Silicon Valley - Day 7
Last Day - Day 7
Steph Avraamides - Year 12 and Mrs Lloyd
After departing our hotel, we travelled to Gigya, a very successful start up company and were fortunate enough to be presented with a talk with their CEO, Patrick Sayler. We found this informative talk very useful, no matter what field we were interested in discovering that the companies required a wide variety of people in the organisation, coming from a diverse range of backgrounds and careers. The talk informed us about the competitive environment in the start up field, with only 1/500 companies making it to the size Gigya has reached in its 10 year life. With failure being inevitable for new companies, the employees all developed an admirable resilience they hoped to install within us, whilst they conveyed their passion for the business world.
Subsequent to the talk, we had the rare opportunity to question Mr Sayler who we were very fortunate to be able to address as he took time out of his day to speak to us. This allowed us to delve deeper into the way the company works, discovering the methods to raise funds and the investor process that allowed companies to grow and develop into world class businesses. Additionally Gigya also gave us a brief tour of their working environment, which mirrored the layout philosophies of larger companies such as Facebook, having unfinished ceilings and an open working space to show their employees that their companies is still developing and is unfinished, as well as encouraging collaboration and teamwork. We left Gigya with not only a new perspective on starting a business but also with a sense for the passion needed to start a company with the potential to grow as Gigya has.
Then it was a quick stop at the local KFC and then onto Google X, a secret arm of the Internet giant. Although photographs were not permitted within the buildings, we were allowed to photograph the prototype of the electric car in the main reception and admire the Google painted bikes for movement across the campus. Eugiene Rives, head of one of the Google X research teams presented an overview of what they do and how they test out many ideas and how these are then narrowed down to those where there is commercial viability. We were given an insight into some of their current ideas that have made it through to final testing. These are the wind energy kites and the solar cell balloons to provide an energy source to parts of the globe short of power supplies. This was followed by a tour of some of the facility including seeing the electric cars undergoing research tests. We saw some driving around the roads around the site. These illustrate an exciting new future!
We then returned to the hotel and then boarded the coach for the long ‘Red Eye’ flight back to the UK.
There have been many inspiring and motivating visits to companies and universities at the heart of the technology revolution during the duration of the Silicon Valley Tour!