Turning Ideas Into Impact
Insights from 16 Silicon Valley Consultants
by Russell Brand, Hong Nguyen-Phuong, Kimberly Wiefling, Mitchell Levy
Silicon Valley is recognized globally as a hotbed of innovation and entrepreneurship. It’s the birthplace of world-famous companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook and home to a few legends such as NASA at the Ames Research Center. Our 16 authors have created 16 high-impact chapters that can give you and your business the Silicon Valley advantage.
Why is Silicon Valley such an entrepreneurial place? A major contributor to the phenomenon is our diversity—half of us don’t speak English at home. But our diversity goes far beyond ethnicity. A wide variety of perspectives, thinking styles, and work approaches also contributes to the magic of Silicon Valley, creating breakthroughs that have disrupted business models (Airbnb and Lyft) and even shifted our perception of the future of meat (the “Impossible Burger”).
We’re also one of the most educated regions in the US—nearly half of us graduated college, and about a fifth have earned graduate degrees. Businesses here are filled with smart, well-educated, experienced people. But like all organizations made up of human beings, we are subject to the same pitfalls that threaten companies everywhere.
Many businesses that were successful 100 years ago no longer exist. Trapped by their own success, they gradually learned to reduce risk and avoid failure at all costs and consequently squelched or killed innovation and creativity. This made them vulnerable to competition from new or more aggressive companies with less to lose. Are your greatest contributions and successes behind you or ahead of you? Even brilliant people can underperform—or fail—for entirely predictable (and avoidable!) reasons.
Similar hazards face successful executives, professionals, and leaders of every kind. One danger of success is the increased difficulty of recognizing and adjusting to shifts in the business environment. No one knows this better than the former leaders of Nokia and Kodak, two once-great brands that ignored the timeless wisdom that a peak always conceals a treacherous valley.
It can be hard to see new possibilities that will allow future success, especially when it requires letting go of previously effective strategies that served you well. This is where the outside perspective of a consultant can be particularly useful. Our 16 authors offer you a competitive advantage in the business world and an alternative to that treacherous valley.
Dive into the Silicon Valley magic by reading one of our chapters. As a result, you’ll understand why in this amazing center of innovation, failures are called “prototypes,” the “impossible” is merely difficult, and dreams become reality.
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