A week in Silicon Valley - Day 1 w/ Crypto Investor and Kitesurfer Bill Tai
Hi Steemers -
One of the coolest things I do as part of my work is organize a "study tour" on behalf of Nordics clients that I work for. For one week we go to the most innovative business ecosystems on the planet in search for radical new ideas, emerging technologies and disruptive new trends: namely Silicon Valley.
Our first stop was over at Treasuredata.com which is a company that collects data on your customers, and turns that into valueable insights to customer behavior and needs. Here we met with Bill whom I met in Oslo a couple of months ago. As it turns out, Bill and I have a lot of friends in common as we are both avid kitesurfers and he comes to Norway a lot for snowkiting. Bill has been a long time investor in the crypto space and own and runs several green Data Centers around the world. He also sits on Treasuredata's board and shared some really interesting thoughts with us. Here's my take-aways:
1 - Data is the next "oil"
The winners of tomorrow are the companies that utilizes data to drive growth, reveneu and engagement. By using data, you open up a whole new level of intelligence when it comes to the relationship you have with your customer. Bill calls these: "Asset efficient companies" - basically, they are using data science combined with physical assets to deliver a totally new, desirable, user-friendly and highly value creating experience to their customers. These would be companies like Amazon, Spotify, Uber, Airnbnb.
2 - Data will need some Unitizations
Like Oil with Barrels, before it becomes an established currency. With blockchain, markets will emerge in which you can buy and sell data, and smart contracts will keep track of transactions, ownership, and valuel
3 - Blockchain is "TCP/IP" for assets
Basically, blockchain is the protocol that will open up a new paradigm shift in asset and value trading. Ethereum, in its current state, is like what TCP/IP was in the early days, but it will mature and gain adoption very quickly.
4 - A great team has a healthy disrespect for authority
This was one of the quotes Bill left us with, and with his track record, it seems he's seen his share of teams. Having spent a lot of time in the valley over the last few years, I see this mantra is embedded in the culture here, and it's one of the things that make this region spin out radical startups every month of the year.
Next up was our talk with the human Wikipedia, Mark Bunger. Mark has been with us since we started doing these tours, and he probably has the coolest job on the planet. Travel the world, find the most interesting technologies out there, and assess how that will change the world as we know it. His keynote was about "The future, faster" and touched on things like how the Silicon Valley culture is all about paying-it-forward. The business etiquette is that help fellow entreprenerus where you can - either it's introductions, or making a prototype for free - and you are expected to do the same.
- Look at adjacent products as future features of you next product
- When brainstorming and evaluating new ideas, have someone who disagrees all the time with you. Conflict sparks new insights and ideas.
- If it's seems like a good idea, at first, it's probably not [at least, it's not ambitious enough]
The rest of the day we spent walking around in Palo Alto, visiting the Nordic Innovation House and dropping by the coolest store in the word, www.betastore.com which has physical products featured on kickstarter.com and indigogo.com - For our Nordic friends this was the perfect pre-holiday-xmas stopover : )
Here's us outside Stanford Uni:
That's it for now Steemers, until next time.