silicon Valley someday and holds the dream close to his heart.
“The valley is a place where dreams can become a reality. The socks inspire me to dream big and let my passion guide me. The quirky socks have now become my personal favourite. It’s a different feeling to see people share the same dreams as you.``
So, what are you waiting for? Make your dream come true. Learn to be different and bring some colour into your life, in the form of refreshing ideas that can change the world for better.
Inspired by the Silicon Valley lifestyle? Get these Silicon Valley Socks here.