The first thing people think about in Silicon Valley is the fact that technology "rules" this part of the country. That is correct, to some extent, but also completely misleading. By saying that, one completely diminishes the value of the people who built and are living in Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley is not about technology, it's about the culture. It's about not being afraid to pursue and idea that you believe in. When you are here you know that no one will throw your idea out the window before listening to what you have to say. It's just the way it works here, no idea is a bad idea. Take Airbnb for example, it's the worst idea ever. Getting strangers to stay in your house and paying to stay at a stranger's house.. who ever thought that would work? Well, it did. And it's a great business. People here are open to new opportunities and new ways to do things. Every day that I am here I see that there are novel solutions to old problems.
The culture of Silicon Valley is truly unmatchable. A 20 year old kid can give suggestions to a CEO who has sold companies for billions of dollars without feeling intimidated or even ashamed--sometimes being extremely helpful. Here, meritocracy is always the standard. If someone is "big" in Silicon Valley, he/she most definitely earned it. What impresses me the most is that, no matter how accomplished you are, if you are in Silicon Valley, you are never satisfied. You are always constantly trying to innovate, you live for that. In many ways it reminds me of CMC. You don't only live in Silicon Valley/CMC, you eat, sleep, drink, breath Silicon Valley/CMC. There's nothing better than that.
Gustavo Pires de Oliveira Dias ’16
Claremont McKenna College Intern, Orbital Insight