How to succeed in Silicon Valley

More than 90% of new startups in Silicon Valley are expected to fail over the next three to five years. Is there anything fledging companies can do to beat the odds?

Well, veteran tech journalist Tom Foremski believes many startups would do well if they simply sent some of their employees to large urban areas, or target markets, where they could interact with the natives for a few weeks of harsh reality.

“It’s not good to be stuck in this echo chamber; which by the way feels more like a washing machine, tumbling and battering incessant memes into our heads via our local media, which loves to breathlessly report the minutiae of every gadget release and web service feature, no matter how obscure,” Foremski wrote on SiliconValleyWatcher.

“It’s good to take a break. But more importantly it’s essential. If a business doesn’t understand the culture of the greater world then it can’t succeed. And Silicon Valley is not typical of the greater world – it’s important that our startups remind themselves of this fact.”

According to Foremski, one of the wonder of the Bay Area is that it produces so much value, yet the majority of companies (and people) tend to fail again and again.

“They [really] have to move on and succeed in the wider world – [meaning] they have to understand the culture of that [real] world.

“The only way to do that is to have people that are in it… You have to be in it to know it,” he concluded.